Suffering a breakdown isn't great for any motorist but if you ride a bike, it's even worse. With no protection from the elements and not much room to store supplies, it's essential to get help – and fast.
Riding a bike around the roads of Europe is a great way to blast away the cobwebs of everyday life but it's important to make sure you have motorcycle European breakdown cover before you set off.
We take a look at how to get motorbike breakdown cover abroad and what you should consider before you pick a provider.
Does the breakdown company use specialist bike mechanics?
Motorbikes are a very different beast to cars and it's important that anyone who tries to fix one knows their way around the mechanics. Motorbike engines don't all work in exactly the same way and it's easy to cause further damage if you're not familiar with their workings.
For this reason, when you take out European breakdown cover motorcycle mechanical specialists should be provided in the event of a call-out. This is an absolutely vital factor to consider when you compare European motorcycle breakdown cover.
But it's not just the personnel, it's also the equipment too. To transport a motorcycle safely to a local garage – or even back to the UK – the recovery firm will need a proper flatbed lorry in order to make sure your bike is secure.
Although you might be interested in getting the best price for your motorcycle breakdown cover in Europe, make sure that the provider seems to know one end of a bike from the other.
What countries does your breakdown insurance cover?
If you are just nipping across to France for a long weekend, short term European motorcycle breakdown cover will fit the bill perfectly and won't cost a fortune either.
However, if you are planning on going further afield or perhaps taking a longer trip, it's worth checking what countries are covered and what the expected recovery time is likely to be. Some European motorbike breakdown cover providers offer cashback if they don't arrive within one hour. This alone isn't a good reason to take out the policy but if the rest of the features stack up, it's a nice little extra.
It's also worth checking if your euro motorcycle breakdown cover policy has any other restrictions or limitations, for example some providers will only cover bikes which are less than 15 years old. European breakdown cover for older motorcycles is available but you may have to go to a specialist provider.
What happens if you need to claim on your European breakdown cover?
If your problem needs a little bit more work than just a punctured tyre, you might find yourself without your bike for a couple of days.
If there's plenty to do and see that might not be too much of an issue but if you were planning on touring the local area on your motorcycle, it could leave a real hole in your plans.
On some types of European breakdown cover motorcycle cover is provided automatically for a rental vehicle, so you can opt to ride a hire bike until yours is fixed. There are usually certain limits on how long this type of temporary cover will last, typically no more than 14 days.
If your bike cannot be repaired quickly you will have another problem entirely: how to get home. The good news is that if you have motorcycle breakdown service with foreign cover, help is at hand. The vast majority of motorcycle breakdown cover Europe policies will not only arrange for your bike to be repatriated, they will also cover the cost of an alternate means of travel for you (and your travelling companion if applicable).
If you carry out a European motorcycle breakdown cover comparison before you set off, you will be able to find cover which ticks all of the above boxes but doesn't break the bank either.