Many motorcycle dealers offer special deals on comprehensive cover for the brand new machines that they sell but when you are looking for a policy that is suitable for a second hand model or a bike that you have owned for several years already, you are pretty much on your own. If you want to find the best value bike insurance for older models, which meets all of your needs, I have a few tips that might come in handy.
1. Do not rely on your local high street broker alone. There are so many insurers that deal directly with customers over the internet nowadays that it would be silly to rely on quotations from a single broker just because they happen to be within easy reach of your home. Do yourself and your wallet a favour by searching for companies that offer quotes online and requesting one from at least two or three different providers. Although most insurers use a similar formula to work out the cost of cover for any particular machine, there are often big differences in the cost of premiums so it is well worth taking the time to do this.
2. Think carefully about the type of cover that you require. Once a motorcycle has been through a few British winters, perhaps dropped a couple of times too, and is no longer looking like it just left the showroom, it is tempting to opt for 3rd party, fire and theft cover rather than a comprehensive policy. If your machine has a relatively low resale value, this could be a good choice but if it is still worth a considerable amount of money, buying such a policy could turn out to be a false economy. If you do decide to go for the cheaper option, make sure that the cover you buy includes breakdown recovery or you could be left stranded in the event of mechanical failure.
3. Take advantage of limited mileage policies if they are suitable for your needs. Owners of classic bikes may be able to qualify for low cost insurance if they only use their machines for leisure purposes. If your annual mileage does not amount to very much, it would be silly to waste money on a policy that is designed for people who use their motorbike to commute to work all year round and rack up a considerable amount of miles in the process. Insurers that specialise in classic machines usually offer generous discounts for customers that do not use their bikes every day.
4. Hire a lock-up garage if you do not have one of your own. Motorcycles that are left outside all night are more vulnerable to thieves than those that are kept in a securely locked garage. This fact has not escaped the attention of insurers and many are therefore prepared to offer more competitive policies to customers that keep their bike in a safe place overnight. How much it will cost to hire a garage will depend on the area in which you live so it is a good idea to do some calculations and make sure that the savings will be worthwhile before you sign a lock-up rental agreement.
5. Make sure that you insure your machine for the amount it would cost to replace it. Some people get a really good deal on second hand machines and make the mistake of using the price they paid as the agreed value when buying cover for their bike. If you should use this lower price and your machine is subsequently stolen, you may find that you are unable to find a suitable replacement with the money that you receive for your claim. For this reason, it is important to agree a realistic replacement value with your insurer when you are buying a policy for an older bike.
Insuring a motorcycle that was manufactured quite some time ago is not the same as insuring a new bike, as you can see from the above tips. Take your time when looking for suitable cover and if you are not happy with the prices you are being quoted, carry on searching until you find a more competitive provider.
Matthew is a writer working freelance for a company that is proud to be both a pioneering and leading provider of bike insurance in the UK. Carole Nash is a specialist that has been covering around 240,000 scooters and motorcycles.