Is third Party Only Insurance Worth It?

It’s renewal time again and I’m tempted to go for 3rd party cover only. Part of my thinking is if I claim for theft or fire etc. the insurance companies will screw me in future years anyway so there’s no saving/benefit.

Thoughts guys?

you would still need to report it all regardless and they will still screw you for it.

Many moons ago, I made an “information only” claim, still increased my premium the next year.

True but it would mean paying less premium this year. I’m not convinced they’d pay out fully with a fully comp policy because they do try and wriggle out of any payment.

For me it was cheaper to be fully comp

Mine is £80 cheaper 3rd party. Who are you with?

Wicked quotes

Wicked will only quote me 3rd party and are twice the amount of MCE.

Thanks anyway Pan.

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There used to be 3 levels of cover, comprehensive, third party fire and theft (tpf&t) or third party only (tpo)

Quite often tpf&t was cheaper than tpo so make sure you check all options.

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The value of the bike is a factor. For my old CB500 the premium plus the compulsory excess was considerably more than the value of the bike which made no sense so I went with 3rd party only. That way if it was stolen, caught fire or if I dropped it I could decide what I wanted to do and if I wanted to spend the money or write it off. Also it was unlikely to get stolen or catch fire so I just had to try not to drop it.

In addition if it did get stolen, caught fire or dropped I wouldn’t have been devastated. I loved the bike but it wasn’t worth much financially.

It’s different with the RR as now that I’m old all the quotes are more or less the same price regardless of what level of cover I choose so comprehensive makes the most sense.

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Insurance is a minefield, there are so many factors affecting motor vehicle insurance premiums its impossible to generalise. Factors most likely to affect your premium, in no particular order are age (if <25 or >70), No Claims Bonus, driving record, postcode and where kept overnight, value and typical repair costs of vehicle, annual mileage, medical conditions. I’ve not noticed that the type of cover (fully comprehensive vs third party fire & theft vs third party only) affects premiums although if you live in a high risk postcode area then surely it must.

I’m in the 65-70 age band, with the maximum 9+ years NCB, have a clean driving record and live in a ‘B’ rated postcode. Click here to check your postcode rating
My 1000 cc sports tourer is valued at £2,500, kept in a concrete garage and does less than 9,999 miles per year.

After a telephone call and haggle at the renewal my no frills premium came down from £93.59 to £72.50, the £400 excess remained the same. The policy includes accessories such as top box and panniers but not their contents, 90 days cover riding in EU countries and third party cover to ride other motorcycles.

There were many add on options to put that cost up including Excess Protection at £36.99, Personal Accident at £39.99, Helmet & Leathers at £40.99, Breakdown Cover at £66.99, Legal Expenses at £30.99 and Key Cover at £20.99. All of which I declined because in over half a century of motoring I’ve never needed any of that so why start throwing hard earned at them now?

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I felt forced into fully comp. Companies were telling me they were struggling to quote and those that did had it more expensive. The fact fully comp was less than £100 meant it wasn’t worth trying any harder.

There are a number of ways of looking at this.

Third party is the minimum cover (although there is also a level called Road traffic Act cover which only covers for personal injury and is usually only available for convicted drink drivers once they get their licence back and at a silly cost)

With third party cover, if you have a crash that is your fault, it will cover all the damage and injury costs to the third party caused by you. You of course become liable for your own damage and injuries.

Third party fire and theft is of course ideal for the occasions when the bike is stolen (as seems to be happening increasingly regularly at the moment) or it bursts into flames.

Either way, we all hope and in most cases it is the case and it usually is, most bile crashes are caused by the third party and so we end up claiming off their third party insurance.

In that event, you are claiming off the other persons insurance ands not yours anyway, so whether you are 3rd party or comprehensive, it matters not, in the same way as a pedestrian who has no insurance at all can be flattened can make a claim against the person causing the injuries. Same applies to riders.

The only real difference is that with comprehensive cover, the insurance company will treat you with a little more urgency.

So it then comes down to the extras.

I used to decry anyone taking out legal expenses insurance for a whole number of reasons, but when the rules changed a number of years ago, the reasoning being that once upon a time insurers used to insist that you used their in house legal experts who were often crooks and incompetent.

The rules changed and policy holders were free to use any law firm they wish and the legal expenses policy had to be honoured without loss of cover. Insurance companies are also no longer allowed to force policy holders to use their in house law firms which is a change for the better. In short, riders can use any law firm of their choosing and the LEI must remain in force and be honoured.

It went one stage further a few years ago when the MoJ did away with the success fee (which I won’t explain as it will take too long), but in short it means that law firms can take up to 25% of the compensation awarded as a form of success fee (although this is negotiable) if the case is funded under a CFA (No win no fee agreement). However, if legal expenses funds the case, then there is no reduction and the rider/claimant will get the full award.

If you are claiming off the third party, then you will claim for all out of pocket expenses, kit, accessories, loss of earnings, damage to the bike as well as your injuries, so if you have insurance for your kit, you will only have to pay it back when you get your award, and if you have injury insurance, you will also have to pay back anything that is paid out from your award as well, so all these added extras are just ways the insurers make more money but it keeps you short changed as well.

So in my opinion for what its worth, the only worthwhile extra worth having these days for the reasons I explained is to take out legal expenses insurance.

If you are happy to take the hit on any damage to cause to yourself or the bike, then 3rd Party Fire and Theft is usually sufficient

I hope that sort of helps, but feel free to come back with any questions.


Good job I read this today. Just took out car policy yesterday and, remembering posts of pasts, I didn’t include legal.

Went and added it onto policy now as it starts today :slight_smile:

@T.C am i missing something here?

I understand that ‘no win no fee insurance claims’ take their costs from the compensation part of the claim and that it is usually capped at not more than 25% of that. But what is the compensation part of the claim?

Is it just the personal injury and loss of earnings part of the claim or does it include more?

Thanks in advance

@National_Treasure Sorry if I did not explain myself clearly, it was late at night that I wrote it.

The general term is compensation, but there are 2 elements, General damages and special damages.

The success fee is capped at a maximum of 25% and is indeed deducted from the injury element of the injury award which is called General damages, so if someone is awarded £10,000 under a CFA (no win, no fee), then the solicitors might take up to a maximum of £2,500.

(CFA stands for Conditional Fee Agreement by the way and replaced legal aid back around 2001 to make access to justice available for everyone rather than having to be means tested)

Any other award comes under what is called, special damages and covers all the out of pocket expenses such as damage, travel, kit, loss of earnings. This remains untouched.

It is special damages where the large sums of money come into play. The maximum that can be awarded for an injury is around the £300K mark and to get that you will have had to suffer a serious brain injury or quadriplegia or tetraplegia. When you hear of multi million pound awards, that is for the special damages and takes into account the cost of looking after someone 24/7 for the rest of their life, adaptations, special needs, loss of earnings for life, pension losses and so on.

However, under a legal expenses policy, not only can you choose which law firm you go to, nothing is deducted from any part of the award, except any payments already made such as interim payments or insurance pay-outs from things such as injury insurance.

I hope that clarifies things for you?

@T.C Yes, fully understood. Thanks for your time and input.

Wish I’d known this when I got wiped out, used a recommended solicitors and they still took their 25% (McCann I think).

Where can I get short term insurance? Like for a week. Is that something only the trade have access to? I googled and the results were just for full quotes.

Google ‘temporary motorcycle insurance’ for more results than you can shake a stick at

@The_Sleeper McCann’s are not solicitors… They are a rip off claims management firm.

Big difference between a regulated law firm and an unregulated claims management firm who are allowed to do by and large what they want by the MoJ…