1 July 2018
Star Insurance is one of New Zealand’s largest insurers of motorbikes, we have close to XXX bikes on the books. The portfolio continues to grow as the number of people owning bikes increases. Some of this could be attributed to increasing petrol prices which are meaning it’s cheaper to commute on a bike or scooter than a car, or it could be the busy state of our roads where zooming up the inside lane on a bike beats sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
Getting a motorbike licence in New Zealand is a 3 step process designed to restrict the bikes you can ride until you build up your skills and experience. It’s called the “Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme” (LAMS) and identifies a range of motorcycles appropriate for learner and restricted class 6 licence holders. The performance, power and capability of each motorbike available for sale in NZ is accessed to determine if it’s suitable for a novice rider.
The New Zealand Transport Association provides a list of LAMS approved bikes on their website and it’s important a potential motorbike purchaser checks this list before buying a bike. Most good motorbike dealers will know which bikes in their showroom are approved. The model number must be an extract match, for example, a Suzuki GSX650FU model is approved but a Suzuki GSX650F is not.
From an insurance perspective we cannot provide cover to someone on a leaner or restricted licence if they choose to ride a non-LAMS approved bike. Some people will buy a bike because they have seen a bargin on TradeMe, or on impulse (ie. mid-life crisis) then store it at home until they get the approiate licence to ride it. These client often ask for just storage cover (fire/theft/transit) which we can offer. Our preference is to provide comprehensive cover with a note that the insured is not covered when riding the bike, but they may have a fully licenced friend who takes the bike around the block once a month to turn the motor over. Please discuss options with your client when arranging insurance for their bike.
Star Insurance is happy to provide cover for young riders and learner riders (subject to underwriting criteria) and we also support rider training days such as the ACC run Ride Forever courses.