Hiring a motorcycle abroad is a relatively simple process, with little to no regulations. If you have the money for the hire, then you’re all set – very few questions asked. However, we see it all too often; a person is injured while riding a motorcycle abroad and they are left facing eye-wateringly high medical bills. Many have no choice but to turn to family, friends and crowdfunding.

Travel insurance, which offers protection from financial loss while abroad, has strict policies when it comes to riding motorcycles on holiday and more often than not, these are not checked at the time of purchase. It is only when an accident occurs and a claim is submitted that the restrictions are brought to light and some people find they do not have any cover in place. So, what are the rules and what will your travel insurance cover?

First and foremost, it is important to check the policy wording when buying your travel insurance. Although there are certain rules for riding a motorcycle abroad that are industry-wide, travel insurers may have individual restrictions and limits that need to be checked to ensure the policy is suitable for you and your trip.

One of those industry-wide rules is, no cover will be provided if you do not hold the correct UK license for the motorcycle you are riding abroad. Often, this is not checked when hiring a motorcycle and you are able to ride off into the sunset with or without a license. However, if an accident was to happen and you needed medical assistance, your travel insurance will not cover the costs. This includes holding the correct license for the size of the engine you are riding. If you are only licensed to ride a 125cc in the UK then that is all you will be covered to ride abroad. For more information on what your license will cover you for, head over to the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/motorcycle-cbt/car-driving-licence

Secondly, the rules on motorcycle apparel abroad are rather relaxed. People are often seen riding without a helmet or any protective clothing. Falling from a motorcycle while wearing trainers, shorts and a t-shirt can lead to catastrophic injuries. Falling from a motorcycle without a helmet on doesn’t bear to think about. But unfortunately, it does happen. Too often. If you are not wearing the correct motorcycle apparel (this will be outlined in your policy wording as it may differ between travel insurance companies) at the time of the accident, it is likely your claim will be denied.

It goes without saying, riding a motorcycle under the influence or alcohol or drugs is a huge no go. Not only is it illegal, both here in the UK and abroad, your travel insurance will not cover any costs if you are found to be under the influence of drink or drugs, this includes legal costs if an arrest is made. It is important to remember alcohol and substances can stay in your system for some time, so bear this in mind when planning your motorcycle hire day.

An arrest following speeding or dangerous driving will also follow the same rules as driving under the influence.

Finally, public liability is often not covered by travel insurance. Usually this is covered by the hire company but it is important to check before you hire a motorcycle. Legal costs can mount up if you cause damage to property or are found to be responsible for injuring another person. Your own UK vehicle insurance may cover you to ride a hired motorcycle abroad, so this is something to check before travelling.

While we want you to enjoy your holiday and make the most of new experiences it is essential you ensure you have the appropriate protection in place.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch at hello@travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk and a member of the team will gladly help.