Featured: 10 Things to Consider When Insuring a Vintage Bike in the UK

10 Things to Consider When Insuring a Vintage Bike in the UK

By Petrolicious Productions
June 10, 2013

Now that summer’s here, you’re no doubt itching to get your vintage bike back on the road. After all those months of tinkering and polishing, this is when the fun starts.

Before you grab your leathers and helmet to head off into the sunset, it might also be time to renew your bike insurance. Here are a few things to consider if you’re insuring a vintage bike in the UK.

Have you considered classic bike insurance?

If you’re having a tough time getting a decent deal from your regular insurer, then try one that offers tailored policies specifically for classic bikes. A specialist insurer understands that vintage bike owners look after their machines well, and that vintage bikes are less likely to be stolen, as they’re harder to sell on. This makes you less of a risk, and will be reflected in the price.

Where do you store your bike?

If you’ve lovingly restored your Triumph or Vincent, then it’s unlikely that you’ll park it on the street. Who knows what dents and scratches you’ll discover? Keeping your bike under lock and key in a garage, or even in your front room, will help lower your premiums. And if your garage has got an alarm, even better.

Where are you planning to ride your bike?

Perhaps you own a showpiece that you take to events on a trailer. Or maybe you ride your vintage bike in off-road rallies, track events or the Classic TT. How you use your bike makes a big difference to insurers, so find cover for exactly what you’re going to be doing.

Are you biking abroad?

If you’re going to Europe or taking your bike further afield, then make sure your policy includes this. As well as covering you for accidents, it’s wise to choose insurance that includes bringing your bike home if it breaks down or you have an accident. Shipping it back yourself could be expensive, and you may be faced with hefty export taxes if you don’t.

How many miles do you ride in one year?

Few people do their daily commute on a classic bike, so generally the miles you’ll ride are lower than most bikes. Work out how far you’re likely to ride during the biking season and opt for a limited mileage policy. It’ll save you money. If this is your first year as a classic owner, get advice from other riders when trying to figure out a ballpark figure.

Will the policy cover what your bike’s really worth?

The true value of your bike and what some insurers think it’s worth may be very different. An agreed valuation policy is the best option here. Supply your insurer with pictures and other evidence of your bike’s worth so you can agree on its value. It’ll mean you aren’t left out of pocket if you need to make a claim.

Will repairs be done with original parts?

This is definitely a major consideration for restorers and perfectionists. After all, if you’ve carefully returned your bike to its former glory; do you really want repairs to be done with modern parts? Modern equivalents tend to be cheaper to buy and easier to source than originals, so make sure your cover includes repairs with those all-important originals.  

Can you salvage the bike if it’s written off?

In the event of the unthinkable happening and your bike being written off, what happens to the parts that are left? Many vintage bike owners choose policies that allow them to salvage the parts. OK, so you won’t have your old bike any more, but at least you’ll have parts that can help you get started on your next project.

How can you reduce premiums if you’re new to biking?

If you’ve only been biking for a short time then the price of your policy will reflect this. Completing advanced rider training is a great way to prove you’ve got the skills to reduce your accident risk and will give insurers more confidence in your biking abilities—which in turn should lower premiums.

Do you own more than one bike?

Insuring more than one bike on the same policy is a great way to save money. This could include other classics you’ve got tucked away in your garage, or even a modern road bike that you ride to work every day. This is one time when keeping all your eggs in one basket is the best option (as insurers will be more likely to lower premiums for multiple bikes), helping you to make a substantial saving.

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Petrolicious would like to thank Bikesure, leaders in classic bike insurance, for this informative article.

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Simon Creasey
Simon Creasey
11 years ago

Good advice 🙂

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