It’s bad enough when you break down in your car – it’s a time-consuming and draining business, not to mention expensive. However, if you break down while on your motorbike, you won’t have the luxury of waiting for help in the warmth and shelter of a vehicle. You’ll be exposed to the elements and much more vulnerable. Unfortunately, breakdown cover is an aspect of motorcycling that’s all too often overlooked.
Having the correct breakdown cover is essential to reducing the costs of getting your bike home if you happen to break down. Most bikers want the security of knowing that help and recovery are only a phone call away.
When researching breakdown cover, you will find huge variety in price and in terms of what the various packages include. Therefore, you will need to make some decisions before you commit to any policy.
Types of cover
The first thing you should know is that there are two main types of breakdown cover:
- Personal policies – These are for a single rider on any bike. The personal policy packages are not always cheap; providers don’t know what bike you are riding so they will price for the highest potential risk. However, you’ll have the reassurance of knowing you’re covered no matter what machine you ride. Personal policies could also be the right option if you have access to a variety of motorcycles.
- Vehicle policies – As the name suggests, this covers a particular bike no matter who is riding it. This kind of policy is generally cheaper than a personal one.
Level of Cover
Once you have decided which policy best suits your needs, you should decide on the level of cover you require. Again, there is considerable variation between policies.
- Roadside cover – This is the most basic level of cover. It will cover the costs of a call out to an engineer who will fix your machine at the roadside and, if necessary, it will cover the costs of taking your bike to the nearest garage. However, you’ll have to meet the costs of any replacement parts and onward travel yourself.
- National – This is the next level of cover up. As well as the provisions of a roadside policy, the policy will cover the costs of taking you and any passengers to wherever you need to get to if your bike can’t be fixed and back on the road immediately.
- Home start – With the above two kinds of cover, there are usually stipulations as to how far you have to be from your home before the policy kicks in. This distance could vary between a quarter of a mile and a full mile. With a home start policy, however, breakdowns occurring at your home address are also covered.
- Onward travel policy – This kind of cover is even more comprehensive than the above three. It will cover the costs of any extra travel and accommodation expenses resulting from your breakdown, usually up to a pre-set limit.
If you ride extensively across the Channel and beyond, consider covering yourself for European breakdown. Inevitably, European breakdown cover costs more, but it could be a small extra expense compared to the hassle of breaking down on unfamiliar roads in a foreign country.
Bear in mind that some providers will offer attractive renewal deals to customers who have not made a call-out for a year since taking out the policy. Even if they don’t, it’s still worth trying to haggle their quote down.
Breakdown cover is important, but it’s not a legal requirement in the same way that insurance is. Bennetts offers exclusive deals on its products – click here and learn more about what it has to offer.
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