Insurance and motorbike licenses – what’s the deal?
When it comes to car insurance, we all know the rules – the car must be registered and licensed, the driver must have a valid license, and when and how the vehicle is used and stored affects both conditions for cover and premiums.
But what about bikes? In South Africa, all motorbikes – regardless of the size and use – must be licensed and registered. Furthermore, the riders (“drivers”) of bikes used on public roads must be licensed i.e. in possession of a valid, bike-specific learner’s (code A1) or permanent license (code A).
As with car drivers’ license tests, the testing process for bike licenses ensures that you have a good general understanding of road safety and the rules of the road, and that you understand how to properly operate a bike.
While it’s illegal to drive a bike without the appropriate license, there’s been a spike in recent years of drivers using their learner’s bike license (with or without renewing it) beyond the initial allowance.
Not only is this against the law, but also it presents a problem from an insurance perspective, as insurance is granted based on honesty between the insurer and client, and the premise that both parties always act lawfully. So operating your bike without a valid license could land you in hot water with both the law and your insurer, as insurance claims lodged in such situations will be declined.
Remember these important bike license facts:
• A learner’s license is a theoretical test and a in-yard driving test is required for a permanent bike license
• People under the age of 18 can only hold a learner’s license (code A1) and are not permitted to operate bikes larger than 125cc
• You’re not allowed to ride offroad or quad bikes on public roads; you therefore don’t need a license for offroad and quad bikes
• All bikes must be licensed and registered with Natis according to regulations approved in May 2005
Insurance tips for offroad bikes
If you’re looking to insure your offroad or quad bike, remember:
• The bike must be registered with Natis (using the correct vin and engine numbers); this is a mandatory requirement to ensure full insurance cover
• It must be stored behind locked gates or in a locked garage to qualify for theft cover
• There is no third party cover on offroad bikes and quads (as they’re not allowed on public roads)
• Offroad bikes used for any form of racing or competing don’t qualify for insurance cover
• Insurance cover for offroad bikes and quads is limited to recreational use only
MiBike, the motorcycle division of direct short-term insurer MiWay, develops insurance solutions tailored to the very specific needs of the motorcycling community. Our specialist knowledge of bikes enables us to offer comprehensive cover, at affordable premiums, that is appropriate to the type of bike and the way it will be used as well as to our customer’s lifestyle. Claims are handled through specialist motorbike repair shops, which means they are handled quickly and efficiently — and all work is guaranteed. MiWay’s standard motorbike cover also includes towing, roadside assistance and emergency services.