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Thread: Insurance for overseas

  1. #1

    Insurance for overseas

    Ok lets' start with the simple stuff. I'm a brit planning on coming over to the US this summer (July - Nov/Dec) and need bike insurance while I'm over there.
    I've looked at the one provided by Fernet/Dairyland Cycle insurance (under written by Safe Trip motorcycle insurance), that's where the complications start!

    They only quote unto 90 days (I'm lucky enough to need more).

    I have no idea what levels of cover personal, third party, medical expense, underinsured etc., as in the UK we have the NHS (still...only just) which does a great job when needed (I'd like it clear I'm not planning on having ANY accidents , but #### happens).

    Does anyone know of other insurance companies who will provide cover the 5/6 months?

    Can anyone explain how much I would need to cover for in the various categories (I'm planning on getting comprehensive, including damage to the bike which seems to be an option (?), it's a standard part of our insurance) so I don't have to go over the top.

    Any assistance would be really appreciated, so I can finally put my plans together.

    Cheers in anticipation.


    ps. as I'm going solo, any advice on that would be good too.
    Derek, current bike R1200RT LE (2017)
    Previous bikes, Honda Pan European, Kawasaki GT 750, Kawasaki GPZ 550, a bunch of kids and a Gilera 125

  2. #2
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

    My wife and I travel from Australia to ride in the US and Canada and we bring our own bikes.
    We have done this three times now and use Motorcycle Express each time for foreign nationals insurance (non-US non-Canadian nationals). We looked at Fernet before our first trip back in 2014 and I can't honestly remember why we went with Motorcycle Express but we did and have never had a problem.

    Having said that, we have also (fingers crossed) never had to claim on the insurance, but the process of securing the cover was simple and although the premiums are high, the level of cover is good. This is particularly important as we ride R1200GS and go onto dirt roads and fire trails. All marked roads approved for use by registered vehicles, but not all companies will cover you off the black top.

    I can't say if there are limits on the duration of cover, but if there is I would suspect it is closer to 12 months as this is also the limit for temporary import of bikes under foreign registration etc. etc. Motorcycle Express also include breakdown cover and generous cover for riding gear etc.

    Regarding levels of cover etc. That's an interesting issue.
    In Australia, our insurance works a little different to the US. We have a thing called comprehensive insurance which covers everything. In combination with our compulsory third party insurance (which is part of our registration), taking out comprehensive insurance will cover you and your bike for the agreed levels of cover (agreed value of bike or market value). Accessories and rider equipment options are also available.
    With the foreign nationals insurance in the US (and it may be different for locals) there is no automatic collision cover (cover for damage to the bike) or for fire, theft or vandalism, but there is mandatory liability cover. The focus seems to be on personal injury and damage to other peoples stuff - everything except your bike. Then there is uninsured and under insured cover which kicks in if you get hit by someone who has insufficient insurance cover. It's all very confusing to us non-locals. When you add collision damage cover (with a deductible) it seems to remove the need for the under insured component.

    Cut a long story short - it is expensive insurance and in some states you are required by law to have it. We figure if the worst case happens, we want maximum cover, so we go for the top level cover across the board. The value of the vehicle seems to be limited to a calculation based on N.A.D.A. average retail values with a maximum payout of $45k on bikes less than 30 years old.

    Anyway, Gail is the expert at Motorcycle Express and a very helpful person with any questions.
    We also use Travel Insurance to help cover personal and travel related insurance needs.

    Good luck and let's hope none of us need to claim on this insurance.
    Mark Hubble
    2015 - R1200GS Black Storm Metallic
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

  3. #3
    Thanks Mark, the insurance in Australia seems the same as the UK, which is what is confusing me. I will try and get hold of Gail for advice.
    I was thinking of going for the max in each of the categories just to be on the safe side, which prompted me to post just to see if I was going over the top.

    Yeah, I generally try my best not to be involved in any form of accident, but you never know :-/

    My sister has just moved to Sidney....say hello to her when you see her !?
    Derek, current bike R1200RT LE (2017)
    Previous bikes, Honda Pan European, Kawasaki GT 750, Kawasaki GPZ 550, a bunch of kids and a Gilera 125

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