Motorcycle Insurance and the Biking Community – What are the Challenges?

Not everyone can afford insurance, but can they afford not to? No! The local market is saturated with insurance companies offering a vast selection of plans to cover your motorcycle, kit, and lifestyle to suit any budget.

Let’s address this issue a little further. Hein Jonker from the Motorcycle Safety Institute was kind enough to address issues on motorcycle insurance through the following Q&A:

From your research on motorcycle crashes, how often do you believe other road users are at fault?

Almost every biker or motorcyclists will tell you, “it was the other guy”. I think it’s in our human nature to avoid taking the blame, in the first place, and only after a cooled-down period and insight may the rider see or acknowledge his or her contribution to the equation.

Research from our 2018 stats showed that nearly 77% all reported “accidents” (collisions and crashes), were the fault of the rider. This trend continued through 2019, not as high though but still too high.

This, of course, does not render the other road users blameless. Motorcycle and motorcyclists awareness, and respect to life on two wheels, is proven lacking at every single Motorcycle Vehicle Collision (MVC).

How important in your mind is having comprehensive motorcycle insurance?

It goes without saying; hell of important! It is, however, a fact that some can simply not afford the lowest of premiums, and some think they’re invincible.

No bank will approve finance without insurance, but there are folks who buy cash and don’t bother to ensure the bike or kit, OR LIFE.

There are insurance companies who specialise in motorcycle insurance and offer tailor-made plans to live on two wheels.

At the very least, take out third-party or public liability insurance, but insurance is an absolute must in my book. One never knows to what extent an accident can go, so it’s best to be prepared for it, even if it’s a partial cover.

What are the frustrations among the biking community about motorcycle insurance?

Insurance, like buying a bike, is a very personal thing. Like any claim, there are terms and conditions in the policy, put in place to protect the insurer and cover the insured.

Taking out a policy is easy, paying premiums becomes part of your budget, but come claim time is where the egg hits the wall. No claim is the same and is directly affected by the factors surrounding the claim.

Like any person, we want to pay as little as possible to get the most out of something, or at least avoid any unexpected expenses.

Like any person, when we submit a claim, we want near-immediate results. Being without a car is one thing (for us), but being without a bike is just plain terrible.

Do insurers recognize the importance of rider training and should they offer an insurance discount for those that have undergone rider training?

Oh yes, the majority accepts a certificate of attendance to Advanced Rider Training as sufficient proof to justify a discount in the Premium, and some even waiver the Excess. I get numerous phone calls and emails from insurance companies, eager to promote the fact. Insurance companies are very pro training, and we appreciate that.

The downside is that Advanced Rider Courses are not available throughout the country, and only conducted in the main centres like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban.

Do you believe there are adequate insurance options for motorcycle gear and accessories?

For sure. Insurance companies will insure anything you like, and this includes your riding kit from head to toes.

We don’t always think to cover our kit, but that R10 000 helmet will be tough to replace when you have to fork out on other unforeseen expenses.

Your kit covers you, return the favour and cover your kit!

If you could offer a few bits of advice to fellow bikers on motorcycle insurance – what would it be?

Don’t lie to your broker or insurance company. The truth will come out, and usually does when you need them most.

As for the question: Should you insure or not? Come on, is that even a question!

Hein Jonker

Chief Instructor

Motorcycle Safety Institute of S.A.

Website: www.msi.org.za
Email: hein@msi.org.za
Phone: 083 7937975

Also view:

Motorcycle Insurance and Safety on the Road

Motorbike Safety through the Eyes of the Instructor

Getting back in the saddle after a break from Riding

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