Do mods mean my insurance will cost me more?
I’m going to get a Honda Fireblade and throw quite a few bolt-on parts at it over the winter to make it into a road-legal trackday bike. I am looking at a quickshifter, free-flowing exhaust and Power Commander. It will also have revalved forks, an aftermarket shock, decent rubber and a steering damper. What do I have to tell my insurers?
Will Perrin, email
Answered by Chris Evitt, Carole Nash Insurance
When rating the risk for a rider and bike, insurers will look at the repair and replacement costs, and also if it is more appealing to thieves.
Mods can be a difficult area for providers to rate the differing risks, because bikes can be made so individual. Add in less intuitive online quoting and mistakes can creep in.
The good news is the Consumer Insurance Act 2015, which came into force in April, has given riders some new legal protection. The Association of British Insurers guidelines say: “If you unknowingly give incorrect or incomplete information to your insurer, they will not be able to decline a claim on the grounds off non-disclosure unless you carelessly or deliberately lied or misrepresented your circumstances.” So, if you are certain you are going to make those changes, include them in the initial quote.
To try and avoid confusion we have updated our questions with this wording: “Has the bike got any modifications or been altered in any way from the manufacturer’s standard specification? This includes any manufacturer or dealer option, whether or not performance is altered.”
That means practical parts like luggage and cosmetic add-ons should be declared too. If your performance mods added £3000 to the bike’s value, it would mean a 28% increase on two premiums from the same company. A £5000 Suzuki Bandit 1250 that has been made into a streetfighter would cost 20% more to insure than a bog-standard £3000 bike. If you are still not sure, it always pays to pick up the phone to your insurer.