“Hell bent! Hell bent for leather,” wailed Rob Halford in Judas Priest’s 1978 paean to motorcycling, ‘Hell Bent for Leather’.
Indeed, leathers and helmets are essential items for the responsible motorcyclist. In the case of helmets, they’re a legal requirement. While good leathers and helmets could save your life, they don’t come cheap, and in the event of an accident they’ll usually need to be replaced or repaired.
A lot of motorbike insurance policies offer helmet and leather cover, but new research from Gocompare.com has found that not all policies offer the protection that bikers may need.
In a review of 34 policies, the comparison kingpins found that just under a sixth of policies offer helmet and leather cover as standard, with the majority offering it as an option, typically costing an extra £35.
The level of cover granted differs massively, too – around a third of policies will pay out between £500 and £900 for damage to the rider’s helmet and clothing, while 9% would offer £1,000 or more. A small minority (6%) offered less than £300 of cover.
Lee Griffin of Gocompare.com said: “The amount of cover you need for your riding gear will depend on how expensive your equipment is.
“As most policies offer helmet and clothing protection as an added extra, it’s important to weigh up whether you’re getting your money’s worth. For those with budget gear, policies offering less than £300 for helmet and clothing protection may be more than enough. However, if your protective clothing is particularly expensive, it’s worth looking for a policy with a higher level of cover.”
While helmet and leather cover will pay out for repair or replacements for damage, theft isn’t usually covered. However, it’s possible to cover your riding gear on your home contents insurance, if you have accidental damage cover and have added protection for items away from the home. “This should cover your equipment for its full value should it get damaged or stolen, less any excess that applies,” said Gocompare.com’s Griffin. “However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this may affect any no claims bonus you may have on your contents policy, which could make this option unsuitable for those with inexpensive gear.
“Regardless of how you choose to cover your equipment, it’s important to make sure that the cover you have is adequate for your needs. Weigh up all the options available to you, and don’t assume that every provider will offer the same level of protection, as this can vary significantly.”