Cruising away on a two-wheeler? Don't forget travel insurance on your next motorbike holiday.
Travelling overseas on a motorbike can be a thrilling way to travel. You feel free, can go where you want, stop and stay for however long you like, and leave when you're ready with very little fuss. You're not tied to a schedule of rushing from A to B, squeezing onto uncomfortable overnight buses or stressing about missing expensive flights. You can make your own path and go at your own pace...all whilst looking hip and cool.
The tricky thing about overseas motorbike holidays is finding a good travel insurance policy that will cover you. Many insurers say a flat out 'no way' for covering you on a motorbike, but there are policies out there for you. Some insurers will cover you for no additional charge for a bike up to 125cc. If you're planning on riding a more powerful bike, you can often get cover for a small additional premium. Have a good look online and you'll be able to find a policy that suits you. Comprehensive cover that has unlimited medical and hospital expenses, as well as emergency medical assistance would be the best option.
Why buy travel insurance when riding bikes overseas?
There would be nothing worse than getting seriously injured in a foreign country, then to have to fork out thousands of dollars for medical bills, not to mention trying to work out how you're going to get yourself home. You want to make sure that if you are riding a motorbike or a scooter overseas you will be completely covered by your travel insurance no matter what happens, because after all, no rider (no matter how experienced) can ever know exactly what will happen on the road.
Who covers what? Hover over the insurers names for more details
MAXIMUM ENGINE SIZE
|1Cover||No limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|AA Travel||200cc||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|Air New Zealand||200cc||Zurich Australian Insurance Limited|
|American Express||200cc||Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited|
|Cigna||200cc||Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited|
|Columbus Direct||No limit with Sports & Adventure Pack A||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|Countdown||200cc||Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited|
|Covermore||200cc||Zurich Australian Insurance Limited|
|Duinsure||No limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|HOT||No limit||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|NIB||No Limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|NZ Travel Insurance||200cc||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|QBE||100cc||QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited|
|Southern Cross Travel Insurance||200cc||Southern Cross Benefits Limited|
|State||200cc||Zurich Australian Insurance Limited|
|STA Travel||No limit||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|TINZ||No limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|TID||No limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|Worldcare||200cc||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|World Nomads||No Limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
|Webjet||No limit||Allianz Australia Insurance Limited|
|Zoom||No limit||Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's|
General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.
Licensed to thrill
If you're travelling to a foreign country make sure you get your International Drivers Permit (IDP) - preferably before you leave! This allows you to drive or ride the same class of vehicle you are permitted to ride in your home country. So, if you are NOT covered to ride a motorcycle or scooter in New Zealand, you are not permitted overseas. It's strange how we tend to throw caution to the wind, when on holiday. Many of us have absolutely no training and no experience riding a motorbike or scooter at home, but seem to think we'll master the skills on the spot in a foreign country.
You can apply for an IDP overseas, but make sure you're ticking the right boxes. You may be able to fool the traffic cop in Thailand that you have a motorcycle licence, by 'ticking the box' when you got your IDP, but it won't cut the mustard with your travel insurance company. If you DO have a valid motorcycle license, be thrilled! Your licence will be accepted in over 150 countries including Bali, Indonesia, Laos, and Thailand.
What's not covered?
Even with cover offered, exclusions still apply. You are not covered:
- If you are racing and intentionally putting yourself at risk
Any time you intentionally put yourself in danger such as using your bike for jumps, stunts and tricks and injure yourself (especially if you are not wearing a helmet at the time) you are unlikely to be covered.
- For your bike and it’s equipment
Most insurers do not cover for sporting equipment or bicycles when they are damaged whilst in use due to high risk. You might be able to insure your bike through your home insurance instead – just make sure your items are covered when you are overseas or away from home. Like travel insurance, home insurance policies also have maximum item limits which you should pay attention to if you have a particularly expensive model.
- For competitive or professional riding
Competitive riding of any sorts is generally not a covered event under standard travel insurance policies.
- For bike hire excess
Are you renting a motorbike on holiday? Although travel insurance often covers rental vehicle excess, this often does not extend to two wheeled modes of transport. Renting a motorbike can be pretty cheap until you have an incident and find yourself facing a whopping rental vehicle excess of a few thousand dollars. Some insurance companies will cover the excess so be sure to shop around before you buy.
- If you do not follow the rules of road
Always follow road signs including traffic lights, stop signs and give ways.
- If you are under the influence
You would not be covered if you were drink driving and had an accident while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you do not wear a helmet
Cut and bruises are not ideal travelling companions, make sure you wear a helmet at all times when riding overseas. No travel insurance company is obliged to cover you if you incurred injuries when you were not wearing one.
Finally, contact your travel insurance provider before you purchase travel insurance for your motorbike holiday to double check the policy details. It often pays to make to take a few minutes to make that short phone call to clarify. When riding motorbikes or scooters overseas you are taking risks with both your health and your money. So do your research, compare different quotes and different policies. Don't just settle for first or the cheapest policy you find.