Man on a moped in traffic

Motorcycle Travel Insurance

Are you looking for travel Insurance that covers you for riding a motorbike overseas? Find out who will cover you.

You wouldn’t hit the road in Australia without insurance. However, when people go overseas they throw caution to the wind and do things they normally wouldn't. One such activity is riding a scooter or motorcycle uninsured. If you’re involved in an accident overseas and you're uninsured, you could be facing a massive medical, hospital and possible evacuation bill, plus a bill for the damage to the motorcycle as well.

This article looks at why motorcycle travel insurance is needed overseas, what levels of cover are available and what is and is not covered in a normal travel insurance policy.

Which travel insurance brands cover overseas motorcycle use?

BrandMax Engine Size Without Motorcycle LicenseMax Engine Size With Valid Motorcycle LicenseApply

1 cover 1cover one cover onecover>
50CC250ccGet quote
AIG

aig a i g
No coverNo LimitGet quote
AMEX Travel Insurance

amex travel insurance american express travel insurance americanexpress travel insurance
No cover200ccGet quote
Budget Direct Travel Insurance

budget direct Travel Insurance budgetdirect travel insurance
No cover125ccGet quote
Citibank Travel Insurance

citibank travel Insurance citi bank travel Insurance
No cover200cc
Columbus Direct

columbus direct columbusdirect
No cover125ccGet quote
CoverMore

cover more covermore
Additional premium required200ccGet quote
Downunder

downunder down under
50ccNo limitGet quote
Easy Travel Insurance

eis easy travel insurance
100cc on Elements Plan / 250cc on Comprehensive Plan100cc on Elements Plan / 250cc on Comprehensive PlanGet quote
Fast Cover

fast cover fastcover
No coverNo limitGet quote
Go Insurance

go insurance goinsurance
No cover125ccGet quote
InsureandGo

insureandgo insure and go
125ccNo limitGet quote
iTrek

itrek i trek i-trek
50ccNo limitGet quote
MultiTrip Travel Insurance

multitrip travel insurance multi trip travel insurance multitripcom.au
No cover125ccGet quote
Simply Travel Insurance

sti simply travel insurance
No coverNo limitGet quote
Southern Cross

scti southern cross travel insurance southerncross travel insurance
No cover200cc n/a
Tick Travel Insurance

tick travel insurance
No coverNo limitGet quote
Travel Insurance Direct

tid travel insurance direct
No coverNo limitGet quote
Travel Insurance Saver Logo

tis travel insurance saver
No cover250ccGet quote
Travel Insuranz

travel insuranz
No coverNo limitGet quote
Virgin Money

virgin money virginmoney
50ccNo limitGet quote
Woolworths Travel Insurance

woolworths travel insurance wool worths travel insurance
50ccNot statedGet quote
Worldcare Travel Insurance

worldcare travel insurance world care travel insurance
50ccNot limitGet quote
youGo

yougo you go you-go
No cover200ccGet quote

Who needs travel insurance for motorcycles?

Basically, anyone who rides on a motorcycle or moped overseas needs motorcycle travel insurance. That includes the person in charge of the motorcycle and any passengers they carry as well. They need cover for medical expenses above all else, as the greatest danger with riding overseas is having an accident and not having health insurance. Countries like the USA charge thousands of dollars a day for hospital and medical treatment, so if you’re planning to ride a down Route 66, make sure you’ve got motorcycle travel insurance before you head off.


What does motorcycle travel insurance cover?

Most travel insurance policies that cover you when riding a motorcycle abroad will only provide medical and hospital cover in the event of an accident and only if the motorcycle is under a certain horsepower (usually no more than 125cc). They will also only cover you for just a few days, so if you are planning an extended motorcycle tour, you will need to take out more comprehensive cover.


What are the different levels of cover?

There are several different levels of cover provided by motorcycle travel insurance. These include:

  • No cover – some travel insurance policies refuse to cover you under any circumstances
  • Limited cover – as mentioned previously, many policies cover you if the motorcycle is low powered, but only for medical and hospital cover and only for a few days
  • Dedicated cover – provides cover for motorcycles over 125cc and for longer periods, but still only for hospital and medical cover in the event of an accident
  • Comprehensive cover – for a higher premium, you can purchase comprehensive cover, which includes bikes of any size, whether they belong to you or to someone else, for both on and off-road use and including loss or damage of belongings, panniers or riding gear and cover for pillion passengers as well.

Like any insurance, the level of cover you opt for will depend on the amount of riding you intend to do and how much you are prepared to pay.


When am I not covered?

Common exclusions pertaining to motorcycle travel insurance include:

  • No cover if you were racing, riding whilst intoxicated, under the influence of drugs or behaving recklessly in any way
  • No cover if you were not wearing a helmet. Even though not all countries require a helmet to be worn, it is a prerequisite in most motorcycle travel insurance policies
  • No cover if you were not licensed. That means licensed to ride the same sized motorcycle in Australia and in the country you are visiting
  • No cover if the accident occurs due to your negligence, inattention or lack of knowledge of the road rules that apply in the country you are visiting.
  • No liability cover for injuring someone or causing property damage while in charge of the motorcycle
  • No cover for theft or criminal damage of the motorcycle
  • No cover for the insurance excess if you are hiring the motorcycle.

Can I get cover if I have my L plates?

We contacted the travel insurance brands in our panel to find out whether or not you can get travel insurance for motorcycle use if you're on your L's.

BrandConditionsApply
1-cover-new1

1 cover 1cover one cover onecover
1Cover will cover L platers who are riding 50cc motorcyclesGet quote
Budget Direct Travel Insurance

budget direct travel insurance budgetdirect travel insurance
BudgetDirect will cover you but you must hold a driving licence appropriate for the country you are in, and if using a motor cycle rated 125cc or higher, you must hold a current and valid licence required for driving the equivalent rated motorcycle in Australia.Get quote
Columbus Direct

columbus direct columbusdirect
When driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle/scooter in another country, you must first ensure you are dually qualified to do so. Secondly, you must ensure you abide to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, if it excludes learner drivers to be driving the vehicle, there would be no cover with our policy.Get quote
CoverMore

cover more covermore
Cover-More will cover you if:

  • The engine capacity is 200cc or less
  • You are wearing a helmet
  • You are not participating in a Professional capacity
  • You are not racing
  • Whilst in control of a motorcycle, you hold a licence valid in the relevant country
Get quote
Downunder

downunder down under
  • You will need to hold a full motorcycle or driver’s licence in order to be covered by the travel insurance when you operate a car or motorcycle overseas.
Get quote
Fast Cover

fast cover fastcover
  • Do not cover L-platers for driving or riding overseas.
Get quote
InsureandGo

insureandgo insure and go
You're covered if hold a driving licence appropriate for the country you are in, and if using a motorcycle rated 125cc or higher, you hold a current and valid license required for driving an equivalent rated motorcycle in Australia.Get quote
No Worries Travel Insurance

no worries travel insurance noworries travel insurance
If the contract allows learner drivers to drive their vehicles then NoWorries would provide cover as long as they are also qualified to be driving in the country you are travelling to – you will need to check this yourself as driving laws vary.Get quote
Simply Travel Insurance

sti simply travel insurance
Licensing is simple, if it's lawful to drive in he country then you're fine. If you're complying with lawful licensing requirements no worries.Get quote
Skiinsurance.com.au

skiinsurance ski insurace ski-insurance skiinsurance.com.au
With a learner's license, you will be covered as long as you follow the restrictions currently on the learner's license. Your learner's license must also be valid for the country you are travelling to.Get quote
Southern Cross

scti southern cross travel insurance sotherncross travel insurance
If you wish to drive a car, or ride a motorcycle in a particular country, it would be your responsibility to check with the authorities in that country whether it is lawful for you to ride a motorcycle or drive a car in their country on an Australian learners licence.Get quote
STA Travel Insurance

sta travel insurance s t a travel insurance
Those driving on a Learner's permit are covered on the comprehensive policy and provided you are obeying the road rules in the country you're driving in.Get quote
Travel Insurance Direct

tid travel insurance direct
The TID policy requires you to be licensed to ride a motorcycle in Australia and hold a valid licence for the country you are in. Your learner’s permit needs to be accepted in the country you are travelling in for the engine size of motorcycle you wish to rideGet quote
Travel Insuranz

travel insuranz travelinsuranz
  • Does not provide cover for L platers
Get quote
Worldcare Travel Insurance

world care travel insurance worldcare travel insurance
You have provisions to claim under the policy if you hold a valid Australian motorcycle licence or a valid motorcycle licence to ride in the country you are traveling, means if the country you are traveling allows you to ride a motorcycle on your L-plate you will have provisions to claim.Get quote

Am I covered for motor scooters?

Whether it’s a motorcycle, motor scooter or moped, if it has two wheels and you plan to ride it while you are on holiday overseas, you will need to make sure you have travel insurance to cover you in the event of an accident. Insurers regard motor scooters in the same light as motorcycles and will only cover you for injuries sustained in an accident under the following conditions:

  • The motorcycle or motor scooter must be under a certain horsepower (usually 125 cc), unless you have arranged cover for a larger bike.
  • You must hold a valid licence to ride it (either a licence to ride an equivalent machine in Australia or a local licence in the case of countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam).
  • The accident must not be the result of your racing, reckless or inattentive behaviour, lack of knowledge of local road rules or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Am I covered for quad biking?

A quad bike is another form of motorbike that is popular to ride while holidaying overseas. It too is subject to the rules of motorcycle riding when it comes to travel insurance in that;

  • You must be licensed to ride it (which will depend on the laws of the country)
  • You must be wearing a helmet
  • You must not be racing or driving recklessly
  • You must not be using it in a professional capacity (i.e. participating in a professional sport or paid activity).

As with motorcycle insurance, you will only be covered for injuries sustained in an accident, not for damage to the quad bike, injury to other persons or damage to third party property.

Quad biking safety

The following tips can help keep you safe while quad biking and avoid being involved in a quad bike accident;

  • Make sure you know how to ride it (get some instruction or read the operator’s manual)
  • Make sure the bike is in a safe condition to ride (properly maintained)
  • Tell someone where you are going before you leave and when you plan to return
  • Always wear a helmet and protective clothing (i.e. gloves, boots, goggles and long sleeves)
  • Stick to familiar paths and avoid riding on rough terrain or steep slopes
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Don’t carry passengers on a single person bike
  • Supervise children around bikes at all times
  • Carry a radio or mobile phone with you in case of emergencies.


Tips for popular motorcycle destinations

It’s important to take your holiday destination and planned activities into account when considering motorcycle travel insurance. If you are just going to Bali and only planning to hire a scooter for a day, then your normal travel insurance policy may be all you need (as long as you are licensed and riding legally). But if you are taking a road trip across the USA, some additional motorcycle insurance will obviously be required.

Rules that typically apply to motorcycles in SE Asia include:

  • If you have a valid Australian motorcycle licence, an International Driver’s Permit is acceptable in Bali, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, but not in Vietnam.
  • In Vietnam you need a temporary Vietnamese driver’s licence (requiring you to have a 3 month residency visa) in order to ride any motorcycle over 50cc capacity.
  • While it is not compulsory for some locals to wear helmets in Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Bali, the police will enforce this rule for visitors.

Find Out More About Travel Insurance for Asia

Whichever country you visit, you should observe the following safety tips when riding abroad:

  • Always wear a helmet, whether it is the law or not
  • Always wear leathers, long pants, gloves and boots to protect exposed skin, even in hot climates
  • Stay alert to what is going on around you at all times and make allowances for other drivers, particularly when the road rules are different from what you are used to
  • Know where you are going. Planning your route will reduce the likelihood of unforeseen circumstances.

Travel insurance for backpackers

Motorcycle travel insurance is particularly useful for backpackers because the motorcycle is often an integral part of their travel arrangements. If not riding one, a backpacker is often a pillion passenger on a motorcycle or scooter, in both of which cases, motorcycle travel insurance is required.

The whole notion of backpacking revolves around cheap travel and seeing the country from a local’s point of view, so motorcycles and scooters are naturally going to feature heavily with backpackers who visit most SE Asian countries, as well as European countries like Italy and France.

Backpacker travel insurance that focuses less on trip cancellation and loss of luggage and more on medical and hospital expenses, including those incurred due to a motorcycle accident, would therefore be a much better investment.

How do I make sure I can claim if am in a motorcycle accident?

Most travel insurance policies that cover motorcycle use almost the exact same wording in their product disclosure statements (PDS):

No cover is provided without a current Australian motorcycle licence or a current motorcycle licence that is valid for the country you are travelling in.

If you remember this above all else, you are half way to being fully covered, as insurers including Allianz, AIG, American Express, Budget Direct, Citibank, Cover-More and Virgin Money all say the same thing in no uncertain terms.

Follow these guidelines to ensure cover

  • Wear a helmet and protective clothing
  • Know and obey the road rules of the country you are in
  • Make sure you are fully licensed to ride in the country you are in
  • If drunk, drugged or in doubt, take the bus.

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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6 Responses to Motorcycle Travel Insurance

  1. Default Gravatar
    Brad | January 21, 2016

    Hello,

    I am looking for travel insurance which will have motorbike cover for a 250cc offroad bike to ride for 8 days in Cambodia. I only have a learners permit for a motorbike here in Australia, is that enough to get cover or must I be full licence with no restrictions?
    Thank You
    Brad

    • Staff
      Richard | January 21, 2016

      Hi Brad,

      Thanks for your question. It’ll depend on the insurer but generally you won’t be able to get cover for riding a 250cc bike overseas if you only hold a learners permit. You may find cover for a bike with a lower engine capacity. For example, 1Cover will cover L platers who are riding 50cc motorcycles.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  2. Default Gravatar
    Garry | January 14, 2016

    Hello
    “Compare Travel Insurance Policies For Motorcycles”
    the PDS of some of these policies do not seem to clearly mention motorcycle cover and specifically over 250CC. have these all been checked by finder for verification as such
    Thanks

    • Staff
      Richard | January 15, 2016

      Hi Garry,

      Thanks for your question. Yes, all of these conditions have been checked. Some of the policies do not make specific mention of the maximum engine capacity. However, none of the insurers in our panel (which outline a maximum) cover engines above 250cc.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

  3. Default Gravatar
    Rosalind | August 10, 2015

    Good Morning,
    I was just wondering what choices i have regarding travel insurance policies that include Motorcycle under 120cc with me holding an Indonesian Motorcycle license?
    Also, the policy pay out the hospital direct if anything were to happen rather than me paying & then having to submit a claim to get my money back.
    Thank you

    • Staff
      Richard | August 10, 2015

      Hi Rosalind,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to make product recommendations. The table above displays the limits and some of the conditions surrounding the use of motorcycles overseas. As for the payments to hospitals, this is policy dependant and varies from insurer to insurer.

      All the best,
      Richard

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