Insurance is a necessary expense when it comes to getting on the road. One should never be tempted to go without, the legal and financial consequences can be severe. However, in this article I’m going to detail a number of tips to get the cheapest insurance premium and not pay more than absolutely necessary?
It is likely there are a number of job titles that describe your occupation(s), but did you know the premiums charged for each can differ dramatically? Use this free tool on Money Saving Expert to find all occupations similar to yours and which will give the lowest premium.
Will you ever take a pillion on your bike? If not, consider dropping pillion cover from your policy. But, if you do intend to take a pillion, do double check you have pillion cover, some insurers won’t include it by default.
Advanced riding courses
Completing an advanced riding course like RoSPA, IAM or the new Enhanced Rider Scheme, will not only make you a better and safer rider, but can also afford a small discount on your insurance premium. It may take a few years for savings to out way the investment, but as a better rider, you are less likely to crash and thus save on costly repairs, excess deductions and lost no-claims.
IAM also have their own associated IAM Surety Insurance firm (managed by Cornmarket), who can be very competitive in their own right for those passed their IAM test. I’ve personally found them the cheapest for me over last few years.
Join the BMF
Members of the British Motorcycle Federation can get up to 25% discount on insurance, with BikeSure. You may even have associate BMF membership via another group too (e.g. Curvy Riders). Well worth investigating if this will help you.
Don’t over exaggerate your annual mileage. A lower figure can reduce your premium slightly. Conversely, don’t under estimate too much, if you exceed your annual mileage, increasing it later on will be more costly as it could incur admin fees. On a recent policy I undertook the difference between 7,000 and 10,000 annual mileage was £9, so only a small difference, but it all helps.
Update: I’ve since heard of some people actually getting more expensive quotes from very low annual mileages. As it could be argued a rider putting more miles in will be a better rider.
Any performance enhancing modifications to you bike must be declared and will likely increase the premium. In fact, it is often cheaper to insure a more powerful unmodded bike, then mod a lower powered bike. Modifications that don’t enhance the performance usually don’t increase the premium, but do still need to be declared and aren’t usually insured, i.e. they’ll be replaced with standard parts if you make a claim. Failure to declare any mods could leave you with an invalidated policy in the event of a claim and in some serious financial trouble.
Security & Trackers
Fitting an alarm, immobiliser, tracker and/or using a quality security chain/ground anchor can help bring your premium down. However do compare premiums with and without, if no different, don’t specify it – in the event of a claim an insurer may use the none use of a specified security item as a way to avoid paying out. Conversely, in some areas you may find some companies will turn you down if you don’t use some security measures.
Add a More Experienced Named Rider
Try adding an older family member or friend with more riding experience and a clean license as a named rider. This can often lower the premium, regardless of whether they’ll ever actually ride your bike.
Never accept the renewal quote companies give you. It is always higher to catch the lazy folk who can’t be bothered to hunt around each year. Always run another price comparison search. You’ll either find someone else cheaper, a cheaper quote from same insurer/broker or your renewal is in fact the cheapest. Either way, do ring up your current insurer and ask them for a better price. I’ve achieved cheaper premiums, even when the renewal quote was cheapest! My personal best saving was a £404 renewal, down to £240.
Insure the Excess
Many insurance quotes these days are only offering huge excesses, sometimes in the thousands are even almost as much as the value of the bike. As a biker this is bad, it means in the event of a claim you’re going to be seriously out of pocket as you have to stump up for that excess yourself. It can also put you in a tricky position if you’ve bought the bike on finance…
One solution is separately insure your excess with another policy. This can often be much cheaper than paying a higher premium to reduce the excess (if even a possibility). However you must be aware an excess insurance policy will only pay out if there is a valid claim on your main policy, so if the value of the claim is below your main policy’s excess, then there is no claim. As always, read the small print.