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How is motorbike insurance calculated?

MCN Compare

To boil it all down, the cost of your insurance reflects two main things:

  • How likely you are to make a claim when riding
  • How expensive that claim may become

Other factors come into play, but sadly, unless you can defy the aging process, you won’t be able to do much about it. Your age can have a significant impact on the cost of your motorcycle insurance. If you are young the insurance company consider you to be a bigger risk and more likely to ride recklessly, while if you are an older rider the insurer considers that you pose a risk due to your advancing age and the problems that come with it.

However, there are things you can have some sway over to help reduce the cost of your motorcycle cover; from how often you are on the road to the type of bike you ride. Certain insurers prefer to put more weight on certain factors, so we would recommend shopping around to source a policy to suit your budget; using a comparison website like MCN Compare to compare motorcycle insurance is a step in the right direction. Here’s our guide to the main aspects likely to affect your policy cost.

Your age

The problem here remains. Your insurer isn’t aware of how safely you ride. You could be reckless, wearing a Hell’s Angels leather jacket, and hell bent on topping 150mph past the local primary school. Maybe you prefer to cruise along at a safe, legal speed on your way for your weekly shop. Therefore, insurance companies can only use statistics to work out how likely you are to make a claim.

As with almost anything in this world, these figures are stacked against the younger generation. If you are aged between 17 and 25 years old – you are considered the riskiest age group and are likely to be faced with higher prices. 

The bike you ride

This is common sense – the more expensive or the more powerful your motorbike is; the more risk it accumulates. Then you have the classic side, as a classic motorcycle can leave everyone rocking back and forth in the corner of the room trying to source rare parts without bankrupting that branch of the insurer.

Don’t think that a battered old scooter is therefore going to be pennies to insure. Just because it’s worth £250 won’t mean a cheap quote. In fact, it’ll most likely result in the opposite. In essence, with a bike of that magnitude, the insurer will charge you as though the bike is going to be written off 18 times a year.

A bike with a larger engine is also more likely to find itself in the middle of an accident, making a supercharged ride total insanity to insure depending on your age.

While it may increase your insurance premium, you need to inform your insurer should you modify your bike. Failure to do so may invalidate any claims made in the future. And the last thing you want should the worst happen is to find you aren’t covered.

How good your bike’s security is

If your motorcycle is difficult to steal – such as being locked in a garage at night or being encased in concrete – this should keep costs down. Secure anti-theft measures include bike locks, ground anchors and immobilisers, which will swing beneficial in the direction of your insurance cost.

The only snag is that you’ll need to ensure the devices you buy are recognised by the insurer, otherwise you won’t get a penny off the insurance cost.

Where you live

Believe it or not, one of the largest aspects costing you extra money is your postcode. If you live in an area of Glasgow that’s usually on fire or a suburb of London where everything is stolen, you can expect hefty expense.

Live in a built-up area? You are more likely to have an accident or your bike nicked according to statistics.

How you use your bike

Should you commute to work with your bike, alongside social use, you are likely to pay more for cover as roads will be busier. The mileage you plan to cover also has a bearing, as more miles means you are more likely to have an accident.

Your riding record and no-claims bonus

Arguably the most significant factor, your no claims bonus and insurance history can either leave you beaming or severely out of pocket. If you have points on your license this could have a real impact on the cost of your insurance. The bike insurer will ask, and you will need to be truthful to remain within the law. Even if a claim wasn’t your fault, the insurer will need to know.

You should have a no-claims bonus starting after a year – or more – of avoiding claim making. A discount could be swung your way on your premium after five years’ worth.

Your excess

It’s quite simple. The higher the voluntary excess you accept, the less your motorbike insurance quote will tend to be. However, the downside here is that, should you make a claim, this amount is deducted from your pay-out. Going for zero voluntary excess may seem tempting at the time  as your insurer will have to therefore pay the full amount of your claim less any compulsory excess.. This could increase your premium significantly.

The type of cover you buy

You have three types of insurance cover to choose from:

Third-party only (TPO)

Covers the damage to others – property, vehicles and people – in an accident that you’ve caused.

Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT)

Exactly the same as above, but your bike is also covered for damage by fire or should it be stolen.


This is the complete package. All the benefits of Third Party, Fire and Theft – but you are also covered for incident and damage to your bike, even if the accident is your fault.

The higher level of cover you go for usually means that your premiums are likely to be higher, too. Yet, this isn’t always the case – and a comprehensive policy can often sit at the a similar or the same price as Third Party, Fire and Theft.

We recommend hunting down a number of quotes at various levels before you settle on a price, as the best deal is out there somewhere… compare prices with MCN Compare and find the right cover for you.

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