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Insurance premiums continue to rise…

Motorcyclists feel the pinch as insurance premiums continue to rise

A rise in insurance premiums across the motor industry, which has seen the overall cost of motor insurance increase by 43% over the past 12 months, is posing a real challenge for motorcyclists and car drivers alike as insurers hike their prices higher in the face of rising repair costs, higher wage bills and the continuing high level of motor thefts, in part driven by the ongoing cost of living crisis with a clear link between the cost of living crisis and a corresponding increase in crime rates. Motorcycles thefts across the UK remain disproportionately high. 2023 saw 23,963 total bike thefts which was only slightly down on 2022 figures. The stark reality is that motorcycles are still 11 times more likely to be stolen than a car despite some positive anti-theft initiatives being taken forward by motorcycling organisations working closely with the UK Police. Overall motor cover insurance costs in 2023 were already up by 25% on 2022 levels and 2024 insurance premium costs look likely to continue to remain at record levels as cost pressures continue to increase across the board.

But what exactly is behind the continuing rise in insurance premiums? Firstly, it is important to note that this is an industry wide phenomenon affecting both motor and household insurance policies. The rise in motor insurance premiums is a particularly complex issue influenced by a range of economic, industry-specific, regulatory, environmental and social factors. High theft rates are obviously a key driver of increased costs, as more thefts mean more pay outs for insurers. But there are a number of other issues also at play. One of these is that the Government adds Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to the cost of all insurance policies, with IPT having doubled in recent years from 6% to 12%. Inflation has also had a significant effect on the cost of motorcycle parts and raw materials, including paint. Wages in the private and public sectors have been increasing after several years of wage restraint. Put all these factors together, alongside ongoing supply chain issues affecting replacement motorcycle parts from overseas, and this has seen overall repair costs across the sector increase by over a third. Of course, other personal factors such as a rider’s age, where you live, how you use your bike, your anticipated annual mileage and where you store and secure your bike all play into the overall cost mix with insurers taking all of these costs, risks and issues into account when determining the overall cost of their premiums.

So, what can motorcyclists do? Unfortunately, higher insurance premiums look likely to continue for now but there some proactive steps that motorcyclists can take to ensure that their insurance premiums remain as low as possible. Maintaining a good riding record is obviously a key factor, with insurers often offering lower insurance rates to riders with a good record and no traffic violations. Completing a motorcycle safety course and or an advanced riding course, such as BMF’s Blue Riband Advanced Riding Course which covers essential riding skills, safety measures and accident avoidance techniques, can also help to lower premiums, as can taking steps to better secure your motorcycle and install additional anti-theft devices. And it’s obviously important to shop around for your bike insurance. The BMF’s insurance partner Bikesure offers competitive rates with reduced insurance premium costs for BMF Members. Currently Bikesure is offering BMF Members up to 10% off of their normal rates. You can access further details through the BMF Insurance page which links through to the Bikesure website which also contains further advice on how to reduce the overall cost of insuring your bike.

In the meantime, the BMF continues to work with Government, officials, the Police and relevant motorcycling safety organisations to improve road safety and to reduce the continuing high number of motorcycling accidents. We are also working to reduce motorcycle thefts as part of a proactive partnership approach between local Police Forces across the UK and the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group of which BMF is a key member. We have seen some reduction in the number of motorbike thefts across London, Greater Manchester, Humberside and Kent as a result of increased and dedicated Police activity and we will be looking to expand these successful initiatives further through increased cooperation and the sharing of best practice between Police forces across the UK.

Written by Paul Morgan CBE, BMF Government Relations Executive

Top image courtesy of Dimhou – Pixabay