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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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French insurance madness

Hi All,

Can anyone advise on bike insurance in France?

I live in France; an English friend wants to buy a French bike and leave it with us at our house in France to use when he comes over to visit us.

I have asked our insurance company (Aviva) several times (including today) about him getting French insurance and was told that it was not possible.

They said:

1. To have a French registered bike, with French insurance, you have to have a French registered car insured in France, with French insurance.
2. I can not insure a bike for him in my name and have him covered as a rider as he is not a member of my family.
3. He can not insure an English registered bike in France.

Does anyone know of a legal way around this or have any suggestions. It is so frustrating as the same company in the UK insured me on my mates insurance on his bike when I was back in the UK.

Cheers
Potski
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  #2  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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I don't think other insurance companies would require you to have an insured car before you can insure a bike.

The biggest problem would be getting a Carte Gris unless he has an address in France - he would have to prove he was resident at the address given by providing a utility bill in his name. You can get around this by getting a 'justicatif de domicile' from the Mairie.

Once he has the CG try GAN, they've been quite flexible even insuring bikes on English plates as long as the importation is underway.
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  #3  
Old 10 Nov 2012
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I wouldn't take what Aviva say as being common to all insurers in France. I left there two years ago so things might have changed but my insurers Assurance Moto, scooter... Assurance Mutuelle des Motards were ok to have non-residents as named riders and so insured tous risques (fully comprehensive) and also to provide third party insurance for any qualified rider I chose to let on my bike.

As for your friend buying, registering, and leaving the bike with you, I would pay a visit to your local Prefecture and ask, these things seem to vary from department to department, but when I initially lived there I had no permanent address so registered my car at my parents who were able to provide me with the above mentioned justicatif de domicile.

Final thought, when you move to France you have X number of months to re-register any vehicles you import. As your friend isn't taking up residency perhaps he could store a UK registered bike there, with UK insurance. The only problem would be UK Road Fund Licence and MOT, but a once yearly trip back to the UK on it would solve that, although if he bought new and sold before 3 years he wouldn't have to worry about MOT, and so would only need to pay a visit to a UK Post Office with his documents. Not ideal, and probably more expensive than doing it all in France but it is a possibility.

Have a Google for the Anglo-Info site relevant to your region, they have fora where you can probably find someone who has up to date experience and can help. You'll possibly get nine different answers, like any forum there'll be those who actually know and then those who like to think they know.
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Old 10 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
although if he bought new and sold before 3 years he wouldn't have to worry about MOT, and so would only need to pay a visit to a UK Post Office with his documents.
No need any more as it can be done on-line.
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  #5  
Old 11 Nov 2012
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Much appreciated help and advice there everyone. Some pals from the Uk arrive today so we can chat more about it.

Thanks again
Cheers
Potski
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  #6  
Old 12 Nov 2012
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A friend of mine who lives in France has his (French plated) bikes insured on 'any-rider' policies which cover the whole EU - I've ridden one of his bikes in Spain, and another friend is currently borrowing one and using it in the UK. So it's perfectly possible for you to insure a bike for him, just maybe not with Aviva.

His policy is a legacy of when he was running a hire/guided-ride business, so I don't know how much he's paying relative to a normal private policy, or what hoops he might have had to jump through to get it, but he's wound up the business, so I'm sure if the costs were extortionate he would have 'downgraded' the policy.
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  #7  
Old 15 Nov 2012
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Try MAFF insurance. They have been quite helpful. I insured my UK registered car with them.
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