Although motorcycle insurance is similar to regular vehicle insurance in many ways, it is still considered specialized insurance. Depending on how you use your motorcycle, it may be prudent to opt for an insurance company that specialises in motorcycle and pleasure craft insurance, rather than simply adding your motorbike to your existing short-term insurance policy. One example of the difference between motorcycle and vehicle insurance cover is that motorcycle policies will often include cover for accessories, such as helmets, leathers and bike accessories. With normal vehicle insurance, accessories such as a GPS device and a sound system need to be specified in the policy before it is covered.

Additionally, premium discounts will usually be offered for a number of risk reducing factors. These include belonging to a bike club, only using your bike on weekends and taking advanced bike riding courses. All these additional benefits should be researched before purchasing motorcycle insurance.

Another interesting difference between normal vehicle insurance and specialized motorcycle and pleasure craft insurance is that normal policies will often only cover factory standard bikes and not modified or custom made motorcycles. If you, like me, enjoy watching shows like "American Chopper" and, unlike me, have the funds to buy a bike like that, you will most certainly need to research insurance companies who specialise in custom made bike insurance.

Motorcycle and pleasure craft insurance companies will, obviously, also insure your quad bikes, jet skis, off-road 4x4 vehicles, boats and many other pleasure vehicles. Cover for these items may not be available on your traditional short-term policy. It is therefore wise to look at a specialized company if you own more than just one bike or pleasure craft. Since many insurers will discount your premium if you insure multiple vehicles on one policy, it will be worth looking at a single policy for all your vehicles.

What you use your bike for will determine what policy you buy. Specialized insurers will have policies to cover dirt biking, off-road biking, racing and more. Similarly to conventional vehicle insurance, you would have an option of varying levels of cover from comprehensive all risk cover to fire and theft only.

To ensure you do not pay too much for your motorcycle insurance, getting multiple insurance quotes is the first place to start. You should call your broker or insurance company to find out if they do offer motorcycle and pleasure craft insurance. If they do, that would often be your best bet as discounts are given on insuring multiple vehicles on the same policy. If your insurer does not cover motorcycles, it may be wise to move your entire policy to a different company that does insure motorcycles to get the same discounts. Either way it is advisable to reassess your insurance needs once a year, to ensure you always have sufficient cover in the event of a loss.

Once you have assessed your insurance needs, it could save you time to use online quote comparison services to ensure you get the most "bang for your buck".

Stuart Broad has extensive experience in the Car Insurance industry. He is very passionate about following the developments at insurers like car and motorcycle insurance.