BALKANS INSURANCE (Green card) - border insurance prices and experiences

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by jetjackson, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. slashtommy

    slashtommy Adventurer

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    I should add that we were able to obtain a green card for "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". I had previously requested and been denied a green card for just "Macedonia".

    Country names can be confusing as well as politically sensitive.
    #21
  2. eldaifo

    eldaifo ogden in disguise

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    Information about getting insurance in Bosnia seems really sketchy, this thread aside, and it was the one I was most concerned about on a recent trip. It was also the only country on our route that I couldn't get a green card for before leaving. So, my experiences from that trip, in case they're of any use.

    Serbia: Entered near Dimitrovgrad from Bulgaria. No paperwork checks whatsoever, just a cursory flash of the passport and a disappointingly faint stamp. Serbia's now signed up to the agreement on motor insurance so EU policies should be valid.

    Montenegro: Entered south of Novi Pazar, can't find the name of the border crossing itself (I told our local contact we were entering at Granicni Prelaz, and then felt like a right plum when he told me what that meant). They wanted to see full paperwork on entry, though like everyone else on the trip they were a bit baffled by my white green card. Didn't notice anywhere there to buy one if I hadn't already got cover, and they really were keen on the paperwork so probably not a great place to rock up in hope of buying at the border.

    Bosnia: Entered from Montenegro at Vilusi, just east of Niksic. The chap in the booth only knew two words of English: "green card". Alas, I didn't know enough local lingo to explain that I didn't have one and needed to buy one. Eventually another chap appeared and spoke enough English for us to get things sorted.

    My passport was stamped, and then I had to park up just after the booth and walk down to the second building on the right where another chap behind a desk was happy to sell me 3 days' cover for a bike for €21. Once I'd got the insurance cert I just had to walk back, show it to the chap in the booth, and I was free to go.

    Croatia joined the EU while we were away, and entering from Bosnia at Gradishka was just a simple paperwork and passport check. They wanted to see vehicle documents, but didn't know one side of a DVLA V5 from the other so it was a bit of a waste of time. UK policy was fine though, it being the EU.

    The only country that was proper ball-ache to enter was Turkey, and even that was easier than I expected.
    #22
  3. LethPhaos

    LethPhaos Been here awhile

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    For me the only country that wasn't covered by my green card was Kosovo. I entered from Albania, insurance was 15€, cash only. I didn't carry enough €'s so I paid in a mix of Albanian Lek and €.
    Borders themselves were never a problem, just the usual paper checks and I was on my way.
    #23
  4. Andysr6

    Andysr6 Adventurer

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    Hi, just back from a 5 week tour including the Balkans. i did not have a Green card but my UK insurance covered me for everywhere except Albania, Montenegro & Bosnia.

    Albania; entered south of Leskovic, waved through without insurance
    Montenegro; entered from Albania near vermosh waved through without insurance
    Bosnia; had to pay 21 Euros for minimum of 3 days cover
    #24
  5. Shirtfaced

    Shirtfaced n00b

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    Excellent thread! I'm doing a tour of Eastern Europe in October so this has been really useful. I don't suppose anybody has any similar information for Ukraine and Moldova?
    #25
  6. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    So if my own insurance doesn't cover me for my time in Bosnia and Montenegro (this coming summer) and I buy 'insurance' at the respective border, what do I get for my money? What am i insured for? Does it cover bike theft etc, etc, etc? Ta
    #26
  7. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    it is only 3dr party insurance. Nothing to cover you or your bike. It is to make sure the other party can claim if you ride your bike into their 1986 Merc 230 and dent the already rusted door. :D

    If you buy at the border post it is normally much more expensive.
    #27
  8. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    Thanks. Is there any way of getting theft insurance from them, for an extra premium? Or do I have to hammer that out with my own insurer and see if they'll cover me? I don't like the idea of having no theft cover, anywhere - I've had 5 bikes nicked in my time :cry
    #28
  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Well it depends if you are from EU. Maybe your insurer at home will cover some EU countries. But as a rule, no insurer will touch a bike or car or moving anything for insurance when doing long distance far away trips. In South Africa our insurance will cover till Malawi for example but not countries above that. Risk is your own.

    We met two Pommies in Spain and one guy trashed his bike. His UK insurer covered him for that. Do not think UK insurance will go as far as Balkans and such.

    Sleep with bike in room ;)
    Also why it is never a good idea doing such trips or round the world trips with new expensive bikes.
    #29
  10. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    Food for thought indeed :D
    #30
  11. slashtommy

    slashtommy Adventurer

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    If you live in the EU and have insurance from an EU based company, you are covered for *ALL* European Union countries. This is for 3rd party cover but all insurance companies should extend this to fully comprehensive when asked.

    However Bosnia and Montenegro (as well as Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania) are not in the EU.

    You are correct, that the insurance purchased at the border is for 3rd party only. This prevents you getting arrested/fined by police or border guards when you try to leave the country.

    Sleeping with the bike in your room is quite frankly ridiculous. The Balkans is not the 3rd world, many of the countries are wealthier than recent EU members. Most hotels, hostels and guest houses will be very accommodating as regards security. Many will have locked compounds/courtyards, underground parking or other secure parking nearby.

    Many insurance companies will provide a green card for some countries in the Balkans, so you will not need to purchase insurance at the border. You should check with your insurance company, but this will usually mean that they will extend your fully comprehensive cover to those countries.

    #31
  12. ebel

    ebel Adventurer

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    To echo that (as the person who accompanied @slashtommy on that Balkan trip). Twice in Romania (and once in Bulgaria) we explained to the hotel that we needed parking and they found locked spot for us that would not normally be open to the public. We were down the side alley the staff used for smoking in Bulgaria once, and next to the owners dog kennels in Romania in their private part of the hotel another time.
    #32
  13. slashtommy

    slashtommy Adventurer

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    In Kosovo*, we stayed in City Hostel, Prizren. They had no parking, the guy at the desk arranged parking in the locked compound of a car wash located 50 metres away.

    In Bosnia we used the underground car park of a hotel, a gated car park and once parked right outside the hotel reception - in view of the desk.

    *as of 2012 Kosovo is not in the Green Card scheme, so will not recognise any foreign insurance (with the possible exception of Albanian insurance)
    #33
  14. ebel

    ebel Adventurer

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    In a way, the fac that it's not in the green card system (and hence doesn't recognise any non-Kosovo insurance) can be helpful. It means you can be guaranteed to be able to buy insurance at the border.
    #34
  15. Teabar

    Teabar Been here awhile

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    Thanks for these updates. I'll speak with my insurance companty and request that they extend my cover and see how far that gets me.
    #35
  16. nprnic

    nprnic n00b

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    I own a car in Serbia with Canadian licence plates and planning to go to
    Bulgaria this summer. Car insurance I can have in Serbia is only valid within the counry. If I go to Montenegro or Macedonia I usually buy border crossing car insurance that is valid for e.g. 15days (last time in Montenegro it was 1euro per day). I wander if I can buy border crossing car insurance when i enter Bulgaria from Serbia and how much it is.
    I appreciate any response to this question.
    If you have links to some sites offering more information, it will be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance!
    #36
  17. KalV

    KalV Adventurer

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    You can remove Cratia as well. Croatia is full member of EU, but also in the past, Green Cards were accepted without any exceptions or limits.
    #37
  18. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

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    Updated to remove Croatia.

    Other recent experiences noted and updated.

    Cheers guys.
    #38
  19. Hayastani

    Hayastani Adventurer

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    Can any UK based riders advise me of any insurer that will issue a Green Card at little or no cost. Carole Nash charged £45 for one months cover in Turkey. To travel through Bosnia they wanted £27 for seven days and I had to specify the days I would be entering and leaving the country. If arriving before, or leaving after those dates (but still not exceeding seven days) I would not have been covered. Many thanks.
    #39
  20. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    My green card cover from footman James cost around £60, this was because I was on a 60 day trip and their normal limit is free cover for 30 days, my trip also covered my insurance renewed date so I had green cards from 2 different underwriters. All sorted quickly by FJ once I found the right person to talk to! You need to be specific that you were traveling outside eu zone. No silly limits for each country. Good service.
    #40