Recently got my full license and very excited about purchasing my first bike… However dreams are crumbling due to the outrageous insurance quotes I am getting. I have run through your standard comparison sites with a variety of bikes from 450cc to 1100cc and at different values from £2k up to £12k and the lowest fully comp prices always come back at about 40% of the bikes value, some much higher if any quotes at all.
I am 31, got my license in September so zero no claims, no points or penalties, live in SW6 and the bike would be kept on the street. I understand keeping it in a locked garage would help but not enough to cover the cost to rent a garage (about £80 per week!). I would also put on a disc lock and big chain around a lamppost with a cover over the bike but it is tricky to know which chain/lock insurance companies approve or if it will even lower the quote.
Seriously questioning how anyone can insure a bike in London. So any thoughts and advice on this would be really appreciated.
What bikes are you looking at?
You might be best off starting with an older, less desirable bike, but still lots of fun. Like a cb500, hornet, bandit…
The benefit on premiums of declaring a chain or disc lock is pretty small, and then if you forget to use them that one time the policy is voided. It is just not worth it.
Playing around with mileage covered can make a big difference. They seem to do it in blocks, so they could be no difference between 3,000 and 19,999 miles, but then a big hike for 20,000 miles.
For you first bike get something cheaper and second hand, so you only want TPFT at most, and then can build up no claims bonus and experience.
I imagine the way a lot of people can insure a bike in London is by having started on a 125 so by the time they upgrade they already have a few years to declare.
To be fair to insurers, if you have no road experience on a bike and go straight to a bigger one then they have nothing to judge you by so will try to protect themselves until you prove yourself.
Often MCE is the only affordable option, which also means a big excess. In which case try adding a voluntary amount on top and see if it makes a difference. You can get separate insurance to cover the excess, which is pretty cheap but will only pay out if your claim is greater.
i.e. if you policy has a £1,000 excess and you claim is for £500 of damage you get nothing, but if you have £1,100 of damage the insurer will pay £100 but then you can then claim the £1,000 from the excess protection insurance.
It is a gamble, but it means you are covered for things like theft, and damage from third parties is covered by their policy. So it is only accidents where the excess may hurt you.
6k and 10k miles per year were changing price points for me.
In my case MCE are even the only ones who will insure me in London. My first TPFT insurance was £1300 for MT-09 that I kept behind locked gates. I then switched to a GSX-R750 which was around a grand back in 2014 and over the years it’s come down to just under £300.
I’ve never used fully comp because it’s always been double the price of TPFT. Also, I never saw the point in getting one because I wouldn’t claim anyway if I accidentally damaged my bike. It’s hard to get insurance as is, let alone after a claim.
Unfortunately the first few years will be the most painful so weigh your options and decide on whether you want a new bike (I did) and pay more if you can afford it (I could) or just get a banger and ride it for a few years until your insurance comes down. Will also take away some stress about eventually dropping it (which you will at some point). I dropped my brand new MT-09 when they first showed up in UK two weeks after collecting it so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Speaking about mileage - MCE’s first band is 10k miles so it doesn’t matter if you declare 1k annual miles or 10k. Above that it will get more expensive but you can always ask them about what values they use.
You don’t need to post two topics asking the same question.
I agree with Michael above regarding separate insurance to cover your excess. It’s mad to think that I have insured my insurance but that is the way the industry wants to play the game.
I had to accept a huge excess as well as a high premium to cover the bike I wanted having no NCB and no previous bike insurance for many years. I hope but don’t know if I’ll get lower premiums in future years.
I would say that it’s worth considering what happens financially if it all goes wrong ie, theft of bike or a large accident. If you can live with the consequences then get the bike, if not get something cheaper.
Despite the costs I’ve no regrets getting the bike I wanted - had a nice ride into town today.
Thank you for all your comments and advice guys. I think i am going to look at a cheaper bike with just TPFT, still seems alot but will be good to start building up NCB.
P.s I also posted this in the help and advice category after realising thats more suited, so will see if i can merge or just delete this one.
MCE - Be careful. They used to do a 15 month policy, with a reasonable premium, but with an extraordinarily high excess. They they would offer to sell another policy to lessen the excess, but that was only a 12 month policy. They did not state this when trying to sell the policy, it was only when I specifically asked how long the policy is that I was told.
Someone on here has already said that the premium depends on who you speak to at MCE. I found that too, calling them a few times and getting different quotes. I emailed them about confirming quotations by email and the response was “We don’t currently send our quotations by post because we have never experienced the demand for this service, therfore we simply do not have the facilities in place to complete such a request. That said, if demand for this service does increase in the future, MCE will endeavour to meet its customer’s demands and look to introduce a process to facilitate such requests.”.
Having previously bought policies from Carol Nash there were meant to have DOV (driving other vehicles, so to be covered if you borrow a bike), and when I received the documentation that excluded that, I will not buy a policy unless certain points are confirmed by email beforehand.
Thank heavens we are discussing these things on LondonBikers.com, else there would be many pitfalls and errors made through simply being unaware.
Thank you Jay for this forum.
I second a lot of what has been already said.
Insurers? Trust them as much as you would trust a bucket of snakes.
Get it all in writing and clarified before paying your money.