Never go to Bali without motorbike insurance

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Never go to Bali without motorbike insurance

I’ve been to Bali more times than I can remember, but if there’s one thing I will never go there without, it’s this.

I’ve been driving a scooter now for almost six years.

But when I first moved to Bali in 2016, I swore I never would. I had heard too many horror stories. It took me a whole year of riding pillion to finally work up the courage. And when I did, it added so much more value to my life there. All it took was one lesson with a Gojek driver (who had pivoted his career due to demand in my local Canggu), and the rest, as they say, is history.

I know the risks and I always travel to Bali with my own helmet, which was bought in Australia and meets our safety standards. If you’re a regular to Southeast Asia, then you probably will have heard that it’s impossible to get insurance that covers you for driving a motorbike, unless you hold a motorbike licence in Australia. Well, it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When recently applying for travel insurance for a month-long trip to Bali, I discovered a $24 add-on option for moped insurance with Cover-More. Further investigation revealed that, despite not holding a motorbike licence in Australia, I would be covered for insurance while driving a moped in Bali given that I was wearing a helmet, not under the influence of alcohol, was riding a motorbike with an engine smaller than 250cc (most scooters and mopeds in Bali have engines smaller than this) and held a valid Australian motor vehicle licence. I thought it was too good to be true, so I asked for clarification.

“This might surprise some people, but you don’t even need an international driver’s licence to be covered for moped insurance in Bali,” says Mike Stein, executive general manager of sales and distribution at Cover-More.

“While you’re in control of a moped that is under 250cc, you must hold a valid Australian motor vehicle driver’s licence.”

However, seeing as you need an international driver’s licence to hire a scooter in Bali, it’s recommended that you get one before you travel.

While I only paid $25 for the add-on, Mike says the cost of insurance will depend on the local cost of medical care in the destination.

“Cover-More introduced motorcycle insurance about eight years ago. Considering how many Australian travellers will jump on a motorbike or moped without a second thought to the dangers, it made sense to introduce the cover.”

Always read the fine print, as this policy won’t cover for injuries to a third party. It will, however, cover you if you have an accident due to your bag or belongings being snatched while driving, something to be aware of in Bali. Always keep your belongings and phone under your seat.

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