Classic bike insurance buying guide

Published: 03 April 2009

To get the best value classic bike insurance, there are a few basic tips and tricks to learn if you're one of those currently dreaming of a cool 60s, 70s or 80s classic motorcycle.

The good news is that classic bike insurance is usually much more affordable than for a typical modern bike, and understanding why should help you track down the best deals.

For a bike to qualify for classic motorcycle insurance it must have been made and registered in a year up to and including 1982. So it's not just old Brit classic twins that qualify for these discounts nowadays. And some insurers now run "modern classic" schemes for bikes built between 1983 and 1998, bringing even more bikes within range of savings.

Why is classic bike insurance cheaper?

There are several reasons why classic motorbike insurance is cheaper than for modern bikes - the chief one being there are many fewer claims involving classic bikes.

Classic bike owners generally take extra care of their machines and cover less mileage. Fixing a maximum annual mileage is one typical way that you can save even more on insurance costs.

The market for stolen classic motorcycles is also tiny compared to that for new superbikes, say, and this also dramatically decreases the risk for an insurer to quote against.

Unfortunately this doesn't mean classic bikes are immune to theft, and, as with any policy, taking out extra security precautions can help reduce the cost of your classic bike insurance. Check out MCN's top tips to keeping your motorcycle safe.

What if I'm not going to ride the bike?

Many classic motorbikes are never ridden on the road, but still need insurance. Whether you're doing a winter restoration project or you just take your concours classic round the shows circuit on the back of a trailer, you're probably going to be looking at a 'storage policy' - which covers the bike for theft or fire damage. Specialist classic motorbike insurance brokers are the best bet for this kind of cover, which will be cheaper still than a policy that includes road use. 

If you do ever transport the bike on a trailer it is important to be clear whether your storage policy covers damage in transit or away from the home, or whether your car policy (which will need to include towing cover) will cover damage to whatever is being towed. One of them will need to!

Specialist brokers for classic motorcycle insurance

When it comes to classic motorcycle insurance there are lots of smaller specialist firms that understand the specific needs of classic owners and offer policies tailored with special features, like multi-bike policies to cover collections.

Insurers like Footman James, Lynbrook and Adrian Flux all specialise in classic bikes and specials. Carole Nash also started out specialising in classic motorcycle insurance policies.

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