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How is motorbike insurance determined?


While stuck in traffic, you may be envious of the motorbike riders that cruise by your window. Not just because they’re able to skip the queue, but also because they pay less for maintenance and fuel, and they don’t require large parking spots.

But what about their insurance costs? Would they pay the same as you do for your car, or is this another area where you ought to be envious of them?

As it turns out, motorbike cover is in fact more expensive than vehicle cover. This is predominantly because of the increased risk of accidents and their predisposition to accessory theft.

Although motorbikes are smaller and offer fewer features, they often cost the same as a car. This means that insurance companies would have to fork out a similar amount if it experiences any damage. Therefore, it makes sense that they wouldn’t charge less for motorbike cover.

If you decide to buy your own motorbike and take out cover, the following factors will be considered by the insurer:

1. Your neighbourhood

If you live in the city, with a lot of traffic and high incidents of accidents, you may be considered a higher insurance risk and your premium might be higher. If you live in a small town or a quiet, residential neighbourhood, your premiums may be lower.

Insurers may also consider your home neighbourhood in relation to your work neighbourhood. If you need to drive long distances through high incident areas, your premium may be higher. If you drive short distances and park in secure parking, your premiums may be lower.

2. Your age and gender

Research shows that young males between the ages of 16 and 24 are responsible for most motorbike accidents in South Africa. Therefore, the closer you are to this age and gender category, the higher your premiums will be.

For example, a 40-year-old woman will have a lower premium than a 22-year-old man. This, coupled with other factors, will either lead to higher or lower premiums.

3. Your security

Where you decide to store your bike also has an impact on your premiums. Since bikes can inconspicuously be picked up by a larger vehicle, the safest place to store them is in a closed garage.

Nowadays there are several safety features that can also be installed on a motorbike, such as a ground anchor or an old-fashioned alarm.

Beyond the above-mentioned factors, insurers may also consider the model of your motorbike and your driving record. If both, along with the above three points are favourable, you may receive a reasonably low premium. However, it will likely be more expensive than vehicle cover.

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