Motorcycle Insurance in the Northern Territory

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From riding pastel blue Vespas to driving polished chromium beasts, there are many ways to rule the road on two wheels. You might be scootling your way along the banks of the mighty Katherine River or roaring down the great dirt highways of the north on your way to anywhere. But whatever you’re up to, motorbikes can be surprisingly fragile machines when it comes down to it, and insurance can save you from the effects of a rough accident or mishap.

It’s important to understand the ins and outs of your motorcycle insurance before you buy in the Northern Territory, so we’re here to walk you through it.

parked motorcycle

Who offers motorcycle insurance in the Northern Territory?

Here are a few brands that offer motorcycle insurance cover in the Northern Territory:

What cover do I need for motorcycle insurance in the NT?

Compulsory third-party insurance comes as part of your vehicle's registration fee and is a requirement in the NT as well as throughout Australia. However, the roads can be vast and at times dangerous in the NT, while the hot weather can also do damage to your ride. That's why you should also consider acquiring additional third-party liability and damage insurance.

Bike riders of the Northern Territory have access to three different kinds of insurance: comprehensive, third party property damage, and third party fire and theft. Find out what they cover in the table below.

FeatureComprehensiveThird party fire and theftThird party property damage
Damage to other people's property
Damage to your own motorcycle when involved in a no-fault accident with uninsured motorist
Damage to your motorcycle by fire and theft
Damage to your motorcycle in an accident/collision
Damage to your motorcycle by vandalism, storm, hail, flood, earthquake

Another major part is to make sure that your vehicle is properly registered and up-to-date mechanically. If your vehicle is in poor working order or not legally cleared for use on the road, no insurance policy will cover you.

Other things to consider when looking for cover in the NT

It's likely that your premiums will be less than those insuring their motorcycles in more densely populated states. Nevertheless, there are a few unique issues and problems that can arise for you and your bike in the NT.

  • The weather: Temperatures in the Northern Territory are notoriously high. Extremely high temperatures can do damage to your motorbike so consider storing it away in a garage and getting storm cover.
  • Roadside assistance: If you break down or have an accident a long way from the nearest town, this could come in handy.
  • Car hire: You can find this with many comprehensive policies. It could be extremely helpful if you break down on a remote part of the Stuart Highway or you risk being stranded on the famously hot highway.
  • Open speed limits: The Stuart Highway is a major road running through the NT with an open speed limit. Because studies in the past have shown that higher speeds mean more accidents, you may want to upgrade your level of cover if you plan on using any roads with open speed limits regularly.

Additional costs & exclusions to look out for

Motorcycle insurers in the NT attract stamp duty at a rate of 10% of the insurance premium. While it's usually up to the insurer to pay this duty, the additional cost is often passed on to you. Check with the provider before signing up.

If your bike isn't in good condition - if it's poorly maintained, has been modified with special parts not provided by the manufacturer or is generally beaten up - you probably won't be able to purchase a standard insurance policy for it.

Beyond that, the Northern Territory has a few general exclusions that apply in all circumstances, including no cover if:

  • Your bike is being driven by someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Your bike is used for illegal purposes or activities, including burnouts and street racing.
  • You don't have a valid licence when driving your vehicle.
  • You have more passengers on your bike than is allowed by law.

What affects the price of your premiums in the NT?

Premiums are likely to be higher in the Northern Territory due to how far away you live from major towns as well as the safety of the area from theft as well as bad weather. Theft isn't a huge issue across the NT, so unless you live in an area where crime is high, it's unlikely you'll pay a lot more for your insurance than in other states. Similarly, accidents are less common than in busier states, which should translate to cheaper premiums.

Nevertheless, when insuring your pride and joy, there is a list of factors that could affect the price of your policy:

  • How old you are. If you're younger, you're lumped into a higher-risk category with corresponding higher premiums.
  • Engine size. More powerful bikes cost more to insure – doubling your engine size can more than double your premium.
  • How much cover you want. The more things you want to protect your bike against, the more it'll cost. A higher insured sum on your bike bumps up the premium, too.
  • Driving and claim history. So long as you're been riding a bike for at least two years, that spotless record will pay off – fewer tickets in the past means fewer price hikes now!
  • Where you store your bike. A motorbike living in the locked garage deep under your apartment building is easier to guarantee than one that's parked on the kerb. High security means low costs – even the theft rate of the neighbourhood you live in matters.
  • Money owing on your bike. If there's outstanding finance left on your ride, insurance companies will raise their prices accordingly.
  • Frequency of use. A bike that only gets busted out on weekends attracts lower premiums than one for your daily commute.
  • Special discounts. Some programs, like insurer-specific loyalty programs for long-term subscribers, can add discounts on top.
  • Advanced training. Proving your ability to handle your bike by completing advanced rider training courses can give you a discount with certain insurers.

Picture: Casey Horner - Unsplash

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