30 January 2010

Insuring scooters in Ireland

Insurance. In the scootering world, insurance is such a bad word that if you post up a topic on an online forum asking about it, you’re destined to get at least 2-3 pages worth of replies. The replies would be polite and sympathetic to you but with all the angst in the galaxy (comparable to Emperor Palpatine's) directed to the insurance companies/brokers.

Once, I asked about how it was possible that my CAR insurance increased by such an enormous amount when there was no apparent reason to cause such an increase. Almost immediately, two pages of replies followed containing rants and abuse about different people’s experiences with their SCOOTER insurance. Die you Rebel scum!!!

Only one nice fella vaguely answered my question.

So, if you’re like myself and looking to make some sense about this whole scooter insurance lark, DON’T. It’s just not worth it. Who’s the cheapest? Who’s the best? Just DON’T. Scooter insurance defies logic. It's as if quotes are picked out of thin air.

In my handful of years being (properly) insured on my Vespa, I’ve been with 3 different insurers (OK, insurance brokers, if you’re being picky). That’s quite bad really considering there are only 4 scooter/motorcycle insurers in the whole of the Republic of Ireland. Oh, and the only reason I didn’t go with the fourth one was because they didn’t insure riders on provisional licences (your lost Adelaide!).

I started out with AON Bikecare and because I was so desperate to legally get on my Vespa, I paid the extortionately whopping amount of €1,250 or so (comprehensive cover). Of course, I soon discovered what a Muppet I was to hand over such a large dollop of cash.

On renewal, I started looking and eventually settled on Quinn Direct who more than halved my premium but, I was left with TPFT (Third Party, Fire and Theft) only cover. I didn’t mind. The money I saved on the renewal premium from AON would have bought me another PX anyway in the off-chance anything bad might have happened.

Unlike the other 3 insurers, Quinn don’t actually specialise in scooter/motorcycle cover so, depending on who you get on the phone, you might need some extra explaining to do when you’re in touch with them.

A year passed by and the dreaded renewal notice eventually found its way into my humble abode. I was pleasantly surprised by the decrease (around €200) but was sure I could get a better deal. So, I went online. AON’s online quote system wasn’t working so I parked that crowd aside and tried Carole Nash. The quote came at almost €150 cheaper than Quinn’s. I was delighted with myself so, I thought I’d give AON another chance.

I was brought back down to Earth with a loud thud. AON quoted me €200 more than Quinn. So, not surprisingly, I signed-up to Carole Nash. The thing is, I was glad to recommend Carole Nash to friends but then, I bumped into a scooterist who had been screwed by Carole Nash and saved the same amount I did by going with Quinn instead! Hmmm...

I suppose, the morale of the story is, unlike car and home insurance, you don’t have a gazillion different insurers to choose from (and thereby safe from that annoying fat bloke singing opera on UK TV). You certainly don’t have to get half-blind looking at mountainous piles of quotes from those insurers in the middle of the night. There’s only three (and if you’re lucky four).

So, get off whatever it is you’re sitting on and pick up the phone or go online to get quotes. The most it’ll take you would be half an hour. Then if you’re really up to it, give all of them another call and pit them against each other like the scavenging hyenas that they are.

You might not save that much for your efforts but at least the money would be going towards the pair of Bitubos you’ve always wanted rather than to some fat cat insurance bloke.


Anonymous said...

Does your car insurance decrease as you turn 25? If that is so, exactly how much...?

Chip said...

Based on my experience, it does as you fall into a less risky category. That and the fact that you'd probably have an increased NCB or named driver experience to your name.

As for how much, it totally depends on an invidual's circumstances but a decrease of between 20%-40% on your previous premium wouldn't be too far off.

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