Insurance: That Four-Letter Word

Insurance is a four-letter word with motorcyclists.  Just search the words ‘motorcycle+insurance’ on any online forum and watch the vitriol ooze out like an oil change. So in today’s Chronicles update I focus on another type of insurance for motelorcyclists: travel insurance and medical transportation membership.

Travel insurance is the last item on my checklist I needed to tick before leaving. And while I don’t like to think about the unthinkable, I need to make sure I’m not burdening my partner and children if an accident occurs.  Because having an accident is one thing. Having an accident when you are out of state or in another country adds an entire new level of complexity. And before you suggest it can’t happen to me, let me share some statistics.

According to MedJet, a Birmingham Alabama based company that provides medical transport services, over 10 million people end up in hospitals when travelling abroad each year and over 2 million people require medical transportation. Those are large numbers.  And for motelorcycling, even the smallest mishap can sideline your travels. Then what do you do?  How do you get you and your bike home if your hundreds and even thousands of miles away? Hence the need for travel and medical transportation insurance.

First thing I did is look at my travel insurance needs. As I am already enrolled in CAA/AAA roadside assist program, I went to them first for my supplemental travel insurance.  In my case because I am travelling out of country, I purchased my travel insurance for the 51 days on the road. The cost was a few hundred dollars, but the peace of mind is well worth it.  At least I know I am covered in an emergency.  I have a travel insurance card I carry in my wallet and a toll free number to call.  

There are several companies to choose from for travel insurance.  Most banks, credit card companies and even motorcycle clubs will sell you supplemental travel insurance.  My suggestion is you check first with what your exiting health insurer covers, and go from there. 

But even these plans have limitations.  For example, I may not get to choose the facility for treatment or specialized services. I may have to use only their approved facilities.  This is where a medical transportation membership plan can help. Membership in a medical transportation plan will bring you to the facility you choose and even back home for treatment.  That alone offers considerable comfort.

So, in looking at my options, I chose MedJet for medical transportation. Mainly because they have an extra motorcycle program option that covers the return of my bike back to a dealer of my choosing – even if I am not in the hospital!  As long as I am over 150 miles away from home, my membership in this program kicks in.  And it has an extensive coverage too.  As you would expect, if I’m hospitalized the motorcycle membership transportation kicks in. But, If I’m hurt and I am an outpatient and can’t ride, I’m also covered.  And if my bike is in an accident, even if I’m not hurt but it isn’t rideable – I’m STILL covered! As long as I am in the continental U.S., Mexico and Canada, Medjet will coordinate and transport my bike back to my home dealer for repairs.  And for a whopping $35 annually that is definitely worth the peace of mind.

Now with the last box checked I’m good to go!  Knowing that if I skipped it, and god forbid that something should happen, there wouldn’t be enough four-letter words in the English language to describe my predicament. Except to say that insurance wouldn’t be one.

  1. Another thing worth noting is to check the fine print of the insurance. When I travel overseas (from Australia) I generally like to include a bike trip in there somewhere, so I need insurance coverage. A few things I found
    – Most travel insurance excluded motorcycles (or only included small bikes)
    – only covered you if you are wearing a helmet (regardless of local regulations)
    – doesn’t cover the excess for the motorcycle insurance
    – must have a licence to ride the bike (ie have the appropriate Australian licence)

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