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How to claim on your motorcycle insurance

Biker with helmet giving the thumbs up

Our simple steps to reduce the stress of claiming on your motorcycle insurance

In most cases, making a claim on your motorbike insurance should be straightforward.

Once you’ve got the information your insurance company will need, you contact them and the claim process begins.

Things can be more complicated say if blame is disputed or the other party is uninsured.


What to do if you’re in an accident

If you have a motorcycle accident, the first thing to do is to check how everybody is and call the emergency services if needed.

If it’s practical, make the scene safe for other road users without putting yourself in danger.

Don’t admit liability. If you take the blame it could affect the outcome of any insurance claim.

And remember, riders/drivers have to give their details if vehicles are damaged or people are hurt in an accident. It’s an offence not to do so.


What information do you need for your motorbike insurance claim?

Before you leave where the accident happened, make sure that you have all the information you need to give your insurance company.

So ensure that you’ve made a note of:

  • Where the accident happened

  • The time it happened

  • The date when the accident happened

  • The name and contact details of any other parties

  • The registration numbers of any other vehicles involved

  • The insurance details of any other parties

  • The names and contact details of any witnesses

  • Whether there are any injuries.

And take photos of anything that you think might be useful to back up your claim, such as the accident scene, damage to vehicles and road conditions.


How to submit a motorbike insurance claim

Even if the only thing injured is your pride, your motorbike insurance company will need to know that you’ve had an accident. Not telling them could affect how they deal with any claim in the future.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible after the accident and let them know what has happened.

If you do decide to claim, your insurer will need to work out how much it will cost to repair your bike. They might get one of their approved garages to assess the damage.

If the insurance assessor decides that it makes sense to repair the bike, the cost should be paid for by your insurer or the other party’s insurer. This might depend on the circumstances of the accident.

Any loss of no-claims bonus or excess might depend on who was to blame for the accident and the small print of your policy. You could protect your no-claims bonus as an add-on to your motorbike insurance.

Because insurance is all about risk, contacting your bike insurer could also affect any future car insurance quotes you might get.

Compare motorbike insurance quotes


What happens if your motorcycle is written off?

If it will cost too much to put your bike back on the road, your insurance company might give you money instead.

The amount should be what the insurance company’s assessor thinks your bike is worth minus your excess.

To get an idea of what you think is a fair price, check out ads for bikes in a similar condition to your old bike and with the same spec. How much would it cost you to buy your bike today?

If you’re unlucky enough to have your bike written it off or stolen soon after buying it new, your insurer might replace it with a new bike.

This should usually be of the same make and specification as the old bike.

You might be able to buy what’s left of your bike back from your insurance company if it’s written off. This will depend on how badly damaged it was.

If you and the insurance company can’t agree how much your bike was worth, first you need to follow any steps outlined in your policy.

If you’re still unhappy, you can get the Financial Ombudsman involved to help sort things out.


What happens the police impound my bike?

If your bike ends up in the police pound after an accident they’ll likely charge you for its stay.

Whether your insurance company will pay for this stay depends on your policy and the circumstances of the accident.


Claiming after an accident with an uninsured driver

If you have an accident that wasn’t your fault with an uninsured driver you’ll usually have to use your insurance if you want to make a claim.

This might then include paying your excess and taking a hit on your no-claims bonus as well.

This works if you have comprehensive insurance. If you only have third-party insurance, you can go through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau to recoup your losses.

Any money you get will usually be minus an excess.


Uninsured driver promise

If you can get the information your insurance company requires from the uninsured driver, some comprehensive policies let you keep your no-claims bonus and give your back your excess.

Check with your motorbike insurance company to see if they have an uninsured driver promise on the policy T&Cs


What to do if your motorbike is stolen

After the initial hurt and shock of discovering that your bike has been stolen, it pays to be practical. So, contact the police and get a crime number.

Then contact your motorbike insurance company. Give them the crime number and provide them with all the details they need. It could be useful to keep photos of any insurance documents on your phone.

Next, work the internet. Register your bike’s details on all the sites covering stolen motorbikes. Get as many pairs of eyes looking out for your bike as possible.

Check internet selling sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree to see if your bike makes an appearance.

Let your friends and neighbours know. See if there’s any CCTV or doorbell footage of the bike going.

If your bike has not been stolen to order, the most likely outcome is that it would be broken down and sold off as parts.

For your next bike, consider how you could improve your motorbike security.


Beware the garage clause

If your insurance requires your bike to be tucked up in a garage when you’re at home, do check the details. It might specify that your bike needs to be in the garage between 10pm and 6am, for example.

If you haven’t looked at the small print, you could be in for a bit of a shock if your bike is stolen from your home. Or even near your home.

Say you parked outside your house while you popped in to get something and came out to find your bike gone.

The best-case scenario if your bike is stolen when it should be garaged is that you’d have to pay an extra excess.

Not all insurance companies have the same definition of what counts as a garage. So, if in doubt, chat to the insurance company beforehand.


What is aggravated theft?

If you were injured when someone stole or tried to steal your bike, some policies could pay out.

You might be able to claim something like £500 if you were assaulted by someone taking or trying to take your bike.


How to claim if your motorcycle is vandalised

If your bike has been vandalised, this could be covered if you have comprehensive insurance.

And like theft, if you want to claim on your bike insurance policy your insurance company will likely need a crime reference number.

It might also help your claim to take photos of what has happened to your bike and where it happened.

But it may well be that the excess on your policy is more than it would cost you to put things right yourself.

If you do decide to claim, you might have to pay the excess. The claim could also affect your no-claims bonus.

If you claim on your motorbike insurance, your insurance costs could go up the following year. If this happens, it's worth seeing what you can do to keep the costs down.

For more information, check out our guide on how to get cheaper motorbike insurance.