If you ride a bike on the road (and that includes byways), legally you must have motorcycle insurance. But if you’re touring on a bike in the UK or beyond, have you also considered the need for travel insurance?
Most of us buy cover for our holidays to make sure we don’t lose out if there are things like delays, illness or lost baggage, but losing your passport, missing a ferry, or having an accident while touring on your motorbike could a real problem.
It’s easy to question if it’s necessary to get travel insurance, and when touring on a motorcycle you’d be forgiven for thinking you have everything covered with your bike insurance. But just the same as a summer’s trip away with your family, delays, lost documents, illness and more can all ruin your trip, and potentially leave you out of pocket.
Getting travel insurance for a motorcycle adventure can be tricky due to the increased risk of expense due to medical costs, and you can be limited in what and where you can ride – check your cover carefully.
Any insurance policy you take out should suit your needs, so be sure to think about what you intend to do on your trips.
A basic travel insurance policy for any holiday should include cover for the following:
If you’re taking a motorcycle, or you're renting one while you’re away, be sure that your insurer will cover you for any medical expenses, should you have an accident. You must also think about where you’re riding – some policies won’t cover you if you’re trail or enduro riding, or if you’re on a race track. And that includes the Nürburgring, which many insurers will exclude in the small print. Remember – this isn’t about your bike being covered, it’s about your medical expenses, should the worst happen.
Besides the most common points of good holiday travel insurance, a motorcycle-specific policy should include cover for your bike kit and your accessories. Check the level of cover included – if you’re wearing expensive riding gear, and want to be covered, do check with the broker.
Your clothing might in some cases be covered by your home insurance, but you’ll need to carefully check any limitations with your insurer.
If you’re buying a policy to give cover when riding a motorcycle, check how long you’re covered for; most policies will give you an upper limit of time for each trip, so make sure it’s long enough for your journey.
While a single trip policy might be all you need, think carefully about how much it would cost to get a year of cover. If you’re planning a motorcycle tour to Scotland for instance, and a family holiday later in the year with the family to Disneyland (so the bike’s staying at home), some insurers might even be able to offer you a policy that covers you and your family for the entire year, whether you’re riding or not; check the prices as you could save some money this way.