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