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Travel insurance for motorbike holidays

Scooter, motorbike, moped, vespa – the choices are endless when choosing a two-wheeled ride for your overseas holiday.

Riding any sized motorcycle can be a thrilling way to travel. These chariots of the people offer the ultimate feeling of freedom, independence and affordability.  The compact nature makes parking a breeze, allows flexibility in how long you stay and you can zoom off with very little fuss. You're not tied to a schedule of rushing from A to B, squeezing onto uncomfortable public transport or stressing about the holes in your pocket from paying for expensive cabs. You can make your own path and go at your own pace...with the added bonus of looking pretty cool.

but will my travel insurance cover me while riding a motorbike overseas

In short, it depends upon your licence and the engine capacity of your ride.  

Lucky for you, it's a road well travelled and one that we know well. We've done the miles to ensure that you're in the know when  it comes to cover while exploring the world on two wheels. Whether you're planning to leisurely hire a scooter for a day here and there, or you're planning to sadle up on a fully kitted BMW GS for a ride on the wild side, there’s cover out there for you.

  • Some insurers do not require you to have a motorcycle license if riding a low capacity engine and will cover you for a bike 50cc - 125cc.
  • Others have maximum engine size limits which you’re only insured to ride - irrespective of what your license says (keep reading to find out who-covers-what when it comes to muscle power)
  • And some cover you for whatever engine size you ride as long as you're licenced to do so in Australia.

Hover over the insurers names below for cover details




1300 Insurance 250cc Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
1Cover No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
AAMI 200cc AAI Limited
AIG No limit AIG Australia Limited

No limit (with additional premium)

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
American Express 200cc Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
Australia Post 200cc Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
Australia Seniors 200cc Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
Boomers No limit (with additional premium) Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Budget Direct No limit Auto & General Services Pty Ltd
Bupa No limit Insurance Australia Limited
Columbus Direct No limit (with Sports & Adventure Pack A) Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Comminsure No limit (with Adventure Pack)  Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Cover-more 200cc Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
DUinsure No Limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Easy Travel 250 cc QBE Insurance Limited
Fast Cover No limit Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd
Go Insurance 1200cc Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Insure4Less No limit Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company
InsureandGo No limit Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited
itrek No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Jetstar No Limit AIG Australia Limited
Kango No limit (with extra premium) Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Medibank 200cc (with additional premium) Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
No Worries 125cc Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
NRMA 200cc (with additional premium) Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
Online Travel No limit (with premium added) Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Priceline 200cc Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
QBE 250cc QBE Insurance Limited
SCTI 200cc Southern Cross 
Simply Travel No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
STA No limit Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Suresave No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Tick Travel No limit Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited
TID No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Travel Insurance Saver 250cc QBE Insurance Limited
Travel Insuranz No limit Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company
Traveller 200cc Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
Virgin Australia 250cc Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
Virgin Money No limit (with Adventure Pack) Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Webjet No limit (with Adventure Pack) Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Westpac 250cc Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
Woolworths No limit Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd
Worldcare 250cc Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
World Nomads No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
Zoom Travel Insurance No limit Certain underwriters at LLoyd's

If you're planning on riding a powerful bike, some insurers automatically cover you, while others offer cover for an additional premium.  You can get comprehensive cover that has unlimited medical and hospital expenses, as well as emergency medical assistance. There would be nothing worse than getting seriously injured in a foreign country, then to have to fork out thousands of dollars for medical bills, not to mention trying to work out how you're going to get yourself home. You want to make sure that if you are riding a motorbike or a scooter overseas you will be completely covered by your travel insurance no matter what happens, because after all, no rider no matter how experienced can ever know exactly what will happen on the road.

Licensed to thrill

If you're travelling to a foreign country make sure you get your International Drivers Permit (IDP) - preferably before you leave! This allows you to drive or ride the same class of vehicle you are permitted to ride in your home country. So, if you are NOT covered to ride a motorcycle or scooter in Australia, you are not permitted overseas. It's strange how we tend to throw caution to the wind when on holiday. With absolutely no training or experience riding a motorbike or scooter at home, many of us seem to think we'll master the skills on the spot in a foreign country.

You can apply for an IDP overseas, but make sure you're ticking the right boxes. You may be able to fool the traffic cop in Thailand that you have a motorcycle licence, by 'ticking the box' when you got your IDP, but it won't cut the mustard with your travel insurance company. If you DO have a valid motorcycle license, be thrilled! Your licence will be accepted in over 150 countries including Bali, Indonesia, Laos, and Thailand.

Venturing to Vietnam?

If you will be riding a motorcycle in Vietnam over 50cc, then you must obtain a temporary Vietnamese drivers license.

To convert an Australian driving license into a temporary Vietnamese driver's license, you must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three month's validity. Visit the website of the Australian Embassy for full details on how to apply for a Vietnamese drivers license. 

Be aware that only IDPs under the 1968 Convention are accepted in Vietnam. The Australian Government signed the 1949 UN Convention so if you hold an Australian issued IDP, you must obtain a temporary Vietnamese drivers license.

What's not covered?

Even with cover offered, exclusions still apply. You are not covered:

  • If you are racing and intentionally putting yourself at risk
    Any time you intentionally put yourself in danger such as using your bike for jumps, stunts and tricks and injure yourself (especially if you are not wearing a helmet at the time) you are unlikely to be covered.
  • For motorbike theft or damage
    Whether owned, borrowed or rented, most insurers do not cover the bike.  If it's your own bike, it should be covered under your own motorcycle insurance.  If it's a hire bike, the rental company is likely to have insurance built in to your daily hire cost or charge you an additional premium to cover it. 
  • For competitive or professional riding
    Competitive riding of any sorts is generally not a covered event under standard travel insurance policies.
  • For bike hire excess cover
    Are you renting a Vespa in Italy,  motorbike on holiday? Maybe in Bali? Although travel insurance often covers rental vehicle excess, this generally does not extend to two wheeled modes of transport. If you hire an expensive bike and it gets damaged, unfortunately your travel insurance will not cover the excess.
  • If you do not follow the rules of road
    Always follow road signs including traffic lights, stop signs and give ways.
  • If you are under the influence
    You would not be covered if you were drink driving and had an accident while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you do not wear a helmet
    Cut and bruises are not ideal travelling companions, make sure you wear a helmet at all times when riding overseas. No travel insurance company is obliged to cover you if you incurred injuries when you were not wearing one.

What's next?

Finally, contact your travel insurance provider before you purchase travel insurance for your motorbike holiday to double check the policy details. It often pays to make to take a few minutes to make that short phone call to clarify. When riding motorbikes or scooters overseas you are taking risks with both your health and your money. So do your research and compare travel insurance quotes and cover levels. Don't just settle for first or the cheapest policy you find.

Perhaps all that muscle power is too much for you. Taking out cycling travel insurance for your push bike shouldn't give you whiplash either. Ride easy with our cycling travel insurance essential guide.


Need some help? Use the search box below to find answers to all those tricky travel insurance questions. We’ve got heaps of travel insurance tips to help you get the best policy for your upcoming holiday!


Ask Eugene travel insurance geek extraordinaire anything

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