5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (2023)

Published: 14 July 2017Updated: 14 July 2017

  • 5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (1)
  • 5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (2)
  • 5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (3)

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Insurance can be confusing, both taking out a policy correctly and also where it comes to claiming. Here are some questions we’ve been asked.

Visit MCN Compare for the best quote on your motorcycle.

Can I get my No Claims Discount cover for two bikes?

I’m having difficulty getting my insurer to provide evidence of my no claims discount. They say my NCD has been applied to the cover for a new bike I’ve purchased. I can’t ride both bikes at once, so what is the problem?

Dan Webb, Beeston

Answered by Chris Dabbs, MCN

Your NCD can only be applied to one policy. It is not attached to you to use as evidence when getting different policies. So, if you have one policy already running it gets all the benefits of the NCD, and the next one is treated as if you were a new rider. The only way you could get it to work would be if you had a multi-bike policy.


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Can I claim some cash to pay for painful whiplash?

A month ago I was hit in the side when a car skidded into me. Fortunately I didn’t break anything, but after the first week I have developed incredibly painful whiplash in my neck. The compensation company my insurer directed me to hasn’t contacted me for three weeks and when I chase them no-one knows what’s going on. I would like my neck sorted but I can’t afford physio and I am told the NHS waiting list is ridiculous. How can I get this treatment?

Sean Burke, Leicester

Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.

It is quite normal for whiplash symptoms to develop some time after the accident (usually within 48 hours, but sometimes more) and the symptoms, as you have found out, can be very painful and debilitating. Liability would appear to rest with the other driver so you should recover the cost of treatment although I don’t have all the facts.

It is very poor that you have not heard anything from your legal firm for three weeks. Early intervention by way of physiotherapy can do wonders for whiplash and you should be seen as soon as possible. A law firm can arrange this at no cost to you in circumstances where the claim is going to be accepted by the third party insurer and yours should have done so.

You can always change law firms and get a more pro-active one. Presumably your bike is in need of repair too and your kit may be damaged. You will be able to claim for your financial losses (including private medical treatment) in addition to claiming damages for your injuries. Any decent firm will act for you on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Will I lose my No Claims Discount?

I stopped at a Give Way sign waiting to join a main road and started to pull out as I thought the coast was clear. Just as I passed the Give Way markings in the road I saw an ambulance coming towards me from my right, so I hit the brakes. However it turned off the road before it got to me and I was hit from behind by a car. The car driver and his insurance company say this accident was my fault as I carried out an unnecessary emergency stop. I wasn’t hurt but my bike has some damage. My insurance company doesn’t seem too bothered about defending my position and I am now worried that they will pay out and I will lose my No Claims Discount which I can ill afford.

Jamie Smith, Hammersmith, London

Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.

As a general rule, road users should maintain a safe stopping distance between themselves and any vehicles ahead of them. Assuming that there was nothing wrong with your brake lights it sounds to me as though the car driver was either travelling too close behind you or was not paying enough attention to the road ahead of him. In which case, the car driver should be 100% responsible for the accident.

However, your insurance company is obliged to investigate the accident and should not be looking to have you accept responsibility for an accident that on the face of it was not your fault simply to avoid a legal dispute. You should demand that they take your concerns seriously and complain to the Financial Ombudsman if they do not do so.

Can I get what I paid for the bike?

5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (4)

My son recently bought a Fireblade from a dealer. He paid £9000 for it. He thought it was a reasonable price as it had only done 100 miles and was one of only five limited-edition bikes. He insured it for £9000. The broker did not query the value and charged an appropriate premium. The next day the bike was stolen from his work.

He has just received an offer for £5000; this will not be anywhere near enough to put him back on an equivalent bike. He has a £1000 excess on the policy which he accepts. I have found 23 Fireblades for sale with less than 1000 miles from £9800 to £12,500. Should he employ a loss assessor to recover as much money as he can?

Answered by Andrew Campbell, Solicitor and author of the MCN Law column.

My reading of this is that the bike was stolen the day after it was purchased and as such, assuming your son has proof of the purchase amount, this is excellent evidence of the bike’s actual market value.

Your son doesn’t need a loss assessor. I suggest he contacts his insurer (not broker) with the evidence he has as to value (price paid and comparable prices) and ask them to reconsider and pay him the £9000 he paid, less the excess.

If the insurer does not respond favourably then your son can raise an official complaint with the insurer, which they must investigate. Failing that, your son may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) asking them to investigate.

Should the FOS not agree to deal with the matter then it would also be possible for your son to consider a claim against the insurer for breach of contract.

Am I covered without an MOT?

5 questions when it comes to insuring your motorcycle (5)

I’ve had multi-bike insurance for eight years but when I received my renewal, I noticed a clause stating any vehicle without a valid MOT was not covered. I called my insurer to query this and was informed they would not renew my insurance as my bikes had no MOTs. I work abroad for up to four years at a time, so sometimes my bikes are unused for years, but SORNed and kept in my shed. Three other brokers have told me the same. So even if I wanted to ride them to the MOT station I would not have valid insurance.

Mark Douglas, email

Answered by Christian Evitt, Carole Nash

Most policies will include a condition to keep your bike in a safe and roadworthy condition and protect it from damage, theft etc. This includes having a valid MOT and keeping to all legal regulations relating to your bike and its ownership. Failure to comply with this may result in your policy being cancelled or your insurer refusing to deal with your claim.

Most bikes stolen from garages are not recovered, but I would expect the majority of insurers to pay out, even without an MOT. However, a current MOT is one of the ways an insurer values a bike, so you might be offered a reduced payout. If you are storing a bike, take a photo with that day’s paper as evidence of its condition.

I think the bigger issue in your case, which triggered the refusals, is that you ‘work abroad for up to four years’. If you’re not a permanent resident in the UK (physically) this will usually need referring to an underwriter. If your broker/insurer is not aware of your particular circumstance, I would contact them immediately so you have peace of mind that you and your bikes are fully covered.

If there’s something you would like to know regarding insuring your motorcycle, send your questions to advice@motorcyclenews.com.

Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale websiteor use MCN’sBikes For Sale App.


Is full coverage on a motorcycle worth it? ›

If your motorcycle is worth more than $5,000 — or is a classic or custom ride — you should strongly consider getting full motorcycle coverage. For bikes of this value, the increased premiums for comprehensive and collision coverage are justified when you consider the potential loss.

Why is motorcycle insurance so cheap? ›

The cost of bodily injury and property damage liability, which are the most commonly required motorcycle insurance coverages, is cheaper for motorcyclists than for car owners because bikers are less likely to cause substantial damage to other motorists and their property.

Can you insure motorcycle gear? ›

Most insurance companies will include a certain amount of motorcycle accessory coverage with the base policy. However, as you're about to see, it's very easy to surpass that included amount. So, it's important to understand how much accessory coverage you need and to make sure your policy reflects the correct amount.

Why do insurance companies total motorcycles with little damage? ›

Why Do Insurance Companies Total Motorcycles With Little Damage? Because most motorcycles are worth considerably less than cars, the cost of repairing a motorcycle is proportionately more than repairing a car. Therefore, motorcycles are totaled more often than cars.

What coverage should I have on my motorcycle? ›

Most states require motorcyclists to buy policies with at least $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person and $50,000 per accident, along with $10,000 in property damage coverage — also known as 25/50/10 coverage. Check the limits for your state to make sure you're meeting its legal requirements.

Is motorcycle insurance based on engine size? ›

Vehicle type, year, make, model and engine size (in cubic centimeters). As you'd expect, insurance for a newer sport bike with a large engine will cost more than insurance for a used cruiser with a small engine.

Which motorcycles are most expensive to insure? ›

Sport bikes, known as “supersports” within the industry, are typically the most expensive class of motorcycle to insure. Standards and dual sports are typically the least expensive, with cruisers and tourers falling somewhere in between.

Which motorcycles are expensive to insure? ›

Compared to cruiser-style bikes, sport bikes cost more than three and a half times as much to insure, despite having an average Kelley Blue Book value of only 169% more. Similarly, touring bikes are 33% cheaper to insure than sport bikes, while having a much higher average cost.

Are older motorcycles cheaper to insure? ›

Older motorcycles vary in their insurance costs. While they tend to be less powerful than newer bikes, making them less risky, they can be harder to replace and more expensive to repair. Liability may be lower but comprehensive and collision might be more.

Is a motorcycle helmet covered by insurance? ›

Often, protective equipment such as a helmet is covered under your motorcycle insurance policy. But, if you travel with other items in a saddlebag, such as a computer, you'll want to verify if they're covered by your motorcycle insurance policy or your homeowners policy.

What is an insurance binder for a motorcycle? ›

An insurance binder is simply a document issued by your insurer that can be one or more pages in length. It outlines several essential details regarding your policy, such as the amount and type of coverage, effective date, names of insured parties, and any limits or deductibles.

Does riding a motorcycle void life insurance? ›

Getting life insurance if you ride a motorcycle

The great news is that life insurance companies don't care whether you ride or not. However, for anyone who is a smoker or takes multiple medications the rates will be much higher than average.

How to lower motorcycle insurance cost? ›

How to lower motorcycle insurance
  1. Complete a motorcycle safety course. ...
  2. Maximize all available discounts. ...
  3. Customize your coverages & keep your policy current. ...
  4. Increase your deductible. ...
  5. Bundle motorcycle insurance with other policies. ...
  6. Avoid motorcycles with modified engines. ...
  7. Pick an insurer offering accident forgiveness.

Why are my motorcycle insurance quotes so high? ›

Age and riding experience

Because teen riders pose the greatest risk for insurers, they'll typically pay higher motorcycle insurance rates. But your age won't always tell the whole story. An older, inexperienced rider may pay a higher price for motorcycle insurance than a much younger, more experienced rider.

Are most motorcycle accidents the bikers fault? ›

Many drivers assume that motorcycle riders are reckless or careless on the road. But the facts say something different. Truthfully, most motorcycle accidents happen because of another driver's actions. A car or truck driver is more likely to be at fault for a motorcycle-related crash.

Do I need eye protection on a motorcycle? ›

Eye Protection Requirements for Motorcycle Riders

Every state—with the exception of Iowa—requires all motorcycle riders to have eye protection. If a rider does choose not to wear a helmet, they are still required to have eye protection by either wearing goggles or having a windshield.

Should I use 91 or 95 for motorcycle? ›

Most modern motorcycles recommend a minimum of 95 or 98 RON. If you fill up with a lower octane rating you run the risk of harmful engine detonation and pinging, Steve warns. Also the higher sulphur content in RULP can damage catalytic converters and prevent them from working properly.

How is motorcycle insurance calculated? ›

The value of your bike, the safety features, the crash rate for that model, and the theft rate are factors considered when determining your premium, according to JD Power. Similarly, consider any upgrades or customizations.

What size engine is best for motorcycle? ›

You can get anything from a 125cc (cubic centimeter) engine to something more than 2,000cc. For beginner motorcycle riders, the recommended engine is 500cc to 600cc. The lower the cc figure, the easier the bike will handle, and the more forgiving it will be to the inevitable mistakes that new riders make.

What is considered a big motorcycle engine? ›

Most bikes hover in the 400cc to 1,000cc range. Lightweight bikes go from 50cc to 350cc. Middleweight bikes range from 400cc to 950cc. While heavy bikes go from 1,000cc to 6,500cc.

What type of motorcycle is cheapest on insurance? ›

Top 5 Cheapest Motorcycles to Insure
  • Honda Rebel 300. The Honda Rebel 300 is a lightweight cruiser ideal for beginner riders. ...
  • Kawasaki Ninja 400. The Kawasaki Ninja 400 is a sporty motorcycle that is surprisingly affordable regarding insurance. ...
  • Yamaha R3. ...
  • Suzuki SV650. ...
  • Harley-Davidson Street 500.
Feb 27, 2023

Are Harleys cheaper to insure? ›

You can get very affordable motorcycle insurance through Harley-Davidson Insurance. On average, liability coverage with this company is about $14 per month, but if you would like to get a more full-bodied insurance policy, you can purchase some excellent coverages with Harley-Davidson.

Why is motorcycle insurance more expensive than car? ›

Because motorcyclists are not protected by a vehicle, they also die more frequently during an accident. Based on these statistics, and based on how likely you are to submit claims, your motorcycle insurance premium might be higher than you expect.

How many miles does a motorcycle engine last? ›

Touring bikes: 40,000 – 50,000 miles or even reaching 100,000 miles. Sports bikes: 25,000 – 50,000 miles (due to extreme conditions) Off-road bikes: about 20,000 miles.

Where is the cheapest place to store a motorbike for insurance? ›

If the bike is parked in a locked garage or shed you reduce the risk of theft so your quotes will be cheaper.

At what age is a motorcycle considered vintage? ›

When is a motorcycle a classic? Classic, vintage or antique motorcycles are generally at least 25 years old and look the way they were intended to when first manufactured or built. Depending on the insurer, classic bikes as young as 20 years old can be considered vintage, but this isn't always the case.

Can a motorcycle helmet come off in an accident? ›

However, there are cases where the helmet is properly fitted and the retention system has been securely fastened, but the helmet is ejected. Of course, some of such cases occur when severe facial impact causes fractures of the mandible then support for the chin strap is destroyed and any helmet can be ejected.

Can a helmet come off in accident? ›

That is very common. It protected your head during the impact. But a helmet, with unpredictable forces put through it, can come off.

How many miles can you get on a motorcycle helmet? ›

If the average mileage for a biker is somewhere between 6,000 miles and 8,000 miles, then it might be suggested that once a helmet has done between 40,000 and 50,000 miles it's about time to change it. The guys who ride 20k a year will often change their helmets every 2/3 years.

What is an acord 75? ›

ACORD 75, Insurance Binder, addresses both Personal Lines and Commercial Lines risks, although most ACORD Personal Lines applications.

What is the difference between a binder and a policy? ›

What's the difference between an insurance binder and a policy? Your insurance policy is an official contract between you and your insurer — and breaks down all the terms and conditions of your insurance. An insurance binder briefly summarizes your insurance policy — its coverages, deductibles, and listed drivers.

What must be included in an insurance binder? ›

The insurance binder should specify or define:
  • Insurance binder holder and/or name of insured.
  • Insurance company and agent contact information.
  • Binder number.
  • Asset or risk insured.
  • Coverages and coverage limits.
  • Deductibles.
  • Insurance endorsements.
  • Premium, or any required payments and fees.
Feb 28, 2023

How long can a motorcycle sit unused? ›

When properly prepared and stored, a motorcycle can sit for up to 24 months without being ridden.

How long can a motorcycle stay unused? ›

Most new cars and bikes won't really have any problems if not used for up to a month. However, older ones will likely face some maintenance issues. It's not just with the batteries, but also with rust and fungus issues if one lives in a high-humidity or coastal region or places with a lot of rainfall.

Does life insurance pay if you are murdered? ›

The slayer rule prevents a payout to anyone who murdered — or is closely tied to the murder — of the person insured. Instead, the insurance company will pay the death benefit to your contingent beneficiaries or your estate. Deaths that occur while you're doing something illegal may be excluded in your policy, too.

What is the best way to lower insurance? ›

Here are some ways to save on car insurance1
  1. Increase your deductible.
  2. Check for discounts you qualify for.
  3. Compare auto insurance quotes.
  4. Maintain a good driving record.
  5. Participate in a safe driving program.
  6. Take a defensive driving course.
  7. Explore payment options.
  8. Improve your credit score.

How can I reduce my motor insurance loss ratio? ›

As you can see, there are two levers that can be pulled to improve (i.e. decrease) auto insurance loss ratio:
  1. Increasing the inward flow of money in the form of total premiums earned, and/or.
  2. Decrease the outward flow of money (i.e. insurance claims paid and other expenses).
Apr 25, 2023

How much does it cost to lower a motorcycle? ›

You'll spend anywhere from $200 to $300 to lower either the front or rear suspensions. Aftermarket shocks can also cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500.

What increases the value of a motorcycle? ›

Demand for the Bike

Those that sold well when they were new often have higher resale values. Limited-edition models can also fetch better prices when riders trade them in. The motorcycle's manufacturer also matters more than some riders might think.

Why are motorcycle accidents so high? ›

Speeding is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents in California. Motor vehicles and bikers may speed due to traffic congestion, running behind schedule, or for the thrill. The higher speed comes with a higher risk of losing control and a limited ability to brake in time when traffic flow slows or stops.

Is it bad to get too many insurance quotes? ›

These checks are soft pulls, so they will not affect your credit score. Because getting multiple insurance quotes won't affect your credit score, shop around with several insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best rate.

What motorcycle brand has the most accidents? ›

#1 Cruisers:

Over half of new motorcycle sales in the United States are cruisers, thanks mainly to the huge influence that Harley-Davidson has on the US motorcycle market. By sheer volume alone then, cruisers dominant motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

At what speed do most motorcycle deaths occur? ›

The Speed at Which Most Motorcycles Crash

The average speed of impact for motorcycle accidents is 21.5 mph. Shockingly, only one out of every 1,000 motorcycle accidents occur at speeds of around 85 mph.

Where do 70% of motorcycle accidents occur? ›

Be especially alert at intersections because approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur there! Watch for vehicles that may unexpectedly turn in front of you or pull out from a side street or driveway.

Are motorcycles more expensive to insure? ›

Motorcycle insurance is generally less expensive than auto insurance, but it can still set you back. The average national cost of motorcycle insurance is $60 per month, but some states have much higher average rates. Your premium will also depend on factors like your age and driving history.

Why is it so expensive to insure a motorcycle? ›

Motorcycle insurance is expensive due to the higher risks involved in riding. Motorcycles are more vulnerable to accidents, theft, and damage, which leads to more frequent claims. Additionally, riders often lack protection, resulting in more severe injuries and higher medical costs.

What motorcycles get stolen the most? ›

Question: Why is Honda the most stolen motorcycle brand? Because of the sheer amount of Honda motorcycles available on the market. Being one of the most popular motorbike brands in the world means more Honda's are stolen more than the average.

How many miles is a motorcycle good for? ›

Cruiser bikes: 40,000 – 50,000 miles. Touring bikes: 40,000 – 50,000 miles or even reaching 100,000 miles. Sports bikes: 25,000 – 50,000 miles (due to extreme conditions) Off-road bikes: about 20,000 miles.

What is a lot of miles for a motorcycle? ›

Generally, high mileage on a motorcycle is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 miles. For sport bikes, the high mileage number will be on the low end (usually around 25,000), while cruisers and touring bikes typically become high mileage in the 40,000- to the 50,000-mile range.

What kills most motorcycle riders? ›

Head-On Collisions

In the majority of these cases, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front. And, it's no surprise that when head-on collisions occur, they're often fatal for the motorcyclist.

What motorcycle is the hardest to steal? ›

Triumph Tiger Explorer: Why it won't be stolen: The biggest adventure bike that weighs 271kg has provisions to fit panniers at the sides making it inches wider than the Gold Wing. Hence, forget stealing it, even owners find it difficult to take it off the stand and ride it.

Is it bad to get a lot of insurance quotes? ›

Insurance quotes do not affect credit scores. Even though insurance companies check your credit during the quote process, they use a type of inquiry called a soft pull that does not show up to lenders. You can get as many inquiries as you want without negative consequences to your credit score.


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