A beginner’s guide to motorcycle insurance

A woman riding a motorcycle along a winding road, lined with forestry

It doesn’t matter if you use your motorcycle every day or prefer to take it out for long rides on the weekend, making sure your bike is covered against accidental damage or theft ensures that you’ll be able to continue rolling your way. 

Just like car insurance, you can get insurance coverage for your motorcycle, dirt bike, quad bike, scooter and more. 

In this handy guide to motorcycle insurance, we’ll look at how motorcycle insurance works, what you could be covered for, the average cost of motorbike insurance quotes, which providers offer insurance for bikes, plus answer a few of your frequently asked questions.

How does motorcycle insurance work?

Motorcycle insurance is a lot like car insurance, just with benefits tailored toward bikes. 

When you take out a motorcycle insurance policy, you’ll find you could be covered for things like accidental damage to your bike and riding gear, and theft of your bike, keys, or riding gear, depending on your level of cover of course. 

There are often three tiers of motorcycle insurance: compulsory third-party (CTP), third-party, and comprehensive.

Is motorcycle insurance required by law?

If you’ve ever wondered if you need motorcycle insurance, the answer is yes. As a minimum, you’ll need CTP insurance, just like with a car. 

In some Australian states, CTP is included in your rego fees, but in NSW, SA, the ACT, and QLD, you’ll need to purchase a policy from an insurance provider. 

What does CTP motorcycle insurance cover?

Motorcycle CTP insurance covers the liability of anyone that drives your motorcycle for injuries inflicted upon others or damage to another vehicle while riding. That way, you’re both protected against expensive legal costs and can get a payout if you’re not at fault, regardless of the other party’s financial situation.

Moving upwards from CTP, the basic tier, you have the option to go for third-party motorcycle insurance.

What does third-party motorcycle insurance cover?

Third-party policies can provide insurance benefits that cover damage to other people’s vehicles and property. 

With third-party motorcycle insurance, you may also have the option to add on fire and theft benefits, either as part of the policy, or as an optional extra, so that if your vehicle is damaged by fire, or stolen, you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs.  

But if you’re at fault in an accident, these policies won’t help you with repair costs – that’s when you’ll need to look into a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy.

What does comprehensive motorcycle insurance cover?

Comprehensive motorcycle insurance can cover you for damage to your motorbike and riding gear, even if you’re at fault for an accident. 

This is usually the top tier of motorcycle insurance with the most inclusions, like fire and theft cover, flood and earthquake cover, and more. 

While no two policies are created equal, comprehensive motorcycle insurance can include benefits for: 

  • Accidental damage
  • Intentional damage
  • Storm or flood damage
  • Fire damage 
  • Theft and attempted theft damage 
  • Earthquake damage 
  • Legal liability 
  • Replacement costs after bike write-off 
  • Hire car after theft 
  • Temporary cover for new motorcycle
  • Towing costs
  • Emergency accommodation and travel costs after an insured event 
  • Key and lock cover
  • Personalised rego plate cover
  • Riding gear (helmets, protective clothing, personal belongings) cover
  • Personal effects cover
  • Motorcycle trailer or sidecar cover
  • Counselling services post-accident 
  • Funeral expenses
  • Roadside assistance.

Depending on the provider of your motorcycle insurance policy, these benefits may or may not be available. If there’s a benefit you know you want, make sure your prospective policy includes it by reading through the PDS.

How to choose a motorcycle insurance policy

Now that you know the differences between the main three tiers of motorcycle insurance, do any of them tickle your fancy? Choosing a level of cover that you feel comfortable with is important – both in terms of inclusions, limits and price. 

Do you feel you only need basic CTP insurance to cover your legal liability? See if you can find a CTP policy that comes with some extra benefits on top (they’re out there). 

Thinking of going with a third-party policy? When you’re choosing a motorcycle insurance provider and gathering quotes, make sure you're happy with the cover limits (the max. amount they’ll pay for claims). 

You might also be interested in fire and theft coverage with your third-party insurance. Sometimes these benefits come included with a policy, but other times they’ll be an optional extra you’ll pay an additional premium for. 

However, if you’re after motorcycle insurance that covers accidental damage to your vehicle when you’re at fault, then a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy is the one to go with. 

Comprehensive policies not only cover your bike, but they can also include a range of other benefits that you’re unlikely to find in lower-tier policies, such as damage caused by extreme weather, cover for your riding gear, counselling sessions after an accident, and even roadside assistance. 

While not all comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies provide such a full range of benefits, there are a few in Australia that fit the bill, such as Youi, Mi-Bike, and National Motorcycle Insurance, to name a few. Also, many car insurance providers also cover bikes, so be sure to check those out too. 

Youi’s Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is a good example of a policy that includes cover for accidental damage, intentional damage by others, storm and flood damage, and funeral expenses – not to mention the fire and theft benefits included with their third-party policy.  

In short, it has a range of good features, including roadside assistance and post-accident counselling services, as well as handy optional extras such as hire car cost coverage, motorcycle trailer coverage, and increased item limits for personal items and riding gear.

As we always say at Mozo, it pays to do some research and weigh up all the options.

If you’re looking for motorcycle insurance to cover your ride, but you’re not sure where to start, then start by looking at which car insurance providers also offer insurance for motorbikes.