Travel insurance for motorcycle holiday

Whether you’re touring on your own motorbike or want to hire one while you’re away, find out how to get the right cover for your adventures abroad with travel insurance designed for motorbike holidays.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 13 December 2022  | 4 min read

What is motorcycle travel insurance?

It’s a specialist type of travel insurance designed to protect motorcycle riders who are touring abroad on their own bike or hiring a bike on holiday.

Key points

  • Some standard travel insurance policies will cover you for riding a motorbike up to 125cc on holiday
  • To ride a bike with a larger-sized engine abroad, you may need to pay for an upgrade or buy a specialist motorcycle travel policy
  • Specialist motorcycle travel policies can cover you for touring holidays and more adventurous types of riding including off-road, racing and track days
  • You can also add cover to protect things like your leathers, boots and panniers

Do you need specialist motorcycle travel insurance?

It depends. Many standard travel insurance policies will cover you for riding bikes on your holiday, but they usually limit cover to bikes with an engine size up to 125cc. If you’re planning to ride a bike with a larger-sized engine, you may either need to pay an extra premium, or buy a specialist motorcycle travel insurance policy.

Standard policies probably won’t offer cover for more risky biking activities like racing, off-roading or track days, either. Again, you would probably need a specialist motorcycle travel insurance policy for this.

Other standard travel insurance policies may exclude any type of motorcycle riding, so be sure to check your policy carefully and never automatically assume you’re covered.

What will motorcycle travel insurance cover me for?

A specialist motorcycle travel insurance policy will cover you for all motorbike-related activities you embark on during your trip, whether on your own bike or a hired one.

A good policy should offer cover to ride any size engine, as long as you hold an appropriate current full licence for the size of bike you’ll be riding abroad.

It will usually include cover for:

  • Touring on a motorcycle
  • Taking motorbike trips during a holiday
  • On and off-road biking
  • Racing and track days

And like standard travel insurance policies, it’ll include cover for:

  • Emergency medical expenses and healthcare
  • Repatriation
  • Cancellation
  • Lost or stolen luggage

Can I add extra cover to my motorcycle travel insurance policy?

Yes, there’ll usually be options to add extra cover for things like:

  • Pillion passengers
  • Adventurous sports or hazardous activities
  • Theft or damage to helmets, leathers, boots and gloves
  • Theft or damage to panniers, baggage and accessories
  • Breakdown cover
  • Loss of use for more than a certain amount of hours
  • Option to extend the duration of your motorbike tour
  • Taking a bike up to high altitude

How long will my motorcycle travel insurance policy cover me for?

It depends on the policy. Some annual policies will provide cover for an unlimited number of trips per year, as long as each trip is no more than a certain duration - often 31 days.

A touring policy can often cover you for a getaway lasting up to 180 days, but you may be able to find one that lasts even longer.

Will motorcycle travel insurance cover me for renting and using my own bike?

Yes, most specialist motorbike insurance policies will cover you whether you’re riding your own bike or hiring one in your destination country. Check your individual policy to be sure.

And remember, you shouldn’t confuse motorcycle travel insurance with vehicle insurance.

Motorcycle travel insurance covers you (including things like your medical expenses in the event of an accident), and vehicle insurance will cover your bike.

You need to check your vehicle insurance policy to see if you’re covered to ride outside the UK. If you’re not, you should be able to purchase extra cover.

If you have comprehensive cover, some policies will allow you to ride in the European Union with the same level of cover, but you should check this with your insurer.

There may be a limit as to how many days your insurance will cover you to ride abroad - often 90 days.

And if you’re hiring a bike, you should check with the company you’re renting from that it has at least the legal minimum level of motor insurance for the country you’re in.

Can I ride a 125cc motorbike on holiday?

In general, you need the appropriate UK licence to ride the size of motorbike you’ll be using on holiday.

So if you have the A1 licence (which permits you to ride motorcycles up to 125cc) you can ride a bike with the same engine size abroad.

What won’t my motorcycle travel insurance policy cover me for?

Depending on the policy, you might be subject to exclusion clauses, including:

  • Alcohol and drugs - You won’t be covered if alcohol has impaired your judgement, resulting in a claim, or if you’ve ridden while over the alcohol limit. The same goes if you have an accident or injury while under the influence of drugs
  • Road rules - You haven’t followed the rules of the road of the country you’re riding in
  • Not wearing a helmet - Whether it’s enforced by local laws or not
  • Personal liability - Any injury or damage you cause to another person or property in connection with your motorbike may not be covered, but it should be included in your vehicle motor insurance

Safety tips for taking your motorcycle abroad

  • Know the rules of the road for the country you’ll be travelling in. Do your research in advance. For example, in France, you need to carry a breathalyser with you
  • Be aware of speed limits and stick to them. Some countries have higher speed limits than the UK which can take some getting used to on a bike
  • Wear a helmet, even if it’s not compulsory in the country you’re riding in. Your motorbike travel insurance will be void if you fail to wear one and need to make a claim
  • Wear gloves and protective clothing. Even though it may be hot in the country you’re visiting, suitable clothing can help prevent some nasty scrapes if you come off your bike
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. They can impair your judgement and make you more likely to have an accident and be a danger to yourself and others. Also, your travel insurance won’t cover any medical expenses for accidents where they’re involved
  • Be prepared for different driving styles around the world. Take extra caution and be prepared that rules on the road can be more remiss than in the UK in some destinations
  • Avoid driving at night in busy areas
  • Make sure your bike is well-maintained to avoid breakdowns
  • Practice riding with your luggage on board if you’re going on a touring holiday, The extra weight can make handling the bike more challenging and you’ll need to allow for longer braking distances

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