Bikers charged hundreds of pounds a year extra for life insurance

Published: 10 December 2011

A major life insurer has started charging customers hundreds of pounds a year extra for riding a motorcycle.

Ageas Insurance asks policy applicants whether they have ridden a motorcycle during the last 12 months and if so what capacity it was.

Anyone aged 50 or under who says they have ridden a bike over 499cc is charged extra, typically around £18 a month for a 29-year-old with a 25-year mortgage.

An Ageas document explaining the policy to brokers says: ‘That’s because it is this group of riders that accounts for the vast majority of motorbike deaths.’

The document says: ‘It is widely known that people who ride motorcycles are statistically at higher risk of accident, injury and death.

‘For every km driven, a motorcyclist is 46 times more likely to be killed in a road accident than a car driver and 57 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured…

‘Motorcyclists who ride a bike with an engine capacity of over 500cc account for about half of all riders, but almost four in every five motorbike deaths.’

The document, marked ‘not to be shown to retail customers’ cites the Department for Transport as the data source.

Ageas UK insures around eight million customers according to the firm’s website.

Latest DfT figures show cyclists are also 22 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured per mile than car users but Ageas does not charge them extra.

A spokesman for the insurer said: ‘We could extend this to rate pedal cyclists, though motorcyclists are by far the highest risk group, and we believe the bigger bike riders are the highest risk sub-group of motorcyclists - so we've focused the loading on this group.’ 

‘We are always looking to improve our risk classification and make sure our customers pay an appropriate premium for the risks that they are exposed to.  This is something that is always under constant review and we will take all feedback on board.’

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