Travelling abroad by motocycle: "Travel" insurance policies
Regardless of whether you’re travelling on a maxi Enduro or you’re in the saddle of a Vespa … when you leave national borders it is important to do so with adequate insurance coverage.
If your adventure is leading you to foreign continents, it is imperative to arrange an adequate insurance policy that will enable you to sleep soundly at night!
Choosing the right policy is dependent on multiple factors (age, type of motorcycle and journey being taken, countries being crossed along the route, duration, possible changes of route, bike rental, etc.). To help, we have the experiences of those who have already dealt with certain issues, through chats on motorcycle forums, word of mouth and a number of websites that offer comparisons between companies. Here are some helpful tips.
Does travel insurance cover me whilst riding a motorcycle abroad? What about if I hire one? A definite answer does not exist.
For those who decide to “see the world on a motorcycle” it’s not that simple. Once a policy has been identified where costs and coverage are the closest to your needs and requirements, you should always ensure there are no limitations.Unlike the classic flight plus hotel booking, an adventurous journey on a motorcycle poses multiple risks and unforeseen circumstances and not everyone contemplates the insurance coverage required.
Indeed, the idea of going abroad without safeguarding yourself, is not an advisable option. It is important to have cover in case of loss or theft of luggage (including technical clothing) or medical expenses / hospital stays (which, apart from countries where the National Health Card is recognised, may be a real expense in other countries). In short, the risk is not worth the amount you would save by NOT paying for insurance cover. Our research, however, is limited to “major issues”, to support unanticipated medical expenses on returning home if you are unable to continue your journey or the case of bag / luggage loss. The possibility of including in the policy the eventual recovery of a vehicle, due to a problem that cannot be resolved on the spot or problems related to the rider’s inability to continue the ride … needs to be agreed with the insurance company in advance.
How to choose the right “Travel” policy?
A) Carry out thorough research.
If anything is unclear or you are not entirely satisfied, do not hesitate to send an e-mail or make a call to the insurance company’s Customer Care Department. It is never a waste of time, especially when it relates to the potential risks of traveling on a motorcycle in foreign countries and on unknown roads. You should not stand for vague information.
Start with a policy that includes unlimited hospital medical expenses and full backing once home, covering vehicles and people would be desirable … but also extremely expensive. Calmly evaluate all the pros and cons and do not stop at the cheapest policy.
One more thing: it’s not enough to simply buy a TRAVEL policy; you will need to submit documents and be careful to follow the deadlines and actions specified in the contract to prevent the policy being invalidated. (For example, in the event of theft of luggage while abroad, the first thing to do is to report the incident at the local police station. In the case of a physical accident, the emergency telephone number issued with the policy must be called as soon as possible. The provider will then indicate how medical expenses etc can be immediately charged.)
B) Using the tools available on the web.
The net allows you to evaluate insurance policies provided by many different companies, whether they be Italian or foreign and you can even compare them.
Blogs and motorcycle forums also play an important part due to the experience of other travelers and motorcyclists, for example, the exchange of views taken from RIDERS’ FORUMS:
Question: “I will soon begin travelling with my wife for a European tour of about twenty days which will include Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany.
I would like to take out insurance covering the risks, including repatriation in the event of an accident, medical expenses, recovery of the vehicle in case of accident, etc.
I contacted Columbus (from an advertisement which appeared on Touristi per Caso-*Tourists by chance, an Italian TV programme) but received a negative response regarding cover for those traveling on the go.
Do you ever use special policies? With which company do you stipulate contracts?”
Answer 1: My advice is Globy of the Allianz group. Specifically, “Globy-Rosso”
Now I do not remember details of all the cover included, but you can find all the information HERE
Answer 2: Yes, I can confirm. I have been using it for years, all over the world: efficient and reliable.
“RC” AND “FIRE AND FUEL” ABROAD
Fortunately, there are no doubts in terms of liability insurance (RC): the “Green Card” issued by your insurance company indicates which countries are recognised in terms of validity and rules. For example, for Italian users, this document is recognised in Albania, Morocco, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tunisia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Turkey, Belarus, Montenegro. Those from Israel require a Green Card in all European Union countries plus Andorra, Switzerland and Serbia.
The passage to other countries involves the stipulation of local insurance (normally provided at the border) for the duration of your stay.
Theft of a vehicle abroad, a possibility which isn’t as far-fetched as you may think, does not have a definitive answer. To find out more, you need to call your insurance company directly and hope that you will be given a clear, comprehensive answer. On the web, there is no clarification of this issue by any insurance company. In order to provide you with trustworthy information we contacted five well-known companies… but we hit a brick wall. In two cases, without too much persuasion, we were told that theft and fire coverage is valid in the countries indicated by the Green Card. Others were not able to provide an answer and asked for time to consult with management … but they did not call back to provide their answers.
What happens if I hire a bike? Check if the rental charge includes insurance cover. If not, it is important to include it. Be wary of those rental companies who do not issue a clear contract, written in English (as well as in the local language) and even those who do not ask to see a Driving License for hiring motorcycles or scooters over 125cc.