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How to cancel your motorbike insurance and declare it SORN


James B · June 16, 2020

Cancelling your motorbike insurance

There are lots of reasons why you might need to cancel your motorbike insurance. For example, you might be looking to buy a new motorbike or another vehicle and you want to sell your current bike. Or your motorbike might have been stolen or been written off.Whatever your reason, whether you lose out financially by cancelling will depend on when you plan to do it and your insurer’s terms and conditions.

Do I need to cancel my motorbike insurance policy?

If you’re looking to buy a new motorbike and sell your current one, you might not need to cancel your insurance policy. Many insurers will let you update your current policy to cover your new bike. However, your premiums may change towards the end of the policy to reflect the new motorbike’s risk rating.

You may have to pay a charge for your insurer to cover your new bike. It can vary from company to company – you should be able to find the details in your current policy.

Cancelling your insurance at the start of your policy

In the UK, insurance policies have a 14-day ‘cooling off’ period. This means you have the option to cancel your cover within two weeks of receiving your documents and get more or less a full refund. If you cancel during this cooling off period, you might still have to pay for the days you were covered as well as an admin fee.

It’s important to note that you might not be able to cancel in the cooling off period, if you’ve already claimed on your policy during the first 14 days.

Cancelling your insurance after the cooling off period

If you want to cancel your insurance after the cooling off period, you might have to pay a much higher cancellation fee.

If there’s only a short time left on your policy when you cancel, you may not receive a refund at all. So you may be better off not cancelling and avoiding any cancellation charges. However, if you cancel the policy much earlier, don’t always expect a full pro-rata refund. Again, it’s always handy to check your policy booklet to find out what fees your insurer may charge.

It’s important to note that if you sell the motorbike and no longer own it, you are required by law to cancel the insurance policy.

I don’t want to renew my cover

If you don’t want your insurance policy to automatically renew when the year is up, you’ll have to get in touch with your insurer directly. Most providers automatically renew cover nowadays, so make sure to get in touch with them by phone or letter if you want to stop your policy. Just cancelling your direct debit won’t be enough.

What happens if I cancel my policy?

Ending your policy before the year is up means you’ll miss out on the no claims bonus for that period. Any other protection with your motorcycle policy, including breakdown cover, will come to an end as well.

How do I cancel my policy?

You’ll need to contact your insurer and return your certificate of motor insurance. You might also need to sign and return a declaration that you want your motorcycle insurance cancelled. Once it’s all done, you’ll get a confirmation letter that your policy has been cancelled.

Declaring your motorbike SORN

If you’re thinking about taking your motorbike off the road for a while and don’t want to waste an insurance policy for a year, you may want to think about declaring it SORN. This can be handy during the cold, wet winter months when your bike will mostly be kept in storage. By law, you’ll have to declare your motorbike SORN if you cancel your cover for winter. You’ll then have to reverse this process if you want to get back out on the bike again in the spring.

What is SORN?

SORN stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. The DVLA will give you a SORN when you’ve let them know that you’re no longer using your motorbike on the road.

I want to SORN my motorbike

If you visit GOV.uk, you’ll be able to declare your bike SORN. You’ll need to give them some key details like the registration number, the reference number from the V5C or the reminder reference number in the A11.

What if I want to keep my motorcycle insured?

If you decide not to SORN your bike, you can keep it insured. As well as being handy if you need to make a one-off emergency trip, you’ll also get the peace of mind that it will remain fully protected against fire and theft.

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.