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Cheap Motorbike Insurance Compare bike, moped or motorcycle insurance

Whether you ride a Harley-Davidson or a Vespa scooter proper motorbike insSliced breadurance is important for the protection of you and the other road users and is a legal requirement.

However, just because it is a grudge purchase it doesn't have to cost a packet. Cover can be hard to find cheap, as many big names steer clear. Yet it's still possible to get scores of quotes in minutes, saving you 100s.

Step 1: Getting the right cover

Insurance premiums (the payments you make to insurers) depend on three things:

By reducing insurers' perception of your risk, you can reduce the price you'll pay.

Bike insurance rates are set by actuaries, whose job is to calculate risk. Each insurer's price depends on two things; their underwriters' assessment of your particular risk focus, and then their own pricing model which dictates what customers they want to attract. See the following for ways to reduce your risk.

Step 2: Find the best bike quote

As insurance prices depend on an individual's own circumstances, there's no one single cheapest provider. The key is to use screenscraping websites to get the most quotes in the shortest amount of time. Here, you enter your details and their software automatically fills in the required info at a host of brokers' and insurers' websites, grabbing you a quote.

If you are a fair-weather rider and only use your bike in lighter, brighter months of extra daylight, also get a quote for temporary insurance.

Compare in the following order

This guide has recently been updated with a new order, and information, but we'd love your feedback on if it works for you, if there's anything you would change, or feel we have missed.

  • Always double check your results. What to check

  • Your data is being given to insurers. What insurers may do

1. The Bike Insurer

Quotes from 46 brokers

In our test, obtaining a quotation took approximately five minutes.

Results are easily available for all three levels of cover by clicking on a tab. The edit option is simple and efficient and special offers are clearly laid out.

Watch out for the voluntary excess as it defaults to 500 and the unsubscribe to marketing calls is not easy to find.

Tesco Compare also uses The Bike Insurer to provide quotations and gives quotations from a panel of 47 providers.

2. Confused.com

Quotes from 42 brokers

The process took us three minutes without optiing out of marketing calls.

It has a simple edit option and you're also able to view premiums for each cover level by clicking on a drop-down box.

Voluntary excess defaults to a high 500. How to unsubscribe from marketing calls took a bit of hunting down.

3. Gocompare

Get quotes from 32 providers

The quotation process took approximately six minutes.

It clearly states through a tick and cross system if additional cover is provided, or been selected. Simple process to opt out of marketing calls or literature.

Comparing between insurers and the option to include add-on's is simple though it can be fiddly to select different options, such as changing the cover or adding riders.

4. MoneySupermarket

Can get quotes from 29 providers

In our test, the four-minute process has a different feel to the above options and returned clear results.

The excess defaults to a lower 150 and lets you alternate between cover levels by using a drop-down box.

Additional costs are also clearly displayed, should you want to add benefits which are normally excluded. Plenty of special offers on display.

5. The pick of the rest

A couple of insurers aren't included on comparisons and are worth checking separately for a final push. So if you have a few minutes spare, try Aviva and broker Carole Nash*.

If you're desparate to squeeze the pennies off, there are also a few more comparisons to try: Quote Zone*, Compare The Market*, Tiger.co.uk* and MCN Compare.

Step 3: Check out special policies

Once you've tried the comparison sites, it's worth trying these extra ways to see if they undercut your best price.

Temporary insurance

For some, jumping on the saddle is a summer-only activity. If your bike goes into winter hibernation, take a look at cheaper temporary insurance that just lasts six months.

There are two things to be aware of, though.

  • You won't build up a no-claims bonus. This will mean you won't be eligible for no-claims discounts in future years.

  • When not insured, you must get Sorn. Rules came into force in 2011 saying all vehicles must either be insured - even if no one rides them - or you must get a a Sorn (Statutory Off Road Notification). See Gov.uk for how to do this.

The top short-term solution

eBike: If you need short-term cover, eBike* offers a pay-as-you-go policy where you can buy cover one month at a time and there are no cancellation charges. There is, however, a 6 per month admin charge which makes the cover more expensive than a standard policy if you'll need insurance for more than about eight months a year.

Be realistic, though. Six months of cover won't simply be half the cost of 12. You'll pay proportionally extra to save yourself needing to hand over the full whack.

Get a 'six-wheel' policy

If your bike isn't your only form of transport, and you use a car too, get a quote for a policy that covers both. The only 'six-wheel' policy we've found is from Carole Nash.

Though having both vehicles on one policy may be convenient, check that it's actually worth it. Get a 'six-wheel' quote, then total up individual ones for your bike, using the comaprisons above, and your car, using our Cheap Car Insurance guide.

Speak to a broker

Brokers and screenscrapers may seem like they're doing a similar job, as each search a number of different insurers. But they're radically different beasts. A good analogy for this is to compare it to searching for the cheapest loaf of bread.

Individual insurers are like bakers, your choice is simply to buy the cheapest loaf that suits.

Brokers are like supermarkets. They stock a range of bakers' loaves and the price charged depends on their relationships with suppliers.

Screenscrapers are like sending someone round supermarkets and bakers to note all their prices.

So, with your tastebuds whet, we'll get to the point.

To really hone the price to the nth degree, it is worth picking up the phone and calling a broker. Here's a selection: BikeSure, Footman James or search on the British Insurance Brokers Association website for a local broker.

Special deals

Swinton Bikes: Until further notice, if you buy a Swinton Bikes* policy (using the code MBWTDR274), and you'll get 30 cashback.

Be Wiser: Insurance broker Be Wiser has a number of incentives to tempt you into signing up. You'll automatically get free helmet and leathers cover (up to 1,000), legal protection service, RAC roadside assistance (worth 29.99) and personal accident cover (up to 10,000).

MCE Insurance: MCE Insurance* is also offering free RAC roadside assistance (worth 29.99), a courtesy bike in case of an insurance claim, personal injury cover (up to 1,000) and helmet & leathers cover (up to 500). Also, you'll get 15 months cover for the price of 12.

Once you've found the cheapest

Once you've found the cheapest from the screenscrapers, there are two important checks to make:

  • Double-check the quotes

    Click through to the insurance provider's own website to double-check the quotes, as to speed up searches some comparison sites make a few assumptions.

  • Examine the policy's coverage

    Is the policy suitable for you? If you want "pillion cover", is it included? Plus while you're there, it's worth playing with the policy details to see if you can slim the price down. Look at the excess, and if extra security will help to drive the cost down.

Step 4: Grab cashback and haggle

By now you'll know the cheapest available provider. But you may be able to cut the cost even further.

Try cashback websites

Once you know who your cheapest provider is, you need to check there aren't any hidden cashback deals, as these can be as high as 100. If your second or third cheapest quotes weren't too much more expensive see if cashback's available for them too, and find the overall winner.

These sites carry paid links from some retailers and financial services providers. In other words if you click through them and get a product they get paid. They then give you some of this cash which means you get the same product, but a cut of its revenue.

Don't choose based only on cashback, see it as a bonus once you've picked the right cover.

Those new to cashback sites should ensure they read the Top Cashback Sites guide for pros and cons before using them. Otherwise use the Cashback Sites Maximiser tool to find the highest payer for each insurer.

Things you need to know before doing this...

  • Never count the cash as yours until it's in your bank account. This cashback is never 100% guaranteed, there can be issues with tracking and allocating the payment, plus many cashback sites are small companies with limited backing, and you've no protection if anything happens to them.
  • Withdraw the cashback as soon as you're allowed. Money held in your cashback site account has no protection at all if that company went bust, so always withdraw it as soon as you're eligible.
  • Clear your cookies. While it shouldn't be a problem, if you've used comparison sites beforehand, there is a minor risk that the cashback may not track due to cookies - so its good practice to clear those first (read About Cookies).

Haggle on your insurance

The insurance market is very competitive and companies are desperate to retain business. So once you've got your overall cheapest price, get on the phone and try to haggle. There's often price flexibility, but be fully armed with the screenscrapers' cheapest quotes and any available cashback first.

The first port of call should be your existing insurer. If it can beat or even match the best quote it saves the hassle of switching policy. If that doesn't work and you're still in the mood, take it to a broker. For more haggling tips, read the full Haggle On The High Street guide and 2013's top 10 firms to haggle with.

What if my insurer goes bust?

The economic times we live in mean you never know which company might be the next to have problems. Fortunately, insurance providers are covered by the government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme, meaning if they go into default, you're protected.

The FSCS will usually try to find another provider to take over your policy, or issue a substitute policy. However, if you have any ongoing claims, or need to make a claim before a new insurer is found, the FSCS should ensure these are covered. For full details, read the insurance section of the Savings Safety guide.

Step 5: Remember next year

alarm clock picture

Providing you drive well and don't have any accidents, your insurance premium should get cheaper after the first year. However, don't automatically stick with the same provider - it may not still be the cheapest.

Apply for cover from your existing insurer as a new customer and its likely you'll be given a cheaper price. This is because insurers, like any company, will happily profit from apathy if they can.

Insurers must send out renewal notifications at least 28 days before renewal. This doesn't leave much time, and you can end up rushing to find a cheaper price.

To avoid being forced to decide quickly, put a warning in your diary six weeks before your renewal date, so there's plenty of time to sort out a new provider. Alternatively use the free Tart Alert, which sends a reminder text or email.

Glossary

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