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Insuring your motorcycle

Insurance may not be compulsory in New Zealand but it has many benefits. You’ll be covered not just for accidents but for theft and certain types of damage too.

Insuring your bike might seem like a cost you can avoid, but when things go wrong you’ll think it’s the best investment you ever made.

Types of insurance

Third party (TPO)

Third party insurance will cover any accidental damage you cause to other vehicles or property. Usually this is restricted to damage from a crash but some policies will cover other damage, such as that caused by things falling off your bike. Should you crash into another vehicle a TPO policy could pay for its repair but it won’t cover any damage to your bike. If your motorcycle isn’t worth much, it can be an economical form of insurance.

Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT)

As well as any damage to other people's vehicles or property, TPFT will cover your bike if it is stolen or damaged by a fire. But you’re still not covered for any damage to your motorcycle if you crash. If your bike is stolen and your insurer pays you its market value, it usually means they become the legal owner. So, if it is found, it’s theirs to sell or dispose of as they see fit.

 Comprehensive (Fully Comp)

Comprehensive insurance includes the cover provided by TPFT and adds cover for damage to your own motorcycle. In the event of a write-off, you’ll usually be paid the bike’s market value less any excess.  It may also cover other costs involved after an accident, eg recovery and storage.

Some policies cover damage to things such as your helmet and fixed accessories. You’ll need to check your policy, and if accessories are included you may need to inform your insurer of their fitment. Some accessories or modifications can invalidate your insurance, so make sure your insurer knows about them as part of your cover.

Most motorcycle cover is for replacement market value rather than an agreed value. So, if your bike is written off in a crash, the insurer will get an assessor to work out its market value before the accident. That’s what you’ll be paid, less your excess. Some insurers will waive your excess if you're shown not to be at fault.

Get a discount with Ride Forever

One of the benefits of Ride Forever coaching is that many insurers will give you a discount or rebate on your motorcycle insurance.

There are other benefits too, such as:

  • Insurance companies including Star, Protecta, Golightly and Swann offer a range of discounts, reimbursements and other benefits for completing a Ride Forever course. Ask your insurance provider what they offer. Aon insurance offers nil excess for one claim within a 12-month period
  • VTNZ offer $5 off your next WoF
  • ULYSSES offers part reimbursement of the course fee, as do a number of other clubs. Ask your club committee members for details
  • Many motorcycle retail outlets offer a refund of the cost against purchase. Ask in store.