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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Moped Scooter Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for mopeds or scooters

30 November 2018 By Eugene Wylde

Every year without fail I am astounded to hear that an Australian has fallen off a moped after colliding with an elephant in Thailand. Actually, that hasn’t happened to my knowledge but an Australian will be involved in a scooter accident overseas twice a week!

This isn’t what astounds me. The fact that some do not have travel insurance, a motorbike license and/or were not wearing a helmet does.

If you ask for a crash helmet whilst hiring your moped in Thailand you are likely to be greeted with a chuckle followed immediately by a “are you being serious” frown. If you’re lucky, you may get given a cardboard box with eye holes. Instead of backing out of the hire shop, hiring a tuk-tuk for 50 cents or walking to your desired destination, most tourists will shrug, climb on board the rickety wreck with a slightly flat tyre, and speed off. Death or disaster will not greet me today, it is sunny and I am on holiday!


Wait for a second though, before speeding off… I must apply sunscreen and put on my baseball cap. I wouldn’t want to get sunburnt. Most of us have succumbed to the “slip slop slap” ads to prevent skin cancer and we apply sunscreen at home, and overseas. It is strange, therefore, that the thought of cracking our heads open following a 70km an hour somersault, isn’t a problem.

Anyone who has owned a scooter or motorbike in Australia will have spent hundreds of dollars on safety gear, knowing the dangers of coming off. Oh, and they will also have had to pass a learner bike riding course before hitting the road and subsequently obtain their riders license and have bought bike insurance.

We would all stop and stare, slightly perplexed, if we saw someone riding down the highway in a t-shirt, shorts, thongs and… no helmet in Australia, Curiously, when we go overseas a lot of us lose all concept of risk. We are indestructible. Roads are statistically more dangerous in Thailand and Bali yet we are happy to “see what happens”.

So, will travel insurance cover me?

Sometimes. If you haven't worn a helmet, or do not have a current Australian motorcycle license (or one valid for the country you are travelling in), allowing you to drive the same cc powered bike, then you have a problem!  Please don’t get angry with your travel insurer when they don’t pay your rather large hospital bill if you haven't followed these common-sense rules. No travel insurance provider on planet earth is obliged to cover you for such events.

The same goes if you’re a passenger travelling on a motorcycle, moped, scooter or any other two-wheeled ride that is in the control of a person who does not hold a current motorcycle licence valid for the country you're in.

Eugene Wylde, Insurance Geek Extraordinaire from explains:

“Travel insurance policies exist to cover you for unforeseen events, not situations where risk is rife. To quote the insurers themselves…You will not be covered if you do not act in a responsible way to protect yourself or your property to avoid making a claim.”

"If you’re not insured to ride a Harley in Australia, what makes you think you can do so overseas!?  Travel insurance policies have different terms and exclusions, so it's important to pay attention to the detail, particularly when it comes to licences and the maximum engine sizes you’re permitted to ride."

Most insurers do not require you to have a license if riding a low capacity engine less than 50cc, but let's face it, I'm not sure these lawnmowers still exist. Some insurers have maximum engine size limits that you’re only insured to ride - irrespective of what your license says. And then some cover you for whatever engine size you ride as long as you’re insured to do so in Australia.

So, don't assume you can just jump on a bike and go. Check out our guide on travel Insurance while riding a motorcycle or scooter overseas.

The hard facts say it all

Every year, many Australian tourists are involved in motorbike accidents overseas which result in serious injuries and tragically, even deaths.

“There are at least 100 travel insurance claims a year relating to moped and bike accidents abroad.  That’s two a week!” as claimed by Eugene Wylde, a spokesperson from

According to Smartraveller, motorcycle accidents involving Australians are very common in South-East Asia, particularly in areas such as the busy streets of Bali, resort areas of Thailand and the yet to be paved roads of Vietnam.

“The most common reasons for illness or hospitalisation amongst young people who travel to Bali are injuries due to motorbike accidents and nightclub fights," a DFAT spokesman said.

“Young adults are particularly vulnerable. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among young people between 10 and 24 years. Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world’s roads; on average more than 1000 a day. Most of these deaths occur among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists) and those using public transport.” According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety: time for action, World Health Organisation.

Protect your Wheels

It’s important to know that most travel insurance policies only provide cover for medical claims when it comes to motorbike accidents. There is no cover for the motorbike itself or its accessories.

One for the pros

Standard travel insurance policies do not cover competitive sports. So if you’re heading overseas to compete in a motorcycle race, look elsewhere for specialist cover.

Riding a motorcycle or scooter on holiday can be a thrilling, inexpensive way to travel...until something happens! The cost of a hospital trip overseas can send your budget skyrocketing and your stress levels too. Make sure you ride safe and have adequate cover before you hit the road.

Safe travels now,

Eugene Wylde
Insurance Geek Extraordinaire

Who covers Mopeds or Scooters?

**You can compare the various moped/scooter engine limits here. Click on the plus icon for more information.**

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Contributor Carolina

Carolina Tran

Carolina has been working exclusively in the travel insurance industry for over two years. With a customer consultancy background and currently studying law, she is a fine-print wizard who loves helping travellers find a policy that actually works for them. Speaking two languages and having travelled all over the world, Carolina discovered that she is not cut out for working holidays after a stint on her grandparents’ southern Vietnam farm, and is definitely a lounge-by-the-pool kind of lady.

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