When buying motorcycle insurance, one key decision is whether to buy a comprehensive policy or a policy offering less coverage. Comprehensive motorcycle insurance theoretically offers the best coverage, but it can cost more. And not all comprehensive policies are the same, as insurance experts NimbleFins explain in the guide to the best motorcycle insurance companies UK.
For example, Hastings motorcycle insurance is available at two levels of comprehensive coverage: Hastings Direct and Hastings Premier. Hastings Direct motorcycle insurance is stripped back and does not include legal assistance or helmet & leathers coverage. This lowers the premium, but results in a policy offering fewer extras. On the other hand, Hastings Premier policies include helmet & leathers and legal cover in their comprehensive policies for no added charge; but the initial premium might be higher as a result.
Ultimately, whether or not comprehensive motorcycle insurance depends on many factors and one motorist may feel differently from another. This article discusses some of the factors to consider when making this decision.
What does comprehensive motorcycle insurance cover?
As with all types of vehicle insurance, comprehensive motorcycle insurance basically covers three types of claims:
- Damage to third parties (e.g. other vehicles and their occupants)
- Damage to or loss of the insured motorcycle due to fire or theft
- Damage to or loss of the insured motorcycle due to an accident
There are three types of motorcycle insurance in the UK: Third Party Only (TPO), Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive. The main difference between comprehensive motorcycle insurance and the other types (TPO and TPFT) is that comprehensive policies cover accident-related damage to the insured bike. The others don’t.
If a motorcyclist is at fault for an accident that results in their bike being damaged or written off, only comprehensive insurance will cover this. In the case of a damaged bike, comprehensive insurance would cover the cost of repairs to make the bike right again.
In cases where accident damage is so significant that the bike either can’t be repaired or it would be too costly to do so, the insurance company may decide to “write off” the bike. In the case of a motorcycle being written off after an accident, the insurance company typically pays the market value for a comparable replacement bike. But the exact terms and rules should be explained in the policy document for the insurance policy.
How much is comprehensive motorcycle insurance?
The cost of comprehensive motorcycle insurance depends on many factors, such as the value of the vehicle. This is because the company could be responsible for paying the insured the value of the bike if it is stolen or written off.
Interestingly, comprehensive motorcycle insurance can be less expensive than less types of cover (TPO and TPFT). This is unexpected, since comprehensive policies offer more protection to policyholders, in that they also cover the bike for at-fault accident damage. However, it seems that insurers have found that motorists who seek out comprehensive cover tend to make fewer claims (perhaps because they are more responsible and safer drivers). As a result, comprehensive motorcycle insurance can be cheaper than TPO or TPFT motorbike insurance. But it’s not always.
A motorcyclist should always compare prices across a range of policies to understand their options before making a decision.
Who needs comprehensive motorcycle insurance?
A motorcyclist who wants financial protection in case their bike is damaged or written off in an at-fault road traffic accident would be able to make a claim for the loss on a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy.
Other types of vehicle insurance (TPO and TPFT) would not cover this type of claim.
When a motorist is deciding if they should get a comprehensive policy over the other types, this is a key feature to keep in mind.