83% have mods but only 56% declare them

Michael Mann - Web Editor, Bike Social
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike Web editor of Bike Social. Been riding bikes since he was four-years-old. Fast and smooth road rider, just about hangs on in a track day quick group.

Do you know what modifications your bike has?

Have you declared them?

In the event of an insurance claim would you expect your modifications to be covered and replaced?

Modifications are defined as ‘road legal changes to your bike that enhance performance, value or theft appeal’ and Bennetts, the UK’s no.1 bike insurance specialist, recently conducted an independent survey which showed that whilst 83% of riders know their bike carries at least one modification, only 56% have been declared to their insurer. 

It’s figures like this which has lead Bennetts to now include 16 of the most common modifications as standard including braided hoses, a tail tidy and upgraded lights/indicators.

Braided hoses - covered as standard    Tail tidy and seat cowl - covered as standard    Scottoiler - covered as standard

The topic of bike modifications has long been a grey area, with different rules on what does and does not need to be declared.  The IPSOS Mori survey also found that 29% of riders claim that they were not aware that their change was a modification which backs Bennetts’ urges for all riders to check policies to ensure they are properly covered.   In the event of a claim the last thing you want is to find out that you’re pride and joy won’t be restored to its former glory, or worst still, your policy is invalid.

Matt Long, Commercial Director, Bennetts, said: “Most motorcyclists understand that performance enhancing changes like exhausts and shock absorbers are modifications and should be declared to their insurance company but, technically, a modification can be defined as any change to the bike, however small. That means that practical items like heated grips and Scottoilers, as well as non-OE consumables such as tyres, steel brake hoses and air filters are, strictly speaking, modifications to the standard bike.

"Our aim is to provide a simple and transparent policy that avoids confusion; we are proud to cover 16 of the most common mods as standard and in the unfortunate event of a claim we stand by our customers, ensuring that modifications are fully reinstated. Our customers don’t need to tell us if they have any of our 16 standard modifications but obviously if it’s something that’s not on our standard list, or there is any doubt whatsoever, it’s best to get in touch with our specialist call centre.”

According to the survey, 52% of those questioned also said that they believed that their bike would be returned to its pre-claim condition, with a quarter expecting that it would be put back to showroom specification. While most other bike brokers, including MCE, simply return the bike to standard specification and do not cover the cost of replacing modified parts, Bennetts replaces any standard and declared modifications on a like-for-like basis.

Upgraded exhausts - not standard    Quickshifter - should be declared    Race replica - should be declared

Ipsos MORI surveyed 500 UK motorcyclists about bike modifications and their expectations from insurers.  Among the results, they found that:

  • 83% of motorcyclists make at least one modification to their bike
  • 64% of motorcyclists have made at least one modification on Bennetts’ standard modification list
  • Sports bike riders are the most likely to modify their bikes, with an average of 89% of riders making at least one mod, and an average of 11 mods made per bike
  • Younger riders are also more likely to modify their bikes, with 89% of those in the 17-30 year-old bracket making an average of 10.9 changes to their bikes. By comparison, 73% of those in the 51+ bracket modify their bikes, with just 5.2 changes per bike.
  • Only 56% of all modifications are declared to insurance companies
  • 52% of riders expected their modifications to be replaced like-for-like, while 25% expect that the bike would be replaced to OEM specification (Bennetts replaces all standard and declared modifications on a like-for-like basis)
  • Riders of touring and enduro styled bikes are the least likely to declare modifications, with 56% of changes going undeclared
  • 41% of riders who do not declare modifications claim that they did not know they needed to, while a further 29% claim that they were not aware that their change was a modification

Click here for further information and a full list of standard modifications.

 or !

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