European breakdown cover

The black art of moving from A to B on foreign soil
Grim Reaper
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Re: European breakdown cover

Post by Grim Reaper » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Whatever you do, don't use SwiftCover Breakdown Insurance.
On a recent trip to Iceland we were recommended SwiftCover by the organisers, I think almost everyone bar me had taken out a policy for the two weeks we were there. (I already had Britannia Rescue European cover so I changed the named vehicle to my bike for the trip)
When one of the group had an unfortunate flaming exhaust incident somewhere up in the western fjords (the connector to the right hand coil pack on his BMW 1200 GS had come loose, so it was injecting but not sparking and the unburnt fuel got into the cat, heated it up so much it set the plastic cover on the exhaust can alight)
Armed with the documentation he had printed off before the trip, he called SwiftCover's breakdown desk in Ireland...
'Can't find you on our system'
Passed across to the UK office
Music on hold
Rang Ireland back
'Sorry I don't have you on our system'
"But I have the documentation you sent me when I took the policy out, it has a policy number and everything"
'Not on the system, no cover'
Fortunately he managed to use the solitary torx screwdriver under the seat to find the cause of the breakdown and continue to the ampsite for the night (minus the plastic cover that was left by the side of the road in a pool of melted goo.
I believe his solicitor is looking into it as I write..

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Re: European breakdown cover

Post by chipy » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:53 pm

dibbs wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:24 pm
Ive got one of Nationwide's paid bank accounts (flexplus) and a couple of the benefits that made me get it was no fees on foreign purchases using the credit card! and also free worldwide travel insurance! and EU breakdown cover. But im not sure which company they use as it depends on which country you break down in and also i will have to check and see if they will repatriate the bike as well!

Just rang them and they said yes as long as the value of the vehicle is greater than the repatriation costs they will bring you both back to the UK if the bike cant be fixed! so all sounds good to me. So just make sure you have an expensive bike lol..... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Same here and I have it in writing from them that I am covered for car or motorbike and there is no age limit on the vehicle.
1980 rs100, 1986 DT50 mx, 1990 fj1200, 1993 xt225 serow, 1997 funduro, 1998 zzr600, 2001 Beta Alp, 2007 G650Xcountry, 2011 xt1200z

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Re: European breakdown cover

Post by bowber » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:57 am

I think all the recovery/breakdown services have a limit of the market value of the vehicle for recovery back to your UK home address.

I've just taken out a single trip one with ETA, hopefully I'll not need it but you never know what's around the corner!


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European breakdown cover

Post by AustinW » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:20 am

dibbs wrote: Just rang them and they said yes as long as the value of the vehicle is greater than the repatriation costs they will bring you both back to the UK if the bike cant be fixed! so all sounds good to me. So just make sure you have an expensive bike lol..... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
If that is what your policy says I wouldn't have thought it is what you really want to hear although it's what nearly every Euro breakdown policy says. It says two things:

1. if it is fixable they will expect you to stump up no matter what the cost of the repairs even if greater than the value of the bike. Let's say you accidentally over-rev and drop a valve junking the top end and dropping gunge into the crankcase and gearbox. Ie a full rebuild needed They will take the bike to the nearest (hopefully competent garage - Bob the re-Builder ) who will say "yes we can rebuild it" but it's going to cost at least €7,000. Insurance co will consider their job done at that point leaving you with the problem of paying up and having work done on your precious steed by mechanics completely unknown to you and as you live in a different country don't speak their lingo and will be away and gone as soon as it's fixed there's little incentive on them to do a thorough and competent job . If your policy covers it then you may get some support from the insurance like hotels while it's fixed or flights home and back to pick it up. But they will still expect you to fix it.

2. that If the bike CANT be fixed then they will repatriate it provided the costs of that repatriation is less than the bikes value. An unfixable bike isn't much use at home or abroad unless it's only unfixable due to lack of parts or competence. If it's an old low value bike but precious to you then it's not coming back at all and they will pay out like insurance companies always do - the lowest replacement value they can get away with.

There's probably more in the policy about whether repairs are economically viable, competence of the garage and so on. As I said earlier read the policies and make sure you understand what happens in the event of breakdowns and accidents.

Personally I think euro breakdown cover is only really good for minor roadside issues - punctures, bits falling off, minor offs etc where all you need is recovery to a dealer who can fix a puncture or screw sticky out bits back on; in the event of a crash where your bike is going to be repaired by your or the third party insurer. Here it helps if your euro cover and breakdown are with the same people.; and to cover for illness or injury - where the repatriation against value could again be an issue. My euro breakdown cover for this year was £20 is more or less the same as the quoted cover but what I want it for is recovery to a dealer if I need it for small stuff.


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Re: European breakdown cover

Post by Alan29 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:18 am

Worldwide cover (use AA in the UK) for me and she whatever we are riding/driving or towing (we sometimes take our caravan to France, sometimes go on the bike.) They repatriate bike, air ambulance back to the UK if sick or injured, hotels etc.
109 euros a year for us both. Bargain!
Only downside is that the cover is restricted to Germany if you have 3 call outs in a year.

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Re: European breakdown cover

Post by AustinW » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:41 pm

Well my comments on here seem to have tempted fate. The ESA unit on my GSA has gone fubar and is stuck on the low suspension setting. We are two-up with a lot of camping gear. Breakdown people wanted to take the bike off me and give me a hire car while they sorted it out. Options did include flights home while it was repaired and repatriation of the bike only if it couldn't be repaired and the bike was worth more than repatriation.

I wasn't going to let it out my hands so took it to a BMW dealer myself got a quick diagnostics hoping a software flash might cure it. Nope, electronics not responding to the diagnostics either so something bad amiss and can't be looked properly at for 10-15 days as the workshop is busy.

Long story short we have posted all our camping gear and most of our clothes home so now nice and light and will make slow progress from the south of Spain to Santander leaving a trail of scraped Tarmac behind us.

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