Motorcycle insurance and car insurance can be quite similar, but the particular differences matter. Once you get to know the ins and outs of motorcycle insurance, there is money to be saved. Today we’ll try to save some money with these motorcycle-specific insurance tips.
The type and size of motorcycle you insure has a big impact, but…
This first one may be obvious, but the kind of motorcycle you’re insuring, and its engine size will impact your rates. Yes insurance is mandatory on all motorcycles in most of the western world, but performance oriented supersport motorcycles and larger displacement motorcycles typically come with higher risk. Higher risk motorcycles typically come with a higher premium.
Luckily, there are ways to get around balancing performance and budget at the same time. You just have to know what to look for. The good news is that motorcycle riders have a lot of options.
For riders wanting to get as much performance as possible without having to pay for a motorcycle classified as a supersport, look for motorcycles which have de-tuned race bike engines. On the used market motorcycles like the Yamaha FZ6, and the Honda Hornet 919, had motors derived from popular supersport motorcycles, but aren’t classified as supersports. You’ll get a lot of performance, without the supersport premium.
For motorcyclists interested in cruisers, typically a lot of displacement is needed in these categories, and that can make insurance very expensive. Look for motorcycles that outperform their size in the category, such as the 1130cc V-Rod or Indian’s Scout Bobber which makes more power than some of Harley-Davidson 1700cc motorcycles.
The importance of bundling your motorcycle insurance
If you have other kinds of insurance, including car or home insurance, pay special attention here. Bundling your home and auto insurance can save you anywhere from 10%-20% off your motorcycle insurance premium.
If you currently have car insurance, or home insurance, and your current provider doesn’t offer motorcycle insurance, KEEP SHOPPING AROUND. I was able to find an insurance company that matched my truck’s coverage for the same price, gave me more on my home insurance coverage, and saved me hundreds on my motorcycle insurance.
Every year I can spend about £210 on motorcycle mods and maintenance with what I save on bundling my motorcycle insurance with one provider.
The importance of your motorcycle license class
All things being equal, the better your license class, the less you’ll pay to insure the same motorcycle. If you’re eligible to upgrade your license class, go out and take that test! When you pass, call your insurance provider right away. They may be able to adjust your rates before your next payment comes due, saving you money almost right away.
Likewise, if you’re not eligible to upgrade your license just yet, but you will be soon, just ask! When shopping around for motorcycle insurance it’s good to know not just what your insurance cost is right now, but how much it may cost a year from now. Ask your insurance provider, “If I had the next class of license, how much would my premium be?” The rates may change by the time you get that license, but you’ll know roughly how much to expect.
Additional training matters
This doesn’t apply everywhere, but in many parts of the world, taking a motorcycle training course can help you save money on your motorcycle insurance premium.
You should look into this where you’re located. Additional motorcycle training is always a good thing, but some programs offer insurance discounts and others don’t. For example, I took a rider training course over a decade ago. It paid for itself in insurance premium savings over the years. But I’m taking an off-road riding class this summer that won’t have any impact on my insurance rates.
Find out what the options are where you live and stay safe while saving money on motorcycle insurance!
Motorcycle insurance can vary by vehicle value and age
Lastly, there are two more things which will impact your motorcycle insurance premium that you should be aware of: Value, and age.
A motorcycle’s value would impact the cost of replacement should anything happen to it, so insurance companies will take that into consideration. The more valuable your motorcycle is, the more expensive it will be to maintain. That high end machine really will cost you more in the long run compared to a more affordable option.
Likewise, a vehicle’s age can also play a part. I’ve noticed with my current insurance provider that something magical happens when a vehicle turns 15 years old. All of a sudden it costs me hundreds less per year to insure the motorcycle than it did the year before. This has happened to me twice now. I don’t know if this will work with your insurance provider or what their magic number is, but it may be worth calling them to ask them if they see a drop off in insurance rates after a given time.
A lot of what you already know from car insurance, like driving record, claims history, and coverages still apply to motorcycle insurance. But as you can see, motorcycle insurance has a lot of peculiarities. Knowing these differences can either save you money, or cost you money.
Picking a motorcycle that was 3 years older than the alternative I was considering saves me about £135 a year for the exact same make and model of motorcycle. Bundling that motorcycle with my home and auto policy has saved me another £210 per year.
I also get additional savings from having the top class of motorcycle license, and not riding a supersport. So what do I do with the over £500 per year (about $600 USD) I save each year? That’s easy. I insure a second motorcycle!
If you have a question about motorbike insurance leave a comment down below and I’ll try my best to help. If you want more tips, now might be a good time to learn about how to save money buying a motorcycle from a dealership.
Rider age and occupation can also make a difference! I’m 60 now, have been a UK Driving Instructor for the last 15 years and have held a full A licence for motorcycles since 1979 with no claims or convictions at all.
My bike is a 1999 Harley SuperGlide Sport which has had some sensible upgrades, such as Progressive 412 rear shocks, braided stainless steel brake lines up front and twin Billet 6 calipers up front too. The engine has had the stage 1 upgrade which has more to do with aspiration efficiency than performance enhancement as such! (The bike does have V&H Sure Shot pipes too though)!
What I also have is an agreed value. I’ve had the bike four years now. It was originally insured for a replacement value of £9,100 with an agreed depreciation of £200 per year as long as I keep all receipts to prove the bike has been kept up to scratch.
So now, the $64,000 question; how much is my annual insurance premium?
Answer; last year it was £96. That’s fully comprehensive with a protected no claims discount and legal expenses cover as well.
I guess there are some advantages to being older!
I found it interesting when you said how insurance companies will factor in the worth of a motorbike since it would affect how much it would cost to replace it if something were to happen to it. My dad bought a motorcycle as a gift for my brother and now he wants to get motorcycle insurance for him to ensure that he’s protected from any risks that might happen in the future. I’ll make sure to share this with him so he can know the proper insurance coverage to get, thanks!