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Motorcycle cover - you and your bike

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles

Motorcycle cover - you and your bike

Michael Challiner
August 8, 2006

Statistics say that 10,000 bikers in the UK cancel their insurance policies over the winter months every year.

Many bike owners will lock away their two wheels but unfortunately, even when locked in a garage, their bikes remain at risk.

Thieves are quite aware that many motorbikes are stored in garages over the winter months and over 600 bikes are stolen every month.

If you have cancelled your policy and your bike is stolen you cannot make a valid claim. However, it should be possible to reduce the cover, save money and still maintain the essential minimum cover against fire and theft over the winter.

An annoying feature of existing motorbike insurance policies is that discount bonuses are not able to be accumulated over time. You may be able to get some form of discount should you remain claim free for a certain period with the same insurer, but this is a rare occurrence.

There are a few types of motorcycle insurance policy, Specified Rider Policy, Specified Bike Policy, Third Party Insurance and Comprehensive Insurance. A specified rider policy will specifically cover the rider and not the bike. The benefit of this policy is that it will allow you to ride any motorcycle up to a specified size.

A specified bike policy is directly the opposite and will only cover the motorbike and not the rider. This would be a suitable policy if you wish to insure a number of riders on the same bike.

Unfortunately for motorbike riders, particularly younger riders, they will have to pay higher premiums for their insurance policies due to the increased risk of their chosen method of transport.

Third Party is the legal minimum type of insurance and the cheapest. The 'third party' is any person you might injure or property you might damage. You will not be paid for anything else and you will still have to pay the excess.

Comprehensive Insurance is the most expensive and the one that pays for repairs to your motorcycle if it is damaged in an accident. It also means that if the accident was not your fault you do not need to wait for the other party's insurance to come through as your insurance will pay anyway. However, you will have to pay the excess but you will get it back when the others party's insurance reimburse your insurance company. These policies often include extras such as breakdown cover included.

Some of the key factors affecting premiums are age. Young motorcyclists have an alarmingly high accident rate and, according to statistics, are far more likely to be involved in an accident than more mature riders. The damage they can cause to themselves is very often costly and long lasting.

Occupation is also a deciding factor of premiums. Workers who spend many hours on the road travelling from one location to another will be subject to much higher premiums the more hours that are spent on the road the more likely accidents occur.

If you have made any claims in recent years for driving related accidents you should expect this to be reflected by a higher than average premium. Security devices such as immobilisers, alarms, steering locks and other security devices are only useful if they are activated. However their presence will result in a significantly lower premium, particularly in inner city areas.

As with any motor insurance, the more powerful the bike, the higher the premium is likely to be. The make of the bike may influence the premium also. Expensive bikes are also likely to attract higher premiums.

As with cars, most motorbikes will depreciate quite rapidly. In the event of a material damage claim, insurance companies will only pay the current market value of your bike. In these circumstances it may not be worth paying the additional premium for comprehensive cover over third party, fire and theft only.

If you get points on your license for speeding, dangerous driving etc your premium will go up, if you are disqualified for a period you will find insurance is very expensive when you get your license back.

You can sometimes get discounts because of the training you have done, passing an advanced test will usually get you a discount.

All of the above affect your premium, but it will also vary when the insurance companies are trying to balance their risks and you will usually find big differences in prices. Do your research though and don’t just go for the cheapest as sometimes, insurance company's try to reduce premiums by reducing the cover.

Remember it is illegal to ride without insurance and always remain honest with insurance companies. If they were to discover that you have not told them something that they should have known, you may find that your insurance is invalid. Aside from the fact that they would not pay a claim, this could also leave you to prosecution for driving without insurance. Car Insurance engine are a specialist website offering car insurance quotes.



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