Can I ride another motorcycle
on my insurance?
Third party | Comprehensive | Insurance penalties | Brokers | Cover | All risks
This is a simple question to answer. It depends entirely on the details of your policy. Basic lawful motorcycle insurance requires you to have at least THIRD PARTY cover. No ifs. No buts. No excuses. This insurance cover means that if you hit someone else on the road (and it's your fault), be it another biker, a car, truck, bus, pedestrian, or dog, you've got insurance cover to pay for injuries or property damage.
This third party cover is sometimes transferable to other motorcycles you ride, meaning that you'll have exactly the same third party protection. But that isn't always the case. So unless your policy explicitly tells you that you have third party cover when riding other motorbikes, you should assume that you don't have that protection. Therefore, riding another motorcycle would leave you uninsured.
Penalty for riding without insurance
Note that being uninsured can be a lot more onerous than many riders understand. It isn't simply that if stopped by the police you can be charged with failing to have adequate insurance cover. And the minimum penalty for that as of November 2019 is £300. It's a fixed penalty. However, if taken to court (due to more serious or aggravating circumstances involved), you can be fined up to £5,000, and you can be banned. Or even jailed (although there will usually be other charges involved if a custodial sentence is applied).
Also, the police can confiscate the (uninsured) vehicle on which you were stopped. That will happen at the scene of the offence. Also, you will be subsequently obliged to report the incident to your own insurance company when you renew your policy—and that will almost certainly result in a higher annual premium for many years to follow.
And there's more. If you're involved in an accident in which you are held responsible, you could find yourself personally liable for any damages or injuries caused. That could lead to costs of hundreds of pounds, or even thousands.
Extra fees on your insurance policy
Our advice is to always carefully check the details of your insurance policy. If you want to ride motorcycles other than your own, tell your insurance company when you take out the policy. In other words, try not to add that detail later. Why? Because your insurance company will almost certainly charge you extra to add the facility to your policy at a later date.
For instance, a £500 policy could incur an extra cost of, say, £50 - £100 to give you third party cover when riding other motorcycles. But you might also incur a £30 - £60 fee for adding to the policy. That fee won't apply if you have that third party cover included when initiating the policy.
Don't like the idea of incurring extra fees? No one does, but that's how insurance brokers operate. They employ staff to handle policy issues, and they expect those staff members to be paid for their time.
Finally, take note that if you ride a friend's motorcycle under agreed/approved third party cover, and if your friend has COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE (i.e. all risks), that comprehensive cover won't transfer to you whilst riding his/her bike. You'll always have only third party cover unless your insurance company tells you otherwise. And the same applies if you have comprehensive insurance on your own bike. You won't automatically be comprehensively covered on another vehicle—not unless your policy explicitly states that.
Such policies are readily available. But the premiums will be significantly higher.
Our advice is to NEVER ride another motorcycle without having exactly the right insurance in place, and you'd best have it in writing. We suggest that you now check Sump's Buying Motorcycle Insurance pages.
Check Sump's Classic Bikes For Sale page.
Check Sump's Classic Bike Guides page.
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