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Motorbike insurance optional extras

An explanation of add-ons to motorbike insurance policies, including legal protection, breakdown cover and protected no claims discount.

Checklist before buying an optional extra

  • Do you need it?
  • Have you read the terms? Does it offer the cover you need?
  • Do you have equivalent cover from another source?
  • Can you get a better deal by buying the cover separately?

When you purchase a motorbike insurance policy, the cover you have will depend on the product you've chosen.

You should be aware that even comprehensive policies may not provide the level of cover that you require, and that's when you may want to consider purchasing optional extras.

Here are some of the most common policy extras available:

Legal expenses cover

Also known as legal cover or uninsured loss recovery, this policy option helps pay legal costs following an accident where a third party was at fault.

Legal professionals will deal with the case for you and try to recover any losses on your behalf.

These may include medical losses, loss of earnings or recovering your policy excess.

Your legal team will also make a claim for compensation for you if you're injured.

Personal accident cover

Personal accident or personal injury cover can pay out if you're injured or killed as the result of a motorbike accident. How much will depend on the sort of injury and which type of personal accident cover you choose.

Personal injury cover may be included on your policy as standard, but - even if you have a comprehensive policy - you should check whether you have the level of cover that you require.

Pillion cover

The majority of policies do not offer cover to carry passengers on your motorbike as a standard feature - if yours doesn't, ensure that you purchase the appropriate pillion cover before taking any passengers.

Breakdown cover

If you're thinking about coupling breakdown cover with your motorbike insurance, think carefully about whether you can get a better deal by purchasing both products separately.Jump leads

You should also consider whether the breakdown policy offered by your bike insurer is suited to your needs and whether you already have breakdown cover from another source, such as a packaged bank account or premium credit card.

Levels of motorbike breakdown cover vary significantly and include:

  • Recovery/relay: If your vehicle can't be fixed at the roadside or locally, you (and a passenger) can be taken to any UK mainland destination
  • Home start: For when you break down at home or near to home
  • Onward travel: If you break down away from home and your bike cannot be repaired quickly you'll generally be provided with either a replacement hire bike, overnight accommodation, or reasonable onward travel expenses
  • European cover: Breakdown protection when driving in Europe, usually for up to 31 days a trip and 90 days a year in total (please check with your insurance company for the European countries you'll be covered in)

Protected no claims discount

You might be able to protect your no claims discount if you've built it up for a number of years. This would then mean that if you make a claim on your insurance, your discount is protected.

Policies that include riding abroad may only provide third party cover, so always double check with your insurer

However, the claim would be part of your claims history and must be declared for up to the next five years if you take out another insurance policy.

Even if your discount is protected your premium may well go up as you will be seen as a greater risk to the insurer.

Note that only a small number of insurers allow the transfer of your car's no claims bonus to your motorbike - the majority won't. You're not able to transfer your motorbike's no claims bonus to your car.

Travelling in Europe

Policies that include riding abroad may only provide third party cover, so always double check with your insurer that your European motorbike cover is sufficient.

If you'd prefer a more comprehensive policy whilst riding abroad you could purchase additional cover for when you're out the country.

Although Green Cards used to be obligatory for many motorists abroad, their use is no longer as widespread - establish what cover you need before heading overseas. For more information, read our article on driving abroad.

Leathers and helmet

Apart from the bike itself, the other equipment that you need for motorbike riding can cost quite a lot, too.Motorbike

It may make sense to purchase additional cover for helmets and leathers in case they're lost, stolen or damaged due to a road accident.

There are different levels of cover available, so make sure that you choose the right option for you. Read our guide on helmet and leather cover for more information.

Key protection

As the name suggests, key protection provides cover in the event of losing your keys or having them stolen. This can be for the cost of replacement keys and locks or locksmith fees.

Excess protection

This optional extra allows you to claim back the cost of your excess when you need to make a claim.

If you've opted for a higher excess to help lower your insurance premium, this type of cover can help to reimburse you for it, if you make a claim. This could be particularly useful for young riders who face higher insurance premiums.

By Abbie Laughton-Coles