Motorcycle insurance: Your questions
30 March 2012 11:02
Motorcycle insurance can be confusing, and at times, frustrating. We've taken some of the most popular bike insurance questions and answered them all below.
Q. How long does your No Claims Discount remain valid if you stop riding?
A. The industry standard is two years, but some firms like MCE are able to validate it for three years after your last policy expired. If you are going to take a break from bikes, make sure you get the NCD proof paperwork when your cover expires, because insurers don’t keep those records for long. And keep it safe.
Q. Should I tell companies bidding for my business how much I paid last year, or my cheapest quote so far?
A. Definitely. That way the sales executive has a price to beat.
Q. If the insurance company pays out, is it on the agreed value at start of policy, or market value at time of claim?
A. The payout will be an offer for the market value of the bike at that point in time. For a bike less than six months old you should receive a brand new replacement bike, but check your policy. Some brokers do offer agreed values for modified or classic bikes.
Q. Is there a saving to be had if I limit my annual mileage?
A. There’s little enough time to get out on your bike for pleasure these days, and if you are prepared to limit your mileage you could reduce your premium by 12% according to Bennetts.
Q. I’ve heard that pillion cover can be optional now?
A. Payouts for pillion injuries are an increasingly common cause of large losses and costs for insurers, so some are offering some extra discount from a basic insurance policy if you don’t get pillion cover.
Q. How is any payout made if the bike is on hire purchase?
A. The finance company will have first charge on the vehicle, so they will get a settlement up to the value of what’s owed and any amount above this will be payable to you. Though vehicle depreciation means this is unlikely.
Q. How can I maintain cover on my bike if I am banned mid-term or I SORN it for the next year or two?
A. It’s a term of most policies that you must have a valid licence to stay on cover, so unless your policy allows a named rider with a valid licence, you will have to cancel your standard policy. However firms like MCE offer a laid up, fire and theft cover that will protect your bike whilst in storage, useful if you are taking a voluntary break from bikes too.
Q. I’m switching from four wheels to two. Can any existing car No-claims be added to a motorcycle quote?
A. We don’t know of any, but some insurers do allow you to transfer your bike No claims to a car policy. They obviously think we are better road users if we have a clean record on two wheels….
Q. Do I have a ‘cooling off’ period from the time I agree cover?
A. You have 14-days from the inception of the policy to cancel. However you will still incur reasonable and proportional administration charges, which will be between £40-£50. Bennetts no-quibble money-back guarantee, won’t charge a penny. However, if something comes to your attention in the policy documents that should have been mentioned during the sales call, like the level of excess or a garaging clause, and you believe it wasn’t. Then you can cancel without any charge, as the sales call has to be recorded and will prove the error.
Q. If I have got a complaint, what’s the procedure?
A. The insurance industry is tightly regulated by the Financial Services Authority and each firm has to have a complaints procedure that is compliant with FSA rules and regulations. If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you generally have six months from the date of it to raise it with the Financial Ombudsman Service. But you do have to go through the individual company’s complaints procedure first.
The Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall