Motorcycle breakdown cover and recovery

Most bikers have experienced that sinking feeling when they break down miles from home without any motorbike breakdown cover and they realise that they will have to pay for motorcycle recovery to get their bike home, and it’s not going to be cheap. It’s not a good situation to be in. If you cover a lot of miles on your bike, it’s really a good idea to make sure you are protected in the event of a breakdown, especially if you ride an older or classic motorcycle.

Before buying breakdown cover, it’s a good idea to check your insurance paperwork since many companies include some kind of breakdown recovery as part of the policy, although if you didn’t read all the small print you might not be aware of this.  If you’re renewing your policy, ask whether motorcycle breakdown cover is included, because it will often be much cheaper to get it this way than buying it separately.

Points to consider when you buy motorcycle breakdown cover

When you’re choosing a motorcycle breakdown insurance company, it’s worth asking how experienced they are at dealing with bikes. Many of the cheaper breakdown companies won’t send out an experienced motorcycle mechanic, just a grease-monkey who’ll throw your bike onto the back of a truck and carry it to the nearest garage. If you want a company which will send a qualified motorcycle mechanic who is more likely to be able to carry out a road-side repair, then you’ll probably have to consider one of the more expensive providers.

Another question to ask is what level of cover you’re looking for. The cheapest kind of breakdown recovery insurance will only get you and your motorbike collected and transported to the nearest garage or ‘place of safety’. If you’re going with this option, make sure you read the small print and find out what exactly qualifies a place of safety.

If you invest in more expensive motorcycle breakdown cover, this will get you and your bike collected and transported to the destination of your choice, usually back to your home. If you rely on your bike for regular transportation, you might also want to include Home Start cover in your breakdown insurance, which means that you can call somebody out to your home if you’re having problems getting your bike started.

Make sure you get good motorcycle breakdown cover, otherwise you could find yourself in this situation
Make sure you get good motorcycle breakdown cover, otherwise you could find yourself in this situation

The situation can be a thousand times worse if you are touring in a foreign country – many British bikers like to ride down to the continent during the summer months, and getting European motorcycle breakdown cover is essential if you’re planning to do the same.  If you buy international cover, make sure you check if there are any limitations on how many trips you are covered for each year and what the maximum trip length is.

Finally, there’s no point buying motorcycle breakdown cover if you can’t use it when you really need it, so make sure that you always have the recovery company’s helpline number and your policy reference number whenever you go for a ride. A good way to make sure they’re always to hand is to tape a piece of paper with the details to the underside of your bike’s rear seat.