Motorcycle insurance: a beginner’s guide

Q. I’m new to riding, and the world of insurance is doing my head in! How can I make sure I’m getting the best deal possible, and not getting ripped off? I’m not made of money (who is nowadays?) so have a very tight budget.
Andy Adams, email

A. We can break this down for you. Bear with us; we’ll try to demystify the process…

1. Firstly, work out what cover you really need. Do you need to go to the extra expense of fully comprehensive insurance on a bike that isn't worth a great deal of money? By lowering the cover to third party only you can save a bundle.

2. Use our online insurance website MCN Compare: The saving for motorcyclists using www.mcncompare.com can be as high as £150 per year as the aggregator is an easy way of searching lots of companies all in one go. So you save time and money.

3. Strip out the unnecessary extras: Insurance companies will often add extras like medical expenses and legal cover but for most people these offer no benefit so can be dumped. Look closely at what is on offer and if the extra cost is worth it.

4. How many miles do you do? If you only cover 2000 miles a year then tell your insurance company as it can significantly lower the premium.

5. Get rid of pillion cover: Part of the rise in recent insurance costs has come from injured pillions suing riders who have crashed or the car driver who caused their injuries. If you never carry a pillion then dump the cover as it can save cash.

6. Invest in bike and garage security: A fully secured motorcycle will almost certainly cost less to insure than one with nothing but a steering lock, however small the difference in premium.

7. Get some advanced training: Some insurance companies will offer discounts for riders who have passed advanced riding courses.