Over the last few weeks, the internet has been buzzing with talk of MCE Insurance. Specifically how they’ve let a massive portion of their customer-base down. Long story short, they’ve gone into administration, so any policies underwritten by their own underwriters will be void come the end of the month (January 2022). The fallout has forced many motorcyclists to shop around for new quotes. Unfortunately a lot of them are struggling to find a policy that’s as cheap as their old MCE one. So what’s going on? And why are all the other insurers wanting to charge you more? Well there are a few very good reasons.
First of all, let’s just discuss the blindingly obvious one. Most insurers can’t (or won’t) match the mega-cheap premiums MCE was offering some riders because it’s fundamentally not sustainable. If you’re trying to run a business by continuously selling a product for less than it’s worth, you won’t be running a business for long; you’ll go under. And that’s what happened to MCE Insurance. So if you really want to pay less for your insurance, you better be prepared to lose all your no claims bonus, and a percentage of half your premium, when your insurer goes out of business six months through your term. Yeah, that sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s exactly what’s happened to MCE Insurance and a lot of its customers. MCE Insurance have gone bust, now all those people who thought they were getting a cracking insurance deal, have got a massive headache on.
I’m not having a go at anyone who chose MCE Insurance. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to going for the cheapest option I can find; whether it’s bike insurance or bog paper. And before this whole thing happened, I wouldn’t really have considered the fact that MCE’s business practices were unsustainable (as is now evident). But now I know, and now it’s been brought to the forefront of all our minds, I’d think twice.
But unfortunately for some it’s too late. Because there are a lot of people out there who’ve now got a bike that they can’t afford to insure. Or worse, can’t get insurance for at all. Because, rightly or wrongly, one of MCE’s selling points was that it would insure just about anyone. Riders that other insurance companies saw as too high risk; like younger riders, less experienced riders, or riders that have been in bother one too many times. I know it sounds a bit mean, but there’s a reason the other insurers see certain riders as high risk; because they are high risk. And it’s those ‘high risk’ riders that are now really struggling to find insurance; if they can find it, a lot of them are having to pay through the nose.
It might be a bit shit for the ‘high risk’ riders, but insurance companies have to operate like that. If they don’t, you end up with the ‘better behaved’ (shall we say?) riders paying more, to cover the higher costs of the ‘less well behaved’ riders; which puts everyone’s premiums up in the long run (or causes them to go out of business).
I genuinely feel sorry for the people that have been tricked into believing the financial cost of motorcycling is less than it is. For a lot of people, when they’re looking to buy a new bike, before they’ve even been to look at it, they’ve got an insurance quote on it. Because you need to know the running costs, before you commit, and insurance is one of them. If you’ve had a quote of £100 from MCE and thought “nice one I can afford that”, and then been out and bought the bike, only for MCE to cancel your policy, you’d be pretty pissed off. And you’d be especially pissed off if the best quote you could now find was £1000. Because that’s probably the difference between being able to afford to run the bike and not. Now you’ve got a bike that you can’t afford to ride.
I know nobody was complaining about mega cheap policies at the time, but they’ve bitten a lot of people on the arse. And it’s meant lot’s of people have got involved with bikes they now can’t afford. And it’s not really their fault. They’ve just had the wool pulled over their eyes by MCE Insurance.
So unfortunately, if you can’t find bike insurance as cheap as you had it with MCE, it’s probably because they weren’t charging you enough for it in the first place. MCE still exists as a brokerage company, but now they’re using a new underwriter who, I expect, will not want to make the same mistakes as their previous one.
If you are struggling to find affordable insurance, it’s not all bad news. I can tell you that if you give the nice people at BeMoto a call, and tell them that the boys at 44Teeth sent you, they’ll do whatever they can to help you. That goes for regular bike insurance, as well as all the other insurance products they offer (there are loads).
Best of luck.