The sunny side of the clas­sic world, with the VJMC’S Steve Cooper

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - NEWS -

When was the last time you checked your in­sur­ance pol­icy’s ‘terms and con­di­tions?’ Chances are you prob­a­bly haven’t and if you did I’d bet you lost the will to live halfway through. Can you legally carry a pil­lion? Are you in­sured for com­mut­ing to work? Is your bike cov­ered if it’s out­side your house af­ter 10pm? In all hon­esty you need to know stuff like this! In­sur­ance is a hugely com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try and one where no two com­pa­nies or agents au­to­mat­i­cally use the same cri­te­ria to ar­rive at your quote. There­fore it’s al­ways worth shop­ping around. Loy­alty doesn’t seem to be re­warded when it comes to ve­hi­cle in­sur­ance but it’s al­ways worth­while dis­put­ing your re­newal quote to see if your par­tic­u­lar provider is ‘try­ing it on’. Fol­low so­cial me­dia, bike fo­rums etc. and you’ll see that bike in­sur­ance is a re­oc­cur­ring and hugely emo­tive theme; the num­ber of ex­ple­tives used to de­scribe quotes, re­newals, claims or dis­putes never ceases to amaze. But we, the cus­tomers, do have a choice; if we don’t ex­er­cise it then we are prob­a­bly cul­pa­ble in our own rip off. Many com­pa­nies seem to have dif­fer­ent band­ings for ages of ve­hi­cles, self-de­clared val­u­a­tions etc. which ac­tu­ally makes like-for-like com­par­isons al­most ir­rel­e­vant. When I added a mid-90s 750 Honda to the garage one in­surer in­sisted it was a mod­ern bike even though it was more than 20 years old in­creas­ing the po­ten­tial pre­mium by some £200. And yet two other in­sur­ers didn’t pe­nalise me for own­ing a ma­chine with less va-va-voom than a Yamaha Fazer 600. See what I mean about look­ing around? Many in­sur­ers are now re­fus­ing to cover early Suzuki Hayabusas or Yamaha R1s un­der clas­sic poli­cies even when pre­vi­ously they did. Why? Be­cause they have been shown to be a sub­stan­tially higher risk and not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause of the owner/rider. These and sim­i­lar later clas­sics are prime tar­gets for thiev­ing scum bags and present a sub­stan­tially higher theft risk. And fi­nally when was the last time you val­ued your bike(s)? Most of us have agreed value in­sur­ance and it’s gen­er­ally us, the own­ers, who come up with the in­di­vid­ual costs. If your Z1A is self-de­clared at £9000 that’s all you’ll be get­ting if it’s stolen or writ­ten off. There’s no point ar­gu­ing it’ll cost £17,000 to re­place if you’ve not been pay­ing a pre­mium rel­e­vant to the cur­rent mar­ket value. If you only do one this to your bikes this month do this – sit down with a PC, surf the net and get val­ues for your own ma­chines then in­sure then rel­a­tive to their cur­rent mar­ket value. Clas­sic ve­hi­cle theft is big busi­ness now so why in­sure them for less than they are worth?

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