Motorbike insurance is a legal requirement in the UK for those keeping or riding their bikes on the road. Depending on the type of cover you choose, insurance can help protect you from costs that could be financially devastating if you're in an accident or your bike is stolen or damaged.
- What are the UK Motorcycle Insurance Laws?
- What are the Different Kinds of Motorbike Insurance?
- Do You Need Motorbike Insurance if Your Bike is Off the Road (SORN)?
- Where Can you Buy Motorbike Insurance?
UK Motorcycle Insurance Laws
By law, motorcycle insurance is required for anyone riding a motorbike on the road in the UK. At a minimum, motorbike insurance protects you against liability if your motorcycle is in a crash and cause injury to someone else or damage to another vehicle.
It is not enough for a motorbike you're riding to be insured (e.g., for other riders), YOU must be properly insured to ride the motorbike.
Types of Motorcycle Insurance
With minimum coverage, motorbike insurance protects against injury or damage to other people and their property, but does not protect you and your bike. Higher levels of motorbike insurance can also cover you and your bike, providing financial protection if your bike is stolen, vandalised or destroyed by fire, or if you are injured in an accident. There are three types of bike insurance in the UK.
Third Party Only (TPO): The minimum insurance cover required by law, Third Party plans cover damage to other vehicles if your bike is involved in an accident—but there's no cover for damage to your bike.
Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT): TPFT plans include Third Party cover and will pay the market value of your motorbike if it's stolen and not recovered, or pay the cost to repair or replace your bike if it's damaged by fire.
Comprehensive: The highest level of cover, Comprehensive plans include TPFT features PLUS protection against damage to your own motorbike in the event of an accident (and possible injury to you)—for example, payment for a replacement motorbike if yours is written off.
Cover by Type of Motorbike Insurance
|Damage to Other People and Vehicles||Fire and Theft of Your Bike||Damage to Your Bike (and Possibly to You)|
|Third Party Only||X|
|Third Party, Fire and Theft||X||X|
Despite offering the highest level of cover, Comprehensive bike insurance is not always the most expensive. Even if you're on a tight budget, be sure to check bike insurance prices of all three types of cover—you may be able to afford more insurance than you thought. For more information on factors that affect the cost of motorcycle insurance please read our article Why is My Motorcycle Insurance so High?.
When You Don't Need Bike Insurance
You don't need a valid motorbike insurance policy if your vehicle has been declared "off the road" through a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) from the DVLA. In that case, your bike cannot be kept or ridden on a public road. Vehicles with a SORN do not need insurance, nor are they taxed. You can't use the bike again until you tax and insure it again. If you're taking your bike off the road, read how to make a SORN on the Gov.uk website.
If you are selling your motorbike, then you can cancel your existing policy.
Where to Buy Motorbike Insurance
Many car insurance companies offer motorbike insurance policies, plus there are a number of specialist bike insurers from which to choose. Given the overwhelming number of options available, picking which company to purchase motorcycle insurance from can be a difficult choice. The best motorcycle insurance for you will offer features and coverages that align with what you need, at the right price. It can help to compare prices using a comparison tool, which provides access many quotes at once and only requires you to only fill out one form.
And if you're buying a used motorbike or new, be sure to arrange insurance ahead of time!