Premiums

QUESTION:
The premiums Iíve been quoted still seem really high. How do insurers work out what they are going to charge and how can I get them to cut my own costs?

ANSWER:
Insurance companies base their costs on their past claims experience, so if you fall into a category that has triggered a lot of expensive claims in the past then there may not be much you can do about it. With bike cover everything from your age, sex and occupation will be taken into account, as well as the value and power of your bike. In general the insurers say premiums tend to be lower for women and costs for men fall dramatically after the age of 25. Bike insurers do offer no claims discounts, just like car cover. And like most drivers, the increasing number of over 50s who are buying bikes can get extra discounts if they take safety training. The Institute of Advance Motorists (www.iam.org.uk) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (www.bmf.co.uk) offer the best courses. Just like car cover youíll also get a choice of third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive cover, so if you need to bring sky high premiums down to earth you could consider going for a more basic policy for a while.
Finally, watch out if your insurer offers to help you with a high premium by spreading the cost over a year. Financial researcher Money Expert says the interest rates on direct debit schemes can be eye-wateringly high. Boss Sean Gardner says it can work out cheaper to put the cost on your credit card and pay a few months interest there rather than using your insurerís so-called easy payment terms.

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