Want to embrace the feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from journeying across the open road on the back of a motorcycle? Then you’re in luck! If you plan on driving a motorbike, scooter or moped, it’s possible to be covered by travel insurance while overseas.
Whether you’re a veteran of driving two-wheeled vehicles or have recently received your full motorcycle driving licence, we’ll take you through what kind of travel insurance you’ll need for riding motorcycles overseas.
Can I get travel insurance cover for riding motorcycles?
You may get cover for riding motorcycles, mopeds and scooters through either a standard travel insurance policy or an adventure activities add-on (which costs extra). It depends on the insurer and what they offer, as well as your individual circumstances, needs and budget.
This makes it crucial to review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you purchase a policy to check what’s covered, especially if you plan on riding a motorcycle on your travels.
What’s included in motorcycle, scooter and moped cover?
Getting cover for motorcycling means that you can claim on medical fees and hospital expenses related to motorcycle accidents, as long as you were wearing a helmet and following road rules. Depending on your level of cover, you can also be covered for emergency evacuation and repatriation back to your home country of Australia.
Without motorcycle cover, you will typically need to cover these costs yourself, which could put you back thousands of dollars. A standard travel insurance policy without this cover will often exclude motorcycles, mopeds and scooters. However, as motorcycle cover is not a stand-alone product when protecting yourself against road accidents, you would also be covered for other potential expenses, including cancellations, flight delays, lost or stolen baggage and more.
What do I need to drive a motorcycle overseas?
For you to be covered for losses relating to riding a motorcycle overseas, most insurers will require you to have an Australian motorcycle licence. Other insurers may be satisfied if you have a valid licence in the country that you’re riding in.
The vehicle’s class and engine size you’ll be covered for will differ between insurers. The engine size covered by your policy may be based on what you’re licensed to ride in Australia. Some insurers might set a specific limit on the allowable engine capacity of your motorbike, even if you’re licensed to ride a more powerful machine back home. For example, some insurers set the limits at 250cc for motorcycles and 50cc for mopeds and scooters.
Depending on which country you’re heading to, you might need an international driver’s permit, as some countries may not accept an Australian licence on its own. Whether you’re getting travel insurance to cover scooters in Bali or motorcycles in the USA, it’s vital to check each country’s rules regarding tourists driving (or riding) on their roads.
As coverage can differ between insurers, it’s essential to check the PDS to ensure you’re covered for your choice of bike and for riding it in your chosen destination.
Travel insurance exclusions for motorcycle riding
Like most types of travel insurance, some things won’t be covered. While policy exclusions can differ across insurers, common travel insurance exclusions relating to two-wheeled vehicles include:
- Riding a motorcycle, moped or scooter that is more powerful than what’s covered by your policy
- Racing, speeding, disobeying a country’s road laws or driving recklessly
- Being intoxicated by an illegal substance or alcohol
- Not wearing a helmet
- The vehicle hire excess (some insurers only cover this for cars and not motorbikes)
- Driving without a motorcycle licence that is valid in your destination country
- If you’re participating in a competitive or professional event.
Furthermore, your personal liability for damage caused to people or property while you’re riding a motorcycle, and medical costs for injuries to any passenger on the pillion seat, is likely to be covered by comprehensive travel insurance. Lower levels of cover (like basic or standard) may only cover your motorcycle-related medical expenses.
Check the PDS to know exactly what’s excluded. Knowing to what extent an insurer covers these instances can help provide peace of mind when exploring an international destination from the seat of a motorbike.