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Inside Bikes

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Bikers have been expressing their anger after MotorCycle News reported that one biking broker was “refusing to cover machines with more than three modifications, irrespective of what they are.”

Scores of bikers posted furious responses to thestory on the MCN website with STUSFVR summing up the mood by noting: “This stinks! Almost every biker out there takes pride and care in his machine and inevitably upgrades it along the way whether for aesthetics, performance, reliability or just because he/she wants to.”  We agree and wish to respond to Homer40‘s plea: “Carole don’t go following these idiots.” Homer, we won’t.

We were approached by MCN for this story and were more than happy to state our position. This is what we told them when asked the simple question: “Does Carole Nash place a limit on the number of modifications policy holders can have?”

“The short answer is ‘no’ in that we can offer agreed value policies for customs and trikes so that bikers can submit details of all kinds of mods and an underwriter will usually be able to provide cover as long as they’re legal and satisfactory evidence is provided of the value. On a more day-to-day biking level it’s not so much the number of modifications but what they are, what the bike is and who the insurer is. As a broker we deal with a number of insurers each of whom operates its own acceptance criteria regarding modifications. If a biker comes to us with a modified bike we will work to get them cover from among our panel of insurers.”

We do not operate a three-strikes-and-out-policy because we know what makes bikers tick. We know that many of you like to take a standard specification motorcycle and tweak it to your own satisfaction. Such tweaks can take many forms, some performance enhancing, some value enhancing and some safety enhancing. Some, like crash bungs, can reduce damage to your bike and so reduce the cost of an accident claim or even remove the need for it in the first place. Let’s face it, we’d be crazy to penalise you for mods like that!

When it comes to modifications all we ask is that you declare them. Many will have little or no impact upon your policy and premium but it’s important that you keep us in the loop so that the underwriter of your policy knows exactly what it is they are insuring.  This protects your interests. For example, if you decide to replace the standard manufacturer’s exhaust with after market kit you need tell us so if your bike is written off or stolen then your insurer will take that into account when calculating your settlement. Remember too that if you own a custom or classic motorcycle you can take advantage of free agreed value service so you can agree up front with us just what your bike is worth.

If you’re in doubt about what constitutes a modification then just ask – we’re here to help and will always aim to provide you with the best advice so that you secure motorcycle insurance that best suits your needs. Remember, we’re not so much interested in how many mods your bike has, but what they are and how they impact the performance, value and safety of your motorcycle.

Got a query on insuring a modified motorcycle? Email us.

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