How is bike insurance calculated?

  • Questions that insurers ask
  • Factors that affect insurance premiums
  • How motorycle insurance is calculated
How is bike insurance calculated?

How much will I pay for motorcycle insurance?

We’re often asked how much motorbike insurance will cost. Without knowing any details about the insured person or the bike, it’s a bit like asking how long a piece of string is… However, there are some things you need to know and some things you can do differently to save money, so we hope this guide is useful in explaining what the factors are in determining insurance prices and what you can do to influence the outcome.

How is motorbike insurance calculated?

We ask a variety of questions to understand who you are, where you live and keep the bike, your previous riding experience, what bike you intend to buy and how you will use it. Every question asked could influence the price or even whether the insurer wants to offer a quote.

That’s why we use a panel of insurers to compare prices from a number of underwriters and offer you the best deal. All insurers are signed up to the BeMoto standard policy wording, so the underlying cover is the same, no matter which insurer we offer you.

For collectors and enthusiasts with more than one bike, multibike insurance is another great way to save money!

What factors affect motorcycle insurance premiums the most?

Again, this is a tricky question as each insurer on our panel is different. The following table will give you a good indication of areas to consider.

Remember it’s vitally important you answer all questions honestly and accurately as it may invalidate your policy if you don’t.

Rating Factors Explanation / Impact on Pricing

Where you live / Garaging

Where you live is a significant rating factor, especially when combined with the value of your bike and where you keep it, e.g. if you’re in London without a private garage, and parking a high value bike on the street then expect to pay more.

We can often insure bikes garaged away from home or with non-standard parking if you have the right security in place.

Your age & experience

Age is a key factor but it must be considered alongside the bike you choose, i.e. a 16-year old on a Moped or a 17 year old on a 125cc Scooter is not an issue, but a young person on a 125cc sports bike unfortunately attracts higher premiums.

Being older is not a guarantee of cheap premiums either, if you have no experience or NCD then a Superbike is not going to be cheap to insure. That said, being over 30 and having high NCD is a great combination for any bike…

The bike you choose / Your experience

If you’ve only just passed your test and have zero No Claims Discount (NCD) then don’t expect to jump straight on a sports bike and pay sensible premiums. Start with a 600cc naked commuter like a Bandit, ER6N, XJ600, SV650 or similar and work your way up. How long you have held your full bike licence, how long you have owned a bike and NCD are all significant rating factors.

Additional riders

Adding a named rider is generally not a problem but insurers are wise to “fronting” where an adult insures a bike that’s really for their child. It’s usually best to let them build up their own No Claims Discount anyway (there's nothing stopping you being added as a named rider so you can use their bike too)!

Type of riding / Motorcycle use

For enthusiasts, social use is often all that’s needed for weekend rides and touring etc. If you use the bike to commute to a single place of work or for business use (multiple work addresses or work use during the day) then it will cost more. Even one sunny day commute in a year should be declared.

How many miles ridden

Typical social riding is often much lower miles per year than people expect, many riders struggle to exceed 1,500 miles pa with busy lives. However, the more miles you do ride the more it will cost, so consider what you really need, e.g. number of days and miles per day if you’re commuting, that European tour planned, etc. Be realistic. Be honest.

Remember with BeMoto there are NO Amendment Fees to make changes to your policy if you need to increase your mileage later on, but the insurer will likely charge some more premium.

Carrying Pillions

Carrying pillions can lead to significant claims costs for insurers as your pillion passenger may claim against your policy if they are injured. If you don’t take pillion passengers then it may be cheaper.

Bike Security

The higher value or more desirable your bike is, the more likely it is to be targeted by thieves. Don’t make it easy for them as a theft claim is a nightmare for insuring your next bike.

Where possible keep the bike in a locked building or well out of sight if you don't have one. Add decent security, e.g. recognised alarms, immobilisers, trackers and / or Thatcham or Sold Secure Gold standard chains, disc locks, etc. You will probably get a discount as well as being able to sleep better at night.

Voluntary Excesses

A high voluntary excess can reduce your premium significantly in some cases (the higher the premium the more it makes a difference). But remember it will cost you more if you claim…

You can protect up to £500 of your excess with BeMoto Excess Contribution Insurance for an additional premium – usually you save more than it costs to add this cover, so it’s a win-win.

Protecting your No Claims Discount (NCD)

Once you hit 4-years No Claims Discount you can protect it for an additional premium, see our useful guide to Protected No Claims Discount.

It’s a great benefit that is worth considering, but it costs more and it's a personal choice.

Payment Method

We don’t charge a fee for any card payments (we don’t accept Amex though), however most brokers charge exorbitant APR for paying monthly. Our APR is one of the lowest in the industry.

Optional Extras

It’s common that the price you see from competitors is not the price you pay, adding extra cover to get what you actually need can cost a packet.

At BeMoto we simply have two products, Carbon Cover which includes Legal Expenses Insurance as standard and our incredible value Titanium Cover (click to read about it).

All our policies have the unique benefit of FREE Legal Expenses Insurance and NO broker fees to make policy changes.

NOTE: The above guidance assumes you don’t have some rare or highly modified bike, or any adverse experience / history, e.g.

  • Recent fault claims (on ANY vehicle) – we only ask for the last 3 years
  • Unspent criminal convictions
  • County court judgements (CCJ) for unpaid debts or fines
  • Previous policies refused, cancelled or void by the insurer
  • More than 6 points on your licence, or driving bans in the last 5 years

We often say “Yes” when computer says no… If you have any of these it’s generally best to pick up the phone as we’re a specialist and will look at each case individually with insurers.

Call BeMoto on 01733 907000* to speak to an expert who will work hard to get you the best deal.

External factors that influence insurance premiums

The government adds Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to the cost of your policy, which has risen in recent years from 6% to 12% (not quite VAT levels but getting there).

Inflation means the cost of motorcycle parts and repairs goes up every year, as does the increase in minimum wages and so on. This all flows through in small annual price increases over time.

Motorcycle theft frequency has increased dramatically over recent years, particularly in London and other cities. This obviously makes it harder to get insurance and increases insurer premiums to cover the additional cost of replacing so many bikes.

Can I pay monthly or spread my payments?

If you have a good credit history, then it’s highly likely we can offer you finance to pay your premium. We use Premium Credit Limited (PCL) for instalments and ask for a deposit up-front followed by 10 monthly Direct Debits. There is a cost of borrowing, but our interest rate is one of the lowest in the market so be careful what you pay elsewhere.

Motorbike Insurance Cost FAQs

  1. How can I get cheaper motorbike insurance?

    Clearly it's not as easy to change some things that affect your motorbike insurance premiums, like your age or where you live, but there are things you can do to cut the cost of your bike insurance policy, such as:

    • Choose a broker like BeMoto who don't charge you amendment fees to make policy changes (it's not all about the up-front cost).
    • Improve your bike's security, for example installing an approved alarm or tracker.
    • Keep your bike in a locked building, even if it's only a wooden shed, outbuilding or in your home conservatory if you don't have a traditional garage (subject to some building security).
    • Think about the mileage you really need, e.g. why pay for 10,000 miles when you only use it on sunny Sundays? However at BeMoto as we don't charge you an amendment fee you can increase your mileage later if needed with minimal hassle.
    • Pay for cover annually rather than pay instalment interest - however ours is one of the lowest interest rates in the market if you need to pay monthly.
    • Combine your bike collection together on a multi-bike policy, afterall you can only use your no claims bonus once and you can only ride one bike at a time...
    • Pass an advanced riding qualification such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) and RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Training.
    • Choose the right bike for your experience, type of use and where you live, i.e. if you have no prior riding experience maybe aim for a well recognised starter bike like a 600cc naked/commuter vs. a high performance sports bike or hyper-naked, likewise a high value bike will often require a locked building.
    • Increasing your voluntary excess often gives better discounts, but you need to be sure you can afford to lose that money in the event of a claim.

    Why not check out our article on how bike insurance is calculated for more information.

  2. Who has the cheapest motorcycle insurance?

    It's a subjective question but if you're looking for the cheapest price and not bothered about the quality of cover then a comparison place will answer this question.

    However if you care about you and your bike(s) being covered with good quality products and receiving awesome service then BeMoto is widely recognised as offering these benefits... Plus we are competitive, otherwise we wouldn't have thousands of satisfied customers on our books.

    • NO amendment fees for policy changes at BeMoto (cheap can come at a cost later on elsewhere)
    • FREE Legal Expenses Insurance with all road policies
    • Incredible value Titanium Cover
    • Multi-Bike specialists for all bike types
  3. Can I use my Car No claims bonus / discount on my motorbike insurance?

    In summary no, the NCD needs to be built up on a motorcycle. However in some circumstances we may be able to take NCD not built up on a motorcycle into account, we ask for details of other non motorcycle NCD on our quote journey so please make sure you provide details.