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How to cut the cost of motorbike insurance

12th July 2010 Print

With over 1 million registered motorcycles in the UK, Brit's love affair with two wheels is at its highest in the summer, as bikers look to hit the open road to enjoy the hot weather. However with over 70 motorbikes written off, and a further 36 reported stolen each day1, is warning bikers to make sure they are adequately insured.

Steve Sweeney, insurance expert at said: "The warm weather will no doubt be enticing motorbike enthusiasts out into the open air and onto the roads this summer, however donning your leathers isn't the only thing you need to consider before heading off. Insurance premiums don't have to cost the earth, and keeping your bike in a garage at night, paying a higher excess or reducing the miles you do each year will all help drive down the price an insurer will quote you.

"If you're planning to leave the UK for a summer road trip, make sure you speak to your existing insurance provider before you head off as cover is essential for trips to mainland Europe. Those without adequate cover may find their insurance will not protect them in the event of an accident.

"Unfortunately, modifying your bike will often mean your premiums rise, but you still need to let your insurer know. If you make any modification, you need to tell your insurer straight away. If you don't, you run the risk of your insurance being declared invalid meaning you'll be left with a hefty bill if your claim is not paid out. It's also important to check whether your policy covers your leathers, helmet and gloves. High quality, branded leathers can cost thousands of pounds, and even a basic one-piece race suit can set you back hundreds of pounds, and not all motorbike insurance policies actually cover this kind of kit. If you have any doubts about what your policy covers you for, I would advise contacting your insurer."'s top tips for reducing the cost of motorbike insurance

Don't accept your renewal quote - if your insurance is up for renewal, don't automatically accept your renewal quote. Your premiums are likely to rise year-on-year so it pays to shop around for the best quote available.

Don't claim for everything - If you make a claim on your motorbike insurance, not only will you have to pay an excess but your premiums are likely to rise in the future as a result. If you have a minor accident on your motorbike, and the repairs don't cost much more than your excess then it would make sense not to claim on your policy.

Go for a less powerful motorbike - Insurers consider more powerful bikes to be faster and therefore more likely to be involved in accidents. This pushes up policy prices. When buying a new motorbike, find out how much it will cost to insure before you make the purchase - if the costs are high, you may decide to go for a bike with a lower spec or smaller engine.

Keep your bike safe - If you have a decent anti-theft device installed on your motorbike and your bike is kept locked in a garage overnight, this will reduce the cost of your insurance. Most insurers want to see that your security devices, such as immobilisers, heavy duty locks and ground anchors, are Thatcham approved.

Become a better rider - An advanced riding qualification could also reduce premiums by as much as 10 per cent. Any biker can take the Blue Riband advanced rider course through the British Motorcycling Federation (BMF), although you will need to retake the exam every three years to keep the qualification.

Reduce your annual mileage - the annual mileage helps determine the cost of your premium. Reducing your mileage will help reduce your premium.

Look at your named riders - Insurers will take named riders into account when setting premiums, not just the main rider. If you add an older rider with no recent claims, this will help reduce your premiums. Likewise, adding a younger male rider with little experience would increase your premiums.

Stay safe and ride carefully - Staying within the speed limit and paying attention to other road users will not only keep you safe - your insurance costs will be kept low if you don't have accidents or get points on your license.

Pay the annual premium rather than monthly - paying your annual premium up front rather than in monthly installments will help keep the costs down. Many insurers charge an additional fee for monthly payments, which bump up the annual cost of your insurance.

Check you policy details - make sure you check your policy details to make sure it is correct; otherwise your insurer may not pay out. Any modifications to the bike need to be declared and if you are planning to use your bike in mainland Europe, then check the policy covers your needs.