Motorcycle insurance provides financial protection when things go wrong but it can be pricey. Here’s how to find the best cover in Ireland and keep costs down.
If you ride a motorcycle, it’s a legal requirement to have insurance. You must have motorbike cover before you can ride your bike on a public road in Ireland.
You also need a valid certificate of insurance to pay motor tax.
The type of motorbikes that need insurance are:
Once you have bought your motorbike cover, you’ll receive an insurance disc and a certificate of insurance which has to be clearly displayed on your bike at all times.
You don’t need motorbike cover if you’ve declared your bike off the road.
Yes, if you hold a learner permit insurers won’t provide cover until you’ve completed the Initial Basic Training Course (IBT). You must hold a current driving licence or learner permit to drive a motorcycle or moped.
Motorcycle cover works like other types of insurance; you pay a monthly or annual premium in return for financial cover if things go wrong.
Motorbike insurance policies usually cover riding for social, domestic and pleasure purposes. If you use your bike for business purposes, for example as a courier or for fast food delivery, you may need a different type of cover.
It’s important that you disclose any business use with your insurer so you don’t void your policy in the event of a claim.
You can choose from three levels of motorbike cover:
For more information about which level of cover to choose, read our in-depth guide about insurance types.
Your standard features will depend on the level of cover you choose, however, most motorcycle insurers in Ireland also offer extra benefits with their standard cover.
Some examples of extra benefits are:
When you’re comparing quotes for bike cover, examine the policy benefits, but also check any exclusions that may apply.
If you don’t have a standard motorcycle, you could benefit from specialist insurance tailored to the type of bike you ride.
Here’s some of the main types of specialist bike insurance:
If you have a non-standard motorcycle, it’s worth using an insurance broker to help you find the cheapest insurance policy to suit your specific needs.
You can expect to pay anywhere between €150 and €1000 depending on your age, experience and claims history. Insurance quotes vary considerably so always shop around to find the best price.
Motorbike insurance can be very expensive if you’re under 25 years, and you could pay up to 35% more than an experienced, older rider.
Some insurers may not insure you at all if you’re under 25 with a high powered bike, or cover could be prohibitively expensive. If you’re in this age bracket, get quotes or speak to a broker before you buy your dream machine.
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of your policy, such as:
It’s a discount based on the number of years you’ve held a policy without making a claim. How much you’ll save is based on the number of years you go without making a claim on your policy. For example
|No.of years with no claims||% discount|
Find out more about the no claims bonus and how it works in our dedicated guide.
These are four companies offering motorbike insurance in Ireland:
You can go directly to an insurance provider or use a broker who will get quotes from a panel of insurers.
Principal Insurance is a specialist broker and works with a range of insurers to find the best value policy for you and your bike.
Motorcycle insurance can be costly, especially if you have a high powered bike or are a young, inexperienced rider.
Here’s some tips to keep insurance costs down:
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Yes, you may. It’s vital that you let your insurers know what you intend to use your bike for.
The ‘use’ categories are usually:
Any wrong information or undisclosed use could void your policy, so when you make a claim you could find that you’re not covered at all.
Yes, for certain types of motorbike you may have to complete a skills assessment, which you can get from an accredited trainer.
Even if it is not compulsory for your cover, you’ll get a discount on your premium if you complete the assessment. It’s a graded assessment and the higher your grade, the better the discounts.
There are four licensing categories for motorcycles AM, A1, A2 and A.
Riders can progress through these categories by either:
For more information about Irish motorbike licence categories, visit the National Driving Licence Service website.
Initial Basic Training (IBT) is a mandatory training course of 16-18 hours in 3-4 modules with a mixture of theory and practical skills depending on size of the motorcycle.
You need your IBT to get motorbike insurance for bikes under 125cc. To drive more powerful bikes, you need to complete the RSA practical driving test and apply to the NDSL for your full motorcycle licence. For more information, visit the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
You can cancel the policy by informing your insurer and returning the certificate of insurance.
If you want to cancel your policy within the first 14 days, your premium will be refunded for any period of insurance remaining, less an administration fee.
If you cancel your policy in the first year after the first 14 days, your insurer will work out a percentage refund based on their cancellation rates. You can find this within the policy document.
This is a benefit where you don’t lose your ‘no claims bonus’ for making one claim in the insurance year.
There are two levels of protection: