British insurance groups explained

Here, we look at motorcycle insurance groups that bikes are assigned to and what they mean for your premiums.

Just like cars and vans, bikes fall into insurance groups based on their value and performance. Cars are grouped from 1 to 50, but motorcycle insurance groups work differently and more informally.

With cars the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) 50 groupings are accepted industry-wide, but with bikes there are between 17 and 22 different motorcycle insurance groups, and bikes can be classed as belonging to different groups from one insurer to the next.

Generally speaking, most bikes tend to fall into the motorcycle insurance groups between 3 and 17. As with cars, the more powerful and valuable the machine is, the higher the group it will belong to and should be more expensive to insure.

For example, relatively low powered 125cc motorcycles tend to fall within groups 3 to 6. 250cc motorcycles will likely fall within groups 5 to 10. At the top end of the scale, high performance bikes like a 750cc Ducati would likely be in group 17.

Though the groupings may be less uniform than with cars, the rule of thumb that more valuable and powerful machines will attract higher premiums still stands. As one insurer could put your bike in a different motorcycle insurance group to another insurer, it’s particularly important to shop around.

Of course it’s not just motorcycle insurance groups which determine how much you’ll pay for cover. When an insurer calculates your premiums they are assessing how likely they believe you are to be involved in an accident or to have your bike stolen, and therefore the probability they’ll have to pay out.

One thing insurers consider is how much experience you have as a motorcycle rider and as a result, new or young riders tend to pay for their inexperience with higher premiums because they’re seen as more likely to have an accident and make a claim.

Similarly, riders with more powerful bikes capable or faster acceleration and higher top speeds are also seen as potentially more likely to be involved in an accident and making a claim.

Where you keep the bike parked when you’re not using it can have an effect on your premiums too, because the less secure the location is, the more easily it can be stolen – in which case the insurer would have to pay out for a replacement. Keeping your motorcycle in a locked garage overnight is one way of lowering your premiums. For more tips on lowering your motorcycle insurance premiums, click here .

With the inconsistency surrounding motorcycle insurance groups it’s essential to shop around and compare prices from a range of insurers.

Our bike insurance comparison service is independent and free to use, so you can be sure to get a good view of the market before you buy.

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