Modified Motorcycle Insurance in the UK - TheCustomMotorcycle.co.uk
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Modified Motorcycle Insurance in the UK

Modified Motorcycle Insurance in the UK

What is the meaning of modified motorcycle insurance?

Well, as you probably already know there is insurance for everything. And tuned bikes are no exception. Insurance for this kind of beasts is different from county to county. It also depends on the modifications that are heavy, and they impact performance. That’s why you should consider modified motorcycle insurance for your motorbike. 

When you are insuring your motorcycle, tell your insurer what changes you made. Usually, you need to tune the bike again after they allow you to get custom motorcycle insurance. Keep in mind that you need to report that mod to your insurance company. That is because they may have to revise the contract. You should, of course, go online after this article and try to get the best quotes possible.  Anyhow, if you can’t find anything that fits you, go to your local insurer and ask for help.

Modified Yamaha SR500 Motorcycle

How does modified motorcycle insurance work?

Modified motorcycle insurance is a type of insurance that covers your bike if somebody steals it. This insurance is covering your bike if it gets banged up while you aren’t riding it too. This insurance can also cover any damages caused to you, people involved, or your bike if you have been a part of a traffic accident.

Can you show me a specific policy for a motorcycle?

I know that I had a hard time with my first insurance policy for my custom built Ember. Ember is a custom built chopper, that I created from parts that I collected through the years. It includes a Harley 80 inch motor, BDL TF-2000 belt drive, S&S carb, and air cleaner, Bayonet wheels with Avon tires, PM hydraulic clutch, Criminal Customs grips, and pegs, etc..  All in all, a value of around 13,000 dollars if I am being optimistic. It was hard to find the right insurance for my beast. But, in the end, my cruiser costs me around 800 dollars to insure. Now, this price is slightly high for this type of bike. But that is because of me and my mistakes, not because the insurers are greedy.

What goes into creating a specialty bike insurance policy?

Well, first of all, the insurance company needs to evaluate if you are a good or bad driver. You might imagine that a good driver gets a better price on insurance, and a bad one gets a worse price. You would be right to think so. And with the rates of motorcycle accidents on the rise all over the world, it is no surprise. 

Alongside being a good or bad driver, they need to think about your age. Drivers aged 25 to 65 are the sweet spot for “maturity” and are treated with the best prices on insurance.

Then, they will ask for the usual make and model number, year of manufacturing, value of the bike, etc. This information is key for creating a modified motorcycle insurance policy. That’s because there are a lot of variables to examine. For example, an older bike is not as reliable as a new bike, thus making the policy costs more than usual.

What then?

The last thing would be your modifications. You need to list all of the modifications done to your bike. This can raise its value by a significant amount. That means that you will need a better insurance policy.  You will also need to tell your insurer about a new modification that you have done after you get insurance. Not doing so can lead to a nullification of your policy. Don’t worry about the cost of something like this. These companies will usually update your modified insurance policy for a small fee, or if you are a regular, for free. If you live in the United Kingdom, any custom motorcycles and their modifications have to be reported to the DVLA. If your bike is not in their database, you risk losing your insurance policy.

Owning a house, having a good credit score, and some money in the bank can also lower your insurance payment. That’s why you should make sure to bring that up on your visit to the insurer.

How do I get this type of insurance? 

Most insurance companies have plans premade for this type of modified motorcycle insurance. If the closest one to you does not, try to find a company that does. You can do a little research on the internet. 

Modified bike insurance policies are usually more expensive than those for store-bought bikes. That’s why you should try to look around for the best deal in town if you are on a budget. There is also some custom motorcycle insurance UK companies that might be willing to help you out.

Which motorcycle mods can affect the premium of my custom motorcycle insurance policy?

First of all, we have physical mods, which are the biggest part of the modding community. You want your bike to look good, and you need to pay for that, or do you? Well, it depends on how crazy you went with the alteration. If it’s just a paint job or a small part that was exchanged or added, it shouldn’t cost much more than the original policy. Maybe even nothing at all. 

However, if you went all out to pimp your bike by creating a modified frame that has horns or an elongated tail, etc. then you may have a problem. Most companies will refuse to issue a modified motorcycle policy for that kind of vehicle. But, as with everything in the modern world, there is a solution. There are many specialty firms that offer tailored policies just for this kind of case. So if you are one of the crazy ones, go on and start researching which companies will be willing to cover your bike if anything happened to it.

These special insurance companies may even look at your special craftsmanship as a bonus during the creation of your modified motorcycle insurance policy and reward you with a discounted premium.

Premium modes

While we are talking about premiums, the physical mods that will most likely raise your monthly bill are carbon fiber replacement parts and special paintwork (anything from race colors, strips, flags to skulls and such). On the other side, mods that aren’t much worthy and don’t increase your insurance premium are:

  • if you replace chrome parts or chroming on existing parts
  • do a headlight that purely has a cosmetic effect 
  • exhausts that don’t add any value like increased performance
  • to put cozier seats and more ergonomic handlebars

Almost anything that is cosmetic is subjective, and that means it isn’t worth a thing to the insurance company. But, if you have a performance-enhancing mod, that is an objective increase in value, and thus is worth more to the insurers.

Modified policy 

As I just said, enhancements to your bikes speed, power, etc. can add up value. This is because the companies are responsible for them, as they are being more sought after and they have attention from the thieves. Now, everyone you go to may give you different numbers, but as a general rule of thumb for enhancement modifications, the premiums on your policy will change according to this list:

  • Engine tuning will have an estimated increase in the price of around 20 percent,  and that depends on the level of tune and the increase in power. 
  • Blueprinting or using a store bought bike template will increase the power of your own custom bike. It depends on the insurance company.
  • A faster shift also known as a quick shifter is also not a thing that they will calculate in the price. But if you put it as a combo with one of the other things in this list, it’s a contender to increase your premium.
  • Turbocharging can make your premium price rise by 25 – 75 percent depending on the amount of power your bike gains.
  • Engine boring would increase the price by about 20 percent.
  • And the most infamous of them all, nitrous oxide, something even specialists don’t want to insure, will make the premium jump about 50 – 75 percent.

Safety modifications

These modifications usually don’t make the premium rise, but there are some instances they can help lower your rate. These include the following:

  • to cruise tires for better grip on the road in difficult weather conditions.
  • to put stronger braking systems that allow your reaction time to be the only thing between your bike being whole or in pieces on the road.
  • And having an active suspension system that. This system will allow for a better handle on the bike through rough terrain and make it easier and comfier to drive.

Security features

Your premium can be valuable if there aren’t security features authorized by the people in charge of that stuff. Those are usually:

  • Anything that will set your model apart, a “stamp” of some sort, something unique only on your bike, an etching or something similar.
  • Adding an electronic device like a GPS tracker to your rig could also make it much more secure against thieves and the like.
  • Being able to immobilize your bike when you are not using it is a very big plus as this makes it way harder to steal. Eliminating this risk allows you to enjoy the discounted price on your bike, as the insurance company is persuaded that you are one of the good people who think about their bike and don’t want it to get stolen.

Where can I get this insurance?

It isn’t easy to find a good specialty firm in the UK as not many of them are doing that kind of thing. With that said, here is a list of a few specialty firms I recommend you check out.

  • Carole Nash is one of the industry-leading specialty insurance firms. They have some interesting perks if you decide to pay them to ensure your bike.
  • Sky Insurance is also another interesting pick you should check out while looking for the perfect insurance for you.
  • Bennets is also a good choice if you are looking for a very thorough insurer as they have some of the best people evaluating your bike.
  • Hastings has been known for its store-bought bike insurance but they are a good choice if you think you don’t need a specialty insurer.

In the end, if you are not someone who likes to do research you could always use QuoteZone.co.uk or MCNcompare, where you can input your bike’s specifications and the site will automatically compare prices of all the insurance companies in your area.

Choose the modified motorcycle insurance policy

Now depending on what you need to cover, you can choose from a variety of insurance policies.

These are: 

  1. Third party insurance. This policy will only cover anything that was done to third parties. This means damage to other people, damage to property or damage to other vehicles caused by your motorcycle. This type of insurance does not cover you getting injured or your motorcycle getting damaged or stolen.
  2. Third party, theft and fire insurance covers just that. It acts the same as just third-party insurance, but it will also pay out if your bike gets stolen or if it gets damaged in a fire.
  3. And last, but certainly not least, Comprehensive insurance. This is the big brother of all insurance policies as it has you fully covered. It includes the first two policies, plus it will mitigate your expenses if your bike gets damaged accidentally or vandalized. It will cover any medical bills associated with accidents and the company will give you a replacement bike while your custom beast is getting repaired.

You can also add things to your insurance policy. These are specialist things made for certain situations like overseas use and coverage. To see what you can add on to your policy, talk to your insurer.

That’s it, folks!

We’ve given you all the information you need if you are thinking of creating or buying a custom bike in the UK. It is not an easy process, but the insurance companies do try as much as they can to help with the paperwork and all the bureaucracy behind the policy. What motorcycle are you driving, and what sweet mods did you make to it?  What insurance did you go for in the end and where did you get it? Tell me in the comments below. Stay safe on the roads and enjoy your bikes responsibly.

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