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Bike training and its affect on bike insurance

Advanced Motorcycle Training Insurance Discounts

Most bikers pride themselves on their riding prowess – but those who go the extra mile and actually arrange for advanced training could benefit from cheap bike insurance premiums.

Why good training is so important

In 2004, the Department of Transport issued an in-depth study of motorbike accidents and found that they largely differ from those involving other road users.

It found that in particular, they include ‘right of way’ accidents in which bikers lose control on bends, as well as accidents caused by the frequent overtaking opportunities afforded to bikers. It outlined that there is also a significant problem in how other road users react to bikes, particularly at junctions, with such accidents often involving older drivers with relatively high levels of experience. It also suggested that the skills and attitudes of riders needs to be addressed whether they are young bikers with low capacity bikes, such as scooters, or more experienced riders with powerful performance bikes.

In 2004, the rate of bikers’ seriously injured or killed was twice that of pedal cyclists and more than 16 times that of car drivers and passengers. According to Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions’ research in 2000, bikers made up less than one per cent of vehicle traffic but were involved in 14 per cent of the total deaths and serious injuries on the UK’s roads.

What’s clear from these statistics is that biking is a specialist activity and the more experience you can ascertain the better. Learning important skills, whether through compulsory basic training or advanced rider training, could be the difference between avoiding an accident and being involved in one.

What does this have to do with bike insurance?

Bike insurance companies take into account a number of factors when calculating your premiums – these include your personal circumstances; the named riders on your policy; your annual mileage; your address; the motorbike you ride; and, of course, your riding history, such as whether you have convictions on your record or have made claims in the past.

If you have made a claim in the last five years then you must tell your bike insurance provider about it. Indeed if an insurance company has had to pay out because you’ve made a claim then they will nearly always charge you more for your policy.

What’s more, many bike insurance companies offer no-claims discounts. This means that for every year you’re insured and don’t make a claim, you receive a discount which could be worth as much as 60 per cent off your premiums after four or more years. However, if you make a claim on your policy and the insurer cannot recover its costs, then it will affect your no claims discount even if the accident wasn’t your fault, unless you have no-claims discount protection. The amount of discount you lose varies between providers.

It’s clear that it pays to avoid accidents – and taking an advanced riding course is one way to boost your own skills and limit the risk of an accident occurring. Indeed some insurers recognise this fact by directly offering discounts to riders that undertake select courses.

Other ways to save on bike insurance

Avoiding accidents and taking a training course are just two of the ways to potentially reduce bike insurance premiums. Here are some additional tips:

Choose the right bike: Opt for an older, smaller bike, particularly if you are a first time rider. Newer bikes are generally more expensive to repair/replace and bikes with large engines are deemed more likely to be involved in accidents as they are often ridden at faster speeds.

Improve the bike’s security: Invest in mechanical and electronic security devices which could help to reduce premiums with many insurers.

Increase your excess: Consider increasing your voluntary excess to lower your premium but be careful to keep it at a level you can afford.

Limit your mileage: If you only use your bike on a limited basis – perhaps because you have a car for commuting and most run-arounds – then consider agreeing to a mileage cap as the fewer miles you ride, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Park safely: Keep your bike in a secure area – such as a locked garage – where it is less likely to be targeted by thieves.

Pay annually: Consider paying your bike insurance premiums up front to avoid monthly interest charges.

Shop around: Use a comparison website to compare bike insurance quotes and ensure you’re receiving a competitive deal. Remember however, to look beyond price alone and also consider what you’re getting for your money.

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