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What counts as a garage in bike insurance?

We’ve created the ultimate guide to understanding your overnight storage options for your bike. Including garage related FAQs such as ‘does my shed count as a garage?’ and ‘what is the definition of a garage from an insurance point of view?’. Find out everything you need to know about your garage for motorcycle insurance purposes here…

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Why do insurance companies ask where you park your bike overnight?

When you are providing your details for a bike insurance quote, a common question that you will be asked is how and where you store your vehicle overnight.

Determining how secure your bike is overnight is a major factor for insurance companies when calculating premiums, as the more secure your bike is the less the risk of it being stolen.

Motorcycles are attractive to thieves as they can be moved/uplifted much easier and quicker than a car.

And chances are, if your bike is just parked on the side of the road or on your front drive with no added security factors, it will definitely spark the interest of a motorcycle thief.

The best option, is to hide the bike away, so thieves aren’t given the opportunity to know its here.  As a result, a locked building such as a garage, is a great line of defence in enabling insurers to provide cheaper premiums.

What is classed as a garage?

Ok, we understand that there are many different types of structures that could really confuse what would be accepted as a garage.  As bikes are a lot smaller than cars, it may be cheaper for you to buy a wooden shed or a specific motorbike storage unit rather than paying for a brick built garage to be rented/added to your home. We will go through as many scenarios as we can to make it easier to decide.

Garage definition – a building for housing a motor vehicle or vehicles

Does my garage meet the criteria?

All garages need to be locked to be able to be considered as a garage. This is because even-though it’s out of the public eye. It is not actually secure and if someone is after your bike it won’t prevent them from getting to it.

Every insurer is different in what they will allow to be classified as a garage. The most common types that are acceptable must be brick built, with a concrete base, four walls, a roof and lockable point of entry.

Now some insurers will accept a wooden shed or a metal bike shed, providing that they are securely locked and permanently fixed to the ground.

We cannot accept any communal parking facilities (such as residents’ car parks,compounds) , even if they’re enclosed as access is not permitted just for you. We also will not class any private gated compounds, which do not have a roof, as a garage. This would class as  a driveway.

What if I keep my bike at home but not in a Garage?

When doing a quote there are only three options that you can select – Garage, Private Driveway or on the Road.

The simplest way we can explain this is if you are not garaging your bike (or it doesn’t meet the criteria for a garage) but you are not keeping it on a public road. It’s going to be classed as a driveway, which is off-road. So if you keep it on your front drive, back garden or down a side ally-way, it is also driveway. A residents’ car park that is off the public road will also be classed as a driveway.

Are there any other ways to save money on my premium in addition to a garage?

Security. Security. Security.

The more security you have on your bike the better.

Ensure to find out if your bike has a recognised or manufacturer equipped alarm and/or immobiliser fitted. In addition, sometimes getting an approved tracker fitted can give you a discount on your premium. Trackers don’t physically stop the bike from being taken, but will alert you and allow the police to track down and recover it for you. Trackers have a proven high recovery rate, so you have more chance of being reunited with your bike.

Also, do not neglect the power of a simple lock and chain, disc lock or ground anchor. The more physical security you have put on your bike means the more security a bike thief will have to get through. Whenever and where you can, try to go the extra mile of locking your bike to something immobile, like a railing or a ground anchor point. This further increases the difficulty for a thief to attempt to roll/lift it away.

It makes it less of an easy target; prove to be harder work than it’s worth, therefore deterring the thief so they will hopefully just look for another target.

Motorcycle security chains credit Katherine Chase on Unsplash

The more visible security you have can also alter your insurance premium  image credit Katherine Chase on Unsplash

Can I keep my vehicle in a garage away from my home?

Another option would to be rent/store your bike in a garage away from your home. This isn’t always necessarily going to be the cheapest option for you or guarantee you any cheaper insurance because insurers may see it as more of a theft risk due to it not being in your possession. However, if you do live in a high-risk area you may need to have your bike locked away to obtain a better priced quote.

Garaging Endorsement

In most cases you get a discount on your premium for keeping your vehicle in a garage. So insurers will expect you to actually be storing your vehicle in this way, when you are not using it.

If, after declaring that you will keep your bike in a garage when not in use, you do choose to park your bike on the street or drive and it is subject to theft or theft damage does get damaged, chances are your insurers won’t pay out for your claim.

By declaring the overnight storage type, will prompt insurers o discount but in turn they will enforce a condition on your policy that you need to comply with. This is called a Garaging Endorsement, which most policies will have if you state the vehicle is garaged overnight.

If you can’t to commit to storing the bike in the garage whilst not in use, you’re best off opting for a driveway or road to be on the safe side.

Hopefully this helps provide some additional clarity. If you have anything other than a standard garage, we would recommend you give us a call where one of the team would be happy to assist you.

Get a motorcycle insurance quote here…