In the UK, third party only bike insurance is the lowest amount of cover allowed by law. 3rd party only insurance as a result is often the cheapest way to insure you motorbike, but you must be aware that it is only cheap because the insurer places tight restrictions on when it will pay out.

It is worth keeping in mind that although you will be saving money by opting for third party insurance, it may cost you more money in the long run should you need to repair or replace your bike after a theft or crash.

As the name suggests, third party insurance will only pay out for the damage incurred to ‘other person(s)’ involved in the accident. Third party insurance will not offer you any payout to help with the costs of fixing or replacing your own bike.

Third party cover is a minimum requirement by law as it ensures that other users on the road will be properly compensated in the event that you cause an accident or damage another persons property.

There are only a set number of circumstances in which a third party insurance policy will payout. These include:

  • If you injure another rider or driver that is included in a collision with you, for which you were at fault. In this situation, your insurance policy would cover their medical expense for example.

  • If another road users’ property or vehicle is damaged as a result of an accident for which you were at fault. In this case you insurance would be required to pay for the repairs to their damaged vehicle, or even a replacement.

Your third party bike insurance will NOT offer you any financial assistance for the following situations however:

  • If your bike is stolen.

  • If your bike is damaged in an accident that wasn’t the fault of another party.

  • If you need to pay for medical treatment as a result of an accident – unless it was someone else’s fault, and you can claim against them.

In the event that a case is labelled a ‘no-fault accident’ you will have no cover.

In conclusion, whilst third party may be the cheapest, it is also the most basic of cover, and if you can afford it, a much better idea would be to opt for a greater level of cover such as third-party, fire and theft, or fully comprehensive.

Third party, fire and theft bike insurance is the next level up from the basic cover third-party only.

Along with offering the same protection as third party only, third party fire and theft will also pay out should your motorbike be stolen, or damaged /destroyed in a fire.

By UK law, all motorists must have some form of motor insurance, with third party only being the minimum level of cover required by law. Third party, fire and cover is just the same as this basic cover but also includes protection for your bike if it is stolen or damaged as a result of fire.

Third party insurance also means that you are covered should you be involved in an accident that was your fault. You will be insured for any damage you cause to another road user’s vehicle, their property, or should they themselves be injured and required to pay for medical treatment.

Third party cover is often chosen by motorists who can not afford a fully comprehensive policy. But if your bike is worth more than the excess that you would have to pay then in some cases it makes sense to opt for third party, fire and theft cover instead.

Statistically speaking, the average motorbike in the UK is significantly more likely to be stolen than the average car, with scooters and other low powered bikes being amongst the most desirable bikes for thief’s.

If you leave your bike on the street at night, or happen to live in an area where bike theft is common, then opting for a third party, fire and theft insurance policy could offer you added piece of mind for your bike.

However, if you do happen to live in an area that is high in vehicle theft, then this will in itself be reflected in the insurance premiums that you’ll pay, which in some cases could push the level of cover you want just out of reach.

Just like the third party only bike insurance, if your motorbike isn’t worth a great deal of money and therefore wouldn’t cost too much to replace, then paying for the extra fire and theft cover might not be beneficial to you.

It is worth keeping in mind that your insurer will expect you to pay the first part of any claim you make should your bike be stolen (known as your excess). If this excess amount is close to the current value of your motorbike, then there is less reason for you to take out the extra cover.

But before you decide on third party, fire and theft bike cover, it is important that you are aware of any extra protection that you could be missing out on.

With a third party, fire and theft policy, you won’t be covered by your insurer for any damage to your bike if you are involved in an accident this is your fault. Although you will be able to make a claim against the other parties involved if they were at vault.

Likewise you won’t be able to claim for any subsequent medical treatment as a result of an accident, unless ofcourse it was the fault of someone else.

Fully comprehensive is often seen as the top level of insurance cover available, and as a result is usually significantly more expensive than third party only, or third party fire and theft cover.

If you decide to select a fully comprehensive policy for your bike insurance you will learn that this level of cover offers much improved protection when compared to other levels of cover. Providing you with greater protection from any financial repercussions that may arise from any accidents you are involved in.

Just like third party and third party, fire and theft, full comprehensive cover you insure you for any damage that you do to other people, including their vehicles and property.

You will also be able to make a claim should your bike be stolen, or damaged or destroyed as a result of a fire.

The benefits of full comprehensive bike cover are that you and your bike will also be insured in the event that you are involved in an accident in which you are at fault, or one in which no blame can be apportioned.

It is worth noting however that there are still numerous situations in which you may not be covered, even with a fully comprehensive level of cover. Just because the bike insurance policy is described as comprehensive doesn’t necessarily mean that it will offer you protection against any eventuality.

Like other levels of cover, there can a number of additional features and extras that you can bolt on to your fully comprehensive bike policy. Some of these may be included by your insurer at no extra cost, so it’s worth double checking your policy to make sure you aren’t duplicating your cover.

Courtesy motorbike

Some insurance policies will provide you with a temporary replacement motorbike while your own bike is getting repaired. Whereas with some insurers you’ll have to pay extra for this service.

Legal expenses cover

Also known as legal protection or assistance, this extra will help you to claim compensation for other parties that were involved in an accident for which you were not at fault. Should you have been injured in the accident, then you may be able to seek damages.

Breakdown cover

In most cases a fully comprehensive policy will not cover you if your bike breaks down while out on the road, or if it needs repairs. It may be possible to add breakdown insurance to your policy, or buy it separately from a different company.

Even with a fully comprehensive bike insurance policy there are still a number of options and extras that can be add to the overall cost of your cover.

 Reasonably enough  the cost goes up in direct relationship to  the level of risk and protection provided.

Age, experience, where you live/keep the bike, the value of the bike, how prone the type of bike is to being stolen all go into the equation, and are factors you need to balance against the cost to you.

A word to the wise, be straight with your insurance company and tell them all the facts if you have misled them they are quite entitled to withdraw the insurance cover and leave you high and dry ( they have the lawyers ! ).

With that in mind it is often a good idea to compare as many policies as you can from the leading motorbike insurers. Not only will this enable you to find the right policy for your requirements, but hopefully find you the cheapest premium too.