Insurance advice

Are multi bike insurance policies cheaper?

Multi bike insurance policies may not be the cheapest or offer the best cover for your motorbike.

If you own more than one motorbike then insurance starts to become a headache as you manage different policies. Plus there are the costs involved.

So it makes sense to look at the multi-bike policies that are available from a number of insurers.

However, don’t rush in – it could be more cost effective to put up with managing different policies and you could get cover that’s more suitable for your needs.

Compare different policies and insurers

As always with insurance, you need to do your homework. It’s a chore (I have four bikes so know the pain and suffering all too well), but if you treat it in comparison to how much you have to earn in the time it takes, it makes it worthwhile.

First get a couple of multi-bike policy quotes. It takes about 20 minutes each time and if any of your bikes has modifications it’s probably better done over the phone.

Then take some more time to get individual policy quotes using comparison sites or our own comparison engine.

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Do you even need your NCB?

When my auto-renewal insurance letter landed on my doormat I nearly died with shock. It’s one of the reasons we started Biker & Bike. Then I learned that it can be cheaper to insure the bikes separately.

You can’t use your No Claims Bonus on more than one vehicle, as it only applies to that policy and vehicle.

But you can still take out other policies, just without that NCB. In effect, you are starting again on those policies.

In my case, I simply put the bike that I only rode infrequently on a third-party, fire and theft policy. As I rarely ride that bike in situations where I was going to be in danger of binning it at my own fault, I didn’t really need comprehensive cover so why pay for it.

Doing this saved me around £250 vs auto-renewing my existing multi-bike policy. BTW, never auto-renew without shopping around for a new quote first!

Not having comprehensive cover on all of the bikes you ride may make you nervous, so there is another thing you can look at.

Mirroring your NCB

Whilst you can’t use your NCB on different policies, some insurers will allow you to ‘mirror’ your NCB from another policy.

Mirroring was initially designed for car drivers who found themselves without a policy, even though they drove regularly – van drivers for example, who had been driving accident and penalty free for many years, but who were penalised for having no NCB when it came to insuring their own car.

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Mirroring is also available on some motorcycle policies

You will need to call up the insurer to see if they offer mirroring as it may not be made clear from a website and it almost certainly won’t feature on a comparison website. And then will need you to prove you have the NCB on another policy (just show a renewal notice of your existing policy schedule to do this).

To be clear, you are not transferring your NCB – you are simply proving to the insurer your level of risk, so that you can benefit from the same level of discount on both vehicles.

‘Laid up’ policies for the bikes you aren’t using

I mentioned before that I have four bikes. What I didn’t say is that one of them is in storage, waiting to be converted to a custom brat-style bike. And another is an old Daytona that is slowly being converted to a track bike.

Both could be on laid-up policies, also known as Laid Up Fire & Theft policies, as that is the level of cover they usually provide. But careful though, some insurers only offer theft cover with their policies.

You will almost certainly need to declare the bike SORN, but you’d probably want to do that anyway to avoid having to pay road tax.

And the benefit is, even if you are not riding, you may be accruing time towards discounts, but check with the insurer to see that this is definitely the case with their policy. You can’t acre time towards a comprehensive NCB if you are on a policy for a bike that isn’t going on the road.

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Verdict

Multi-bike policies are definitely good if you simply don’t have the time to properly manage different policies for different motorbikes, as long as you accept that instead of saving you money, they may not be the most cost-effective option.

How to get yourself sorted:

Nothing beats putting in the effort to get multiple quotes for both multi-bike and multiple different bike policies. It needn’t take more than an hour and it could save you hundreds. A pretty good hourly rate, huh?

More independent motorbike insurance advice

Keeping your insurance costs down
Are multi bike insurance policies cheaper?
The excess insurance trick that saves you serious money
Be careful with your insurance auto renewal
Motorbike insurance mirroring explained
How do modifications affect bike insurance?
Treat saving on bike insurance like earning money

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The Author

Ian Malone

Ian Malone

Ian is the Editor and a co-founder of Biker & Bike.

He is obsessed about bikes to the point that he often starts conversations with new people by saying, "Please don't get me onto the subject of bikes. We'll be here all day."

Inevitably, the next question asked is nearly always, "What bike have you got, then?"

He owns five bikes right now:

'78 Kawasaki Z650
'97 Triumph Daytona 955i
'11 Triumph Tiger 800
'09 Yamaha R1
'88 Suzuki TS125X

At any one time, only two of these bikes are ever working, as you can read about on our blog.

Having been on every continent except Antartica (as long as Cuba kind-of qualifies as South America) he is a big fan of travelling. However, to his deep but hopefully not eternal shame, he's only ever explored Europe on two-wheels and only started doing this a few years ago.

His main mission now is to explore as much of the world on two wheels as possible, at the same time as trying out as many new motorcycling experiences as he can and go on to inspire other bikers to do the same.