One of the most asked questions ever, about motorcycle overlanding is, “How do you get your motorcycle insured for a trip around the world?”
A real and definite answer about this subject doesn’t really exists since countries regulations and laws keep changing. Someday, I’m sure, there will be a company that provides this kind of solution, but as far as I know, at this moment there isn’t a worldwide coverage for your motorcycle.
There is not an insurance company that will provide you with “comprehensive” (full coverage) or even “3rd parties” coverage (insurance that will cover damages that you cause to other people/vehicles/properties) in every country on this planet.
I believe that the reason behind this is that road laws and regulations change from country to country and insurance companies cannot deal with any single foreign entity in case of vehicle collisions and damages to properties.
Confusion in our mind comes obviously because some countries do have third party insurance that is valid even in neighbouring lands, such as USA, Canada or Europe.
Specifically, if you are travelling through USA and Canada with a foreign vehicle, you can purchase a special insurance that will cover you in case of collision with fault with another vehicle. One company that provides this kind of service is FERNET.
If you are travelling through Europe with a foreign vehicle, you can apply for the notorious Green Card insurance, which will cover your wanderings in countries belonging to the EU.
The Green Card (typical Third Party insurance) covers up to € 750.000 of full liability against persons, animals, and things.
For south America and Central America instead, It’s typically possible to buy monthly (or 3 months) insurance in every single country. There will be some research to be done locally, but usually there are some companies, like Mapfre for instance, that are present in more than one country, and could release temporary insurance (1 to 3 months) to foreign vehicles.
In some countries, insurance has to be purchased upon entry (like Costa Rica or Panama), in order to be able to cross the border with your vehicle. In others, you actively have to go to the first insurance agency to process your paperwork and get covered.
In this sense, it is definitely the driver that has to research where to get this insurance upon entry of the country, since it’s not required most of the times, to be purchased at the border.
In conclusion, Worldwide Motorcycle Insurance is something that is not possible to have nowadays.
Motorcycle Insurance policy has to be purchased upon entering each country you are crossing generally, and it will most likely cover only 3rd parties damages. It’s always recommended to have insurance while driving in a foreign country, even though other drivers may not have one.
It’s also recommended to have a Worldwide Travel Insurance, which is instead obtainable through different companies around the world and will cover your medical bills and other accidents during your travels. It will also cover your medical expenses in case of hospitalization and will pay for your repatriation in case of extreme emergency.
A simple google search will point you in the right direction, depending on your country of residence.
Featured image: Traffic accident between a car and a motorcycle. Photo Credit: dolmanlaw.com