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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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is it difficult to buy bike insurance in the U.S.?

Hi my wife and I will be entering the U.S. some time in the spring is it very difficult / expensive to get insurance if you and your bike are from outside the U.S.? If any one has had any good or even bad experiences we would be grateful for your advice.

Cheers

Adam and Roz
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  #2  
Old 29 Jan 2008
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No, dead easy. Contact -

Fernet Insurance Brokers
4407 Vineland Road, Suite D-6
Orlando FL 32811

(407-481-8581)

email info@fernet.com

I've taken my bike to the US twice so far and they are fine.
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  #3  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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Thanks for the tip, was it very expensive?
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  #4  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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I can't really remember. I think it cost (for three months) about the same as my annual insurance here at the time - about £170. Nor can I remember whether I needed to provide them with a US address. I've a pal in New Jersey so they probably sent the docs to him and then he gave them to me when I arrived. Very straightforward though.

This may interest you -

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA AND BACK
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  #5  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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Adam and Roz

How are you entering the US? I shipped my bike from Southampton to Port Newark with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Line then flew to New York where a friend collected me. I stayed with him for a few days until my bike arrived. Collecting the bike from the clutching hands of the dock hands at Port Newark had it's problems though.
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  #6  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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I got insurance in Texas by looking through the yellow pages, phoning & asking ... it took 30 mins to find someone who would do short term, but they let me use my hotel as the address.

I hadnt arranged insurance until I landed as I didnt have a bike until I got there, so Fernet sounds good but for some reason I forget couldnt sort me out, possibly due to the hotel address.

It wasnt cheap at around $120 for a month, but longer wouldnt have been much more.

Sorry I dont remember the name. There are some other names under the paperwork menu.

Scouse
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  #7  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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I soon need to arrange cover for my UK-registered Honda ST1300 Pan-European for 71 days from mid-March to the end of May this year. So I am currently carrying out some research in this area. As far as I can see, US insurance cover for foreign nationals falls into two distinct categories, i.e. touring North America whilst riding (a) a US-registered motorcycle; or (b) riding a temporarily imported overseas-registered motorcycle.

(a) I think insurance for a US-registered bike should be relatively straightforward. If you buy your ride in America - and so therefore it is highly likely to be a US-registered machine - AND you can supply a USA address, then you should be quoted fairly standard rates; although there might be a small additional premium because of your foreign status.

(b) However, it is not so straightforward for visiting foreign nationals who need to arrange temporary US insurance for a temporarily imported foreign-registered bike (a tourist vehicle). This class of cover is likely to be more expensive and not so widely available.

FYI, last summer (2007) when I needed to insure my UK-registered ST13-Pan for a 3-month long USA-Canadian tour, I discovered that there were very few insurers underwriting type (b) cover. In fact, at the end of the day, it boiled down to no more than one or two insurance companies who were prepared to underwrite the risk. I approached a few brokers/agents - Motorcycle Express was one of them - and they all were quoting premium rates, terms & conditions from just one underwriter, namely Commerce & Industry Insurance Co. I eventually arranged this CII-underwritten cover through Motorcycle Express, whose administrator with whom I dealt with there was very helpful indeed.

I understand that Commerce & Industry Insurance Co may have pulled out of underwriting class (b) type cover, and now both Motorcycle Express AND Fernet Insurance Brokers are arranging cover that is underwitten by Dairyland Insurance Co, one of the largest motorcycle insurance companies in America. Dairyland's policy for Overseas Visitors (riding their own foreign-registered bike) is called "The Safe Trip Motorcycle Insurance Program".

I am working out the cover options and calculating the associated premium rates right now. As both Motorcycle Express and Fernet Insurance Brokers appear to be offering identical retail rates of premium - and added service charges of a $60 policy fee, plus a 2.5% credit card fee - then I'll probably arrange the cover through Motorcycle Express, just because I already know them (I'm not suggesting that they're any better than Fernets though).

According to HU's paperwork/insurance section, there just might be some discount available from Motorcycle Express, or at least this is what's implied in the banner ad on the RH side of the page - so I'll give it a go then! Perhaps another reason to use ME instead of Fernets, eh?!
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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My wife and I are riding into the US from BC Canada (been working here for the last 9 months) and heading to central America, our Canadian insurance will cover us in the states on our down ward journey, but we may re enter the US to ship the bikes back to the UK and don't want to extend our Canadian cover indefinitely as it is expensive and wont cover us in central America. We may even ship home from Mexico or Panama but in the event that the cash holds out and we ride back to the US I thought it would be sensible to check out the US insurance situation. If any one has done a similar trip or can recommend a shipping agent in Mexico, Panama or the US I would be interested to hear. Or if any one has ever got a discount when shipping 2 bikes rather than one?

Thanks

Adam
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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So what's the 'status' of your bikes then Adam: Are they still UK-registered machines? or did you re-register them with the Canadian Authorities?

Because as far as I can tell it's the registration status of an imported vehicle that determines how it is rated for insurance purposes, both in the USA and Canada.

KEITH
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  #10  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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Both Canadian registered bikes as we bought them here last may.
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  #11  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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Hi Keith,
i need insurance for my dutch registered bike. thanks for sharing your info. back here in Holland i contacted an insurance broker with international experience for overlanders. they claimed that it is very difficult to get an US insurance in Alaska... i still wait for their quotation. in the meantime, i will contact Motorcycle Express....

cheers,
Sander
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  #12  
Old 17 Feb 2008
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I have been to the USA 3 times with a motorcycle. Starting California and twice in SC, each time walked into the first bike shop and brought insurance over the counter.
The last time was 10 years ago, have things changed that much?

We are off to Canada in May and I planned to do the same there? What has changed?

Steve
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  #13  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Paul Narramore

Paul, saw your reply on this thread and read your blog re USA trip.

I am leaving for USA on 9th June for 10 week trip - New York to Seattle and return. I am also shipping bike via Southampton to Newark.

Any hints and tips and pit falls to avoid would be very much appreciated.

If you fel that you can help and offer advice please pm me.

regards

Nick
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  #14  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Insurance is done state by state here the biggest problem is getting a zip code and address for the insurance. Going to bigger bike shop or an insurance office can do away with this as they gust use there address. Take your paper work with you registration and title if you have it they do the rest. Alaska is no difrent it may be more but every thing up there is.

Out of state and out of USA registered bikes will be more as will high CC bikes.

you can try here there cheaper sometimes Auto Insurance - Car Insurance Quotes from Progressive. Motorcycle, Boat and RV Insurance.
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