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What is motorcycle breakdown cover?
Motorcycle breakdown cover can get you back on the road if your bike breaks down. It includes roadside assistance and recovery in case you break down or have mechanical trouble while out on your motorbike.
That means you can get a mechanic to come out and fix your bike right there and then. If they’re not able to repair the damage, they’ll get you and your motorcycle to a local garage for repairs.
What types of motorbike breakdown cover are there?
When it comes to breakdown cover, the options are the same whether you have a motorbike, van or car. You can choose to insure either yourself or your vehicle.
Cover for you
Personal policies cover the named person when they ride or drive any vehicle that meets the policy requirements. They also cover you if you’re a passenger. This type of policy can cover up to four people who live at the same address – driving cars, vans or bikes.
Cover for your motorbike
Vehicle policies cover the vehicle or vehicles specified on the policy. Up to four vehicles (cars, vans or bikes) registered at the same address can be covered at the same time.
What kind of breakdown cover do I need for my motorcycle?
It depends on the level of cover you want. You can choose bike breakdown cover that includes:
Motorcycle roadside assistance and recovery is the main feature of all breakdown cover. It means that a recovery vehicle will come out to you and a mechanic will try to fix your motorbike at the side of the road. If this isn’t possible, then you, your bike and your passenger will usually be taken to the nearest garage for repairs.
Typically, motorbike recovery means that you and your bike will be dropped off at the nearest garage if roadside repair isn’t possible. However, with nationwide recovery, you can choose to be taken to anywhere in the UK. This can be especially helpful if you break down far from home.
If your motorcycle breakdown insurance includes at-home cover, it means you can call out a mechanic to help you fix a problem if you’re at, or close, to your home address and your motorbike won’t start. The area it covers varies by provider, but it’s usually within a quarter-mile radius of your home.
Comprehensive breakdown cover for your motorcycle may reimburse you for travel expenses you incur if your bike needs to be kept at a garage overnight for more extensive repairs. It might cover the cost of a hotel room for the night, a replacement hire car to get you home, or public transport costs to get you where you’re headed.
If your breakdown insurance includes lost key cover, it could pay for a replacement if you lose your bike key or it breaks. Other keys on the set, such as your house keys or keys for other vehicles, might also be covered – check the policy for details.
If you get a puncture, you can call out roadside assistance to help plug the hole and get you home, but it will normally be up to you to replace the tyre. However, in some cases, comprehensive breakdown cover may also include the cost to replace the tyre.
Roadside assistance will usually include getting a professional out to charge a flat battery, but what if it won’t recharge? It’s a rare feature, but the most comprehensive breakdown policies may also cover the cost to replace a faulty battery.
Can I get European motorcycle breakdown cover?
Adding European motorcycle breakdown cover extends your motorcycle recovery area to the European continent, making it a good choice when travelling abroad with your motorbike.
If you travel to Europe often, you may be able to add European motorcycle breakdown cover to your UK breakdown cover or buy a separate yearly policy. With an annual policy, you can normally take your bike on an unlimited number of trips to Europe each year, but cover will be limited to a certain number of days per trip.
Typically, you can arrange cover for riding in the EU as well as countries in the Schengen area, like Norway and Switzerland. Some providers split European cover into different zones, so you only pay for the cover you need. That could mean you pay less for cover in countries closer to home, like France, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Remember to check the details of your policy so you know which countries and breakdown scenarios are covered.
Single-trip European motorcycle breakdown cover
If you’re only planning on riding your motorbike in Europe once or twice in a year, or you’re dreaming of a longer, one-off holiday, it might be cheaper to buy single-trip European bike breakdown cover for each trip.
What are common exclusions for motorbike breakdown cover?
Breakdown cover for bikes varies among providers, but common exclusions include:
- Your motorbike breaking down on private land – because your breakdown provider might not have permission to access private property or be able to reach you.
- You’re involved in a road accident – your breakdown provider may not be able to reach you while the emergency services are handling the incident. Some breakdown cover also excludes recovery of your motorbike following an accident.
- Maintenance issues – it’s your responsibility to keep your bike in good condition. If your motorbike breaks down because of poor maintenance, such as a flat tyre, you might not be covered.
|As with any type of policy, read the terms and conditions before you buy so you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not.
How much does motorcycle breakdown cover cost?
The cost of breakdown cover for your motorbike depends on the level of cover you choose. For example, comprehensive cover that includes home start and nationwide recovery will typically be more expensive than a basic roadside assistance policy.
The cost could also be affected by:
- The number of bikes you want to cover – covering multiple bikes could increase your premium. However, it might still work out cheaper than buying separate policies for each bike.
- The age of your bike – older bikes are usually more expensive to cover.
- How powerful your bike is – cover is often higher for more expensive, more powerful bikes.
What do I need to get a quote?
To get a quote for motorcycle breakdown cover, just give us some basic information including:
- Your personal details
- Your bike registration (which can tell us the age, make and model of your bike)
- The type of cover you want.
What our expert says...
“Some breakdown providers offer cover for both your car and motorbike on one joint policy. Depending on your requirements, it can often work out cheaper than buying two individual policies. Compare both separate and joint policies to see which would be a more cost-effective option.”
- Julie Daniels, Motor insurance expert
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Frequently asked questions
Can I get breakdown cover with my motorbike insurance?
Some motorbike insurance providers offer breakdown cover as part of their policy, while others offer it as an optional extra. If you didn’t take out motorbike breakdown cover when you bought your bike insurance, it’s easy to buy on its own.
Can I get breakdown cover for a moped or scooter?
Yes, you can. Motorcycle breakdown cover also applies to mopeds and scooters.
What happens if I don’t have breakdown cover?
If you don’t have motorbike breakdown cover and things go wrong, you’ll need to find a willing friend to collect you. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for a local garage to pick you up – and motorcycle recovery prices can be high. Plus, you may also have to find alternative transport to continue your journey.
What should I do if my motorbike breaks down on the road?
If you break down, the most important thing is to make sure you stay safe.
- Find a safe spot to pull over – signal to warn other road users that you have a problem.
- Turn on your hazard lights and switch off the engine.
- Hop off your bike and use a breakdown warning triangle if you have one and it’s safe to do so.
- Ensure you’re visible to other road users. It’s advisable to always wear reflective gear when riding a motorbike – or at least have a high-visibility vest as part of your bike’s breakdown kit.
- Get yourself away from the roadside, either on a grass verge or behind a barrier.
- Call your breakdown provider and stay near your bike until help arrives.
What if I use my motorcycle for business?
When you look for breakdown cover, you’ll need to specify how you use your motorcycle. Although it may cost more to cover your bike for business use, it’s important to be honest to avoid invalidating your policy.
Are motorbike parts covered?
Normally, the cost of new motorcycle parts isn’t covered by breakdown cover. If the mechanic who comes to help you at the roadside has a part you need, they’ll often fit it for free, then bill you separately for the part. If you need extensive repairs, breakdown cover will get you to a garage but it typically won’t include the cost of repairs.
Am I covered if I'm riding pillion?
It depends on the type of breakdown cover you take out. If you choose to cover yourself with a breakdown policy, you should be covered to ride pillion on any motorbike. If you took out a policy that covers your vehicle, you’ll likely be covered to ride pillion on any bike registered on that policy. Check the terms of your policy or speak to your provider if you’re unsure.
Can I add a motorbike to my current breakdown policy?
It depends on your provider. Some will let you insure several vehicles under the same breakdown policy, others will only cover one per policy.