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Motorbike Insurance Explained

What counts as a modification?

A modification to your motorcycle is anything that changes its specifications from when it was originally manufactured. Any modification must be reported to your insurance provider regardless of what it is.

It is a wise move to tell your insurer before you install anything just in case the amount it adds to your premium is unaffordable. 

If you fail to inform your provider of any modifications and you are involved in an incident, your insurance may be invalidated. If you need insurance for your modified bike you can call MCN Compare on our Modified Bikes Number (0844 409 7596) and talk through all the modifications to ensure you get the best price possible.

What is an immobiliser?

An immobiliser is an electronic device fitted to your machine that prevents the engine from running unless a matching key is inserted into the ignition. This prevents the bike from being started by forcing the ignition lock. An immobiliser will usually lower your premium and many new bikes have them as standard (Honda HISS, Kawasaki KISS, Suzuki SAIS system etc).

What is a tracking device?

A motorcycle tracker is an electronic device fitted to your motorcycle which tracks the bike in the event of a theft. You notify the Tracker company if your bike is stolen and they liaise with the police in an effort to recover it. Trackers are usually difficult to DIY fit and all require a yearly subscription to a monitoring service but they can increase the chances of recovery after a theft so will lower your premium.

Does it really matter what my job is or who I live with?

Yes. If you work in a pub or anywhere near alcohol you will be deemed a higher risk. Journalism is another high-risk profession regardless of the subject. As MCN Compare relies on drop down lists to select job titles, be sure to be accurate when selecting one.

A swimming instructor may not find their job title on the list but instructor or coach is usually there. If coach is selected the premium may go up by £50 when compared to an instructor, so if you are unsure you can always call us on 0844 409 7610 and specify exactly what your profession is. If you live with someone else you will usually be deemed a lower risk.

What is a grey import?

A grey import is a vehicle imported into another country without consent of the manufacturer or whoever owns the intellectual property rights of that vehicle. It is done by simply bypassing the owner’s official distribution channels. Having a grey import does not usually mean you will pay a higher premium.

What are the differences in insurance types?

Third party
Third party is the minimum amount of cover you can take out in the UK. This level of insurance will not cover yourself or your motorcycle, it will only cover another person (including any passengers) and their property if they are involved in an accident which you have caused. 

This may be a good option for you if you are considered a high risk and/or your motorcycle is low value. Third party is the cheapest insurance you can get .

Third party, fire and theft
Third party, fire and theft is the same as third party with, you’ve guessed it, cover for fire and theft. Additional cover is provided for yourself and your bike only if it is damaged in a fire or if stolen though, as always, check for conditions such as security requirements.

Fully comprehensive
Fully comprehensive will cover third party, fire, theft, and also insures yourself and your bike against loss and damage. Although fully comp is the best type of insurance it does not always mean it will be the most expensive. Bizarrely, third party, fire and theft may be more expensive!

So double check both levels of cover even if you only want third party fire and theft, as fully comp may reduce your premium (but remember this is not always the case). When you use MCN Compare, your results will show all three types of cover no matter which you select. So you can compare your options quickly and easily.

What is a no claims bonus?

If you don’t make any claims on your insurance policy you will be entitled to a no-claims bonus (NCB) discount. To earn a single years NCB you must not have claimed on your policy for that entire year. If you have three bikes insured simultaneously for one year, you will only earn a years NCB on one of the machines for that year.

The NCB is simply a discount that will reduce the cost of your insurance for the following year. If however, you make a claim and your NCB is not protected then you will lose all discounts (regardless of how many years you have saved up).
To protect your no claims bonus (effectively insurance on your insurance!) you will usually need 4 years NCB saved up already and will have to pay an additional fee.

If I have an accident and don’t want to make a claim do I still have to notify my insurer?

Yes, you must notify your insurer even if you don’t want to make a claim. If you don’t, and then suffer problems at a later date (eg, a back injury), they will be unlikely to agree to a claim.

What is insurance excess?

Compulsory excess – is the amount you must pay for damage or repair in the event of a claim.
Voluntary excess – is the amount you pay in addition to your compulsory excess. The reason for adding voluntary excess is that it will lower your insurance premium (but should a claim occur you will obviously pay more).

Should I add breakdown cover?

This is a personal choice and depends on how much you use your motorcycle, where you will be riding it to, your competency in mechanics and your financial situation. Check any deal you are offered with stand alone deals from other companies such as the AA, RAC, Green Flag etc.

Can I ride any other bike?

This will be stated on your bike insurance schedule and insurance certificate. It is usually dependent on your age and occupation.

Do I need to report a car accident or theft when searching for motorcycle insurance?

Yes, any accident must be stated regardless of what vehicle it was in even if no claim was made. If you lie or withhold information your insurance will be invalidated.

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