The cheapest policies often have quite nasty clauses about not using non-franchised repair shops for collision damage. Then there is the issue of the use of second hand parts, which apart from meaning your pride and joy can come back from the accident repair shop looking worse than it went in can mean safety critical parts are recycled on further crash damaged bikes. But what about the add-ons you can buy?
At the risk of being miserable, most of them are a waste of money. The classic is ‘legal cover’ and I put this in quote marks for a good reason. It is not usually a real policy of legal expenses insurance. It is a mechanism which allows your broker to pass the case on to whichever solicitor pays most for your case. Referral fees have technically been illegal since April 2013 but they are not criminal and go on virtually unchecked. There are very few circumstances where buying legal cover, particularly in the days of no win no fee agreements, are ever worth pursuing.
Then there is the problematic issue of kit insurance. The cover on your household contents policy, if you have such a policy, is usually better than bespoke kit insurance. Why? Because buried in the small print of most of these motorcycle kit insurance policies is a stipulation that it will only pay out if the insurer can recover their outlay from the driver at fault. Which makes this type of cover close to useless.
At least one major insurance broker sells ‘injury cover’ to riders as an automatic payment in the event of an accident. However, read the small print and you’ll discover it excludes motorcycle accidents.
No claims bonus insurance can be worth having, but again if you change insurers you will have to declare any previous accidents. Which means while you might keep your no claims discount, you will not escape any claims loading.
A lot of insurance companies offer recovery cover which can be worth having, especially if you encounter problems in Europe. But if you are already a member of a breakdown organisation such as the AA or RAC, they will usually cover you for all vehicles. It’s silly to pay for the same cover twice, so check carefully before parting company with any money.
In short, think very carefully before you allow yourself to be upsold extras on your insurance policy. As someone who sees these upsells on a daily basis I stopped buying them years ago and never regretted my decision.
Bike Magazine – August 2015