Getting insurance for your motorbike road trip

The Bike Insurer's American road map 700px

The Bike Insurer is going to America.

We broke the news yesterday and while it may seem like we’re sending our photographer on a two-week jolly as a reward for his stellar efforts at tracks across Europe, that’s not the case – this trip is supposed to be informative for riders.

And the first instance of our trip being helpful to anyone considering a road trip abroad is in terms of (surprise surprise) insurance, specifically travel insurance for riding abroad.

Insurance for motorbike road trips abroad

Getting insurance for travel abroad is easy and so is getting insurance that covers you for riding a motorbike.

But if you’re doing something like riding a motorbike off-road, or riding a large capacity motorbike, then sourcing insurance cover can become a bit more difficult.

Typical insurance policies for riding abroad cover motorbikes and scooters with a capacity of up to 250cc or 500cc.

As you would expect, the higher capacity the motorbike engine, the higher the cost to insure, generally.

First and foremost you need to check that the travel insurance policy you choose covers the motorbike you are riding, so, if you’re on a 1600cc Harley Davidson, as Dave Jackson will be, you need to make sure that your insurance policy covers it.

Similarly, your insurance also needs to cover how you will use your motorbike while you are abroad.

For example, if you are going off-road riding, your insurance policy must cover off-road riding as opposed to standard motorcycle use.

Off road riding with ARC

What about a road trip?

For a road trip, regardless of location, your use is going to be standard so off-road policies and track day policies aren’t something to worry about.

You should check the details of your insurance cover to check that your usage is included but for standard road riding, you should always be covered on policies that include motorbikes.

If you are going to take in a track or try some off-road riding then you need an appropriate policy.

If you’re unsure about whether or not your intended usage is covered by your insurance policy, you should check with the insurance provider.

What will an insurer need to know to cover my road trip?

There are some important details an insurer needs to know to cover your foreign road trip.

1. Personal details – the usual information you provide to insurers including address, age, no claims bonus and any convictions.

2. Location – some insurers will provide insurance cover in mainland Europe but their policies will not extend as far as Asia, North America or South America. Check that your location is covered.

3. Duration – if you’re away for a year your insurance premium will be more expensive than if you were away for a single week.

4. The bike – a powerful, desirable and expensive bike may not be covered by your insurance policy.

5. Use – off-road slogs may not be covered and an insurer will need to know how you will use your bike while you are away.

Road in the US

What you need to know

Price is often the primary factor for holiday goers seeking insurance and while cost should definitely influence your decision, it shouldn’t dominate it.

You need to ensure that your insurance policy covers you sufficiently for medical care – especially in America where healthcare prices are expensive. Cheaper isn’t always better.

What are the costs?

Dave Jackson is abroad for ten days and riding a 1600cc Harley Davidson through some pretty extreme locations that are exposed to some pretty extreme weather conditions.

And it’s cost just £12 to insure him – it’s a bargain when you think about the potential costs of a stolen bike, luggage or hospital treatment (particularly relevant in private healthcare America).

Next page: The Bike Insurer goes Stateside - the route map