State of bike insurance in London

I’ve been riding a bike in London daily since 1997 and have had a garage for 6 months of that time.
Since 1997 I have made two claims on insurance - two bikes were nicked, both from outside my house on different occasions at diffferent addresses.

I have accepted that I have had to pay a premium over the years for insuring a bike in London and also for not having a garage, however I have always had a wide choice of insurers and never had a problem getting a quote. I am also nearly 40 years old, married with a young child and have a mortgage - not exactly a rebel.
I love riding and can’t imagine ever being without a bike.

However after my last theft just over a year ago, I could barely find anyone to quote me for tpft or fully comp, on a new £8500 bike - even with 9 years protected NCB.
The only reasonable quote was CN at £1600!

Now new bike prices are rising significantly, so we are not talking about Italian exotica or brand new R1’s at £12000. Even a solid commuter like a new XJ6 is £6500!
At the rate things are going it will soon become difficult to insure an average bike in London against theft unless you have a garage.
But how many people have a garage in London? Most houses or flats have a drive if you are lucky.

It seems that motorcycle / vehicle theft is only ever going to get worse as long as the police are not allowed to prioritise it over other crimes.
Manufacturers seem to have a vested interest due to the need to replace all these stolen vehicles.
Insurance companies seem to be making a garage compulsory for theft cover for less expensive bikes, certainly compared to say 5 years ago (personal experience).

I wonder if soon it will be impossible to insure a bike in London other than a basic 125cc model.
If the figures are to be believed then scooter theft makes up the lions share of theft claims, and scooter prices are certainly not falling.

I fear that motorcycling in this country is going to suffer a slow death, due to the interference from politicians, the high price of ownership and the previously mentioned problem of theft and insurance.
The hoops a learner has to go through just to get a license compared to a car driver are discouraging to say the least.

I’m wondering what anyone else thinks about all this.
Does anyone else find insurance and so on is becoming an issue?
Are bikes over 600cc becoming a no go for those without a garage or the many years NCB needed?

its the theft you had that makes you a much higher risk, did you get quotes without disclosing that ?

Funny you should ask. I did that just after it got nicked. It didn’t seem to make a huge difference. Having a garage did though. Even with the theft claim it went from £1600 to abput £250!

I’m surprised that any insurer will quote TPF&T or FC on a recent model sportsbike being kept on the road in London these days.

In 2003 I went through all the insurers in MCN/Biketrader & couldn’t find a single one that would even give me a silly quote for either TPF&T or FC on my 6 year old ZX-6R when I was living in Kensal Green & parking on the street, even though I’d owned it from new, had 10+ years NCB & was over 40.

Postcode is King.

Gawd thats bad.
My Daytona 955i that was nicked from my drive, but I didn’t have problems getting it insured at the time. Never had another sportsbike since so can’t comment about today.

The wierd thing is whenever you quote you have this long list of places you can choose as to where the bike is kept overnight, most of which make no difference to your cost.
It’s almost like it’s their computer only has two choices garage and everywhere else.
If you don’t put garage, computer says £££££

I have a garage and they want £2000 for TPFT :frowning:

If you think bike insurance is bad compare it to car insurance for your average 18 year old.

£2000 for TPFT on a garaged bike :crazy:
Maybe your NCB and age play a role more here?

Are there any good postcodes in London interms of bike insurance? In my experience insurers see London as one giant postcode theft risk.

But this is kind of my point.
For how much longer will people keep paying ever increasing insurance costs on ever more expensive bikes.
At some point we will all start throwing in the towel or downsizing to the cheapest most basic bike.

It sounds like it could go the same way for cars judging by Daniel’s comment.

I pay £175 tpft parked on the street in NW11 but then my bike is a 28 year-old Honda, so maybe they don’t think it’s worth nicking. If I had a garage Carole Nash will insure it for less than £100 fully comp!

I wonder if area insurance groupings are different for bikes and cars.
I found my area jumped from group 15-19 in the last year alone when I tried to insure my car a couple of weeks ago! It cost me just over £600 tpft for a 1998 VW Polo worth about £450, for christ’s sake!! But my bike insurance has gone down in the same period.

You hit the nail on the head… It just encourages people to drive rust buckets and if you crash the car just leave, take the plates off and scratch the VIN instead of claiming. That is seriously the lengths a lot of young car drivers go through just to get reasonably priced insurance. Obviously, if your driving a rust bucket your going to drive like a complete knob.

Why would you not want a road full of safe modern vehicles with the latest technology?

£272 for me garaged in EC1 (Old Street) … that’s fully comp (inc. breakdown & legal cover) on a 92 Fireblade & 2002 ZX12R

catch 22,

fines for not having insurance are less than the cost off insurance, Hence some people drive/ride with out insurance.
Now most cop cars have ANPR they are insuring cars with false details to get a cheap price. Insurance company only check details when you make a claim!!!

VW wanted to sell the Fox in the UK with free insurance like they do in Germany but the insurance cost was too high.

^^ Vauxhall manage it on the Corsa… I don’t think its worth it thought because you only get a years free insurance. At the end of the first year your car is still worth 7-8K depending on mileage so it will still be cheaper to insure.

If you want cheap car insurance you’ll have to go classic.

£160 fully comp, just passed test on a bandit 1200 2006 model… in sussex a thousand million miles from anywhere, home owner, separate locked garage etc.

Insurance is a scam in my eyes, dont even get me started about it.

Agreed. Insurance companies need to be more regulated as suppose to charging whatever they like. There should be some sort of formula. Ie; a base insurance price for each bike, if your 18 and just passed +20% and if your 50+ then - 20% and if insurance companies want to undercut each other after having the result from the formula its up to them. At least that would be a fair system.

I remember when my mate done a few quotes for a 2004 CBR125 a 4 years ago and the most expensive one was £68 000. How did they work that one out.

Personally, I think that fuel prices should include really, really basic insurance that covers anyone else/ anything else you damage and it’s up to you if you want to protect yourself and your property. ie, some sort of Government compensation scheme.

That means everyone has insurance cover (even mugs without a licence) and removes the legalised monopoly insurance companies seem to have.

You’d also pay more depending on how much and how fast you drive (generally)

I’m sure there are a million and one problems with this idea, but the present system doesn’t exactly seem to be brilliant.

Why should we rely on insurance companies to price bad drivers off the road anyway? If people keep crashing, the authorities should be taking them off the road.

surely you’d just get 3rd party in that case?

Agreed - it’s pretty ridiculous

I passed a year ago, and at the time, got quoted £420 for TPFT, legal, gear, pillion on a Yamaha Thundercat (97 reg), with a value of £1600. If I had done it fully comp, it would have been £730 or so.

Now, on my first year renewal, with 1 yr NCB, my current insurers went up to £1330 for fully comp! That’s with a Datatool S4, Datatag, and an Oxford Monster chain, with the bike being parked on my drive (different bike though - still a Thundercat, but an '02 model).

Went around to all of the comparison sites, and managed to get it down to £780 with MCE. However, I didn’t like their policy for a cover bike in case of accidents (max of 5 days, and then they take it back).

However, CN phoned me up to see about the quote (which they had said £2200 for, with a bike value of £2000). I politely explained I wasn’t going to pay more than the value of the bike in insurance - the broker then asked me if I was able to put it in a shed. I asked why, and he told me that if it would be in a shed (with the shed being on my front drive), they could change the policy, and I’d only have to pay £220 for fully comp!
I got this double-checked with them, and it was correct - needless to say, the shed’s been ordered and is on the way.

Truly crazy…

PS. I’m in NW11, which isn’t majorly known for bike crime, and the 'Cat isn’t a major target usually anyway…

best im getting and we have the same bike - similar age and circumstances - is £172 (with 500 compulsory/200 volutary excess) or £194 (no excess)
this is with 5yr ncb and garaged in sutton.

this isnt miles away from what i was paying on the hornet btw.