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  #121  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Regarding the practicalities of relying on greencard insurance in Russia.

This summer (2011) whilst importing my bike through Vladivostok I teamed up with two Croations who had European Greencards with Russian coverage. This was their experience:
- Customs at Vladivostok took a lot of convincing by a Russian speaking friend before they would believe that the Croations had any coverage. The basic problem was because the document was (a) not in Russian and (b) the officers had not seen a "green card" before and did not understand this multi-country insurance. Without valid insurance Customs will not release the bikes. After about two hours, and mainly I think to get rid of them, customs accepted the "green card" and agreed to release their bikes.
- The locals (customs officers, local bikers and our shipping agent) pointed out to the Croations that they would need to repeat this arguing everytime they were stopped by the traffic police for a document check.

The net result was the Croations after a lot of persuading by locals ended up buying local Russian insurance to avoid possible future problems (which is cheap at $20 for 1 month or $50 for three months).

I thinkthey did the right thing; document checks by the highway police are common, in the three months I was in Russia I was stopped 6 - 8 times for these. These were all friendly but in each case they wanted to check:
- Insurance (no problem mine was in Russian)
- Driving licence (no problem - International licence was in Russian)
- Bike papers (sometimes a bit of pantomine explaining it because it was only in English - but because the Plate number and date were clear it was always quickly accepted.

With a non-Russian language greencard I'm certain at least some of these stops would have taken many hours instead of the minutes they did and might well have involved a trip to the station. So bottom line yes Russia is now part of the green card system but coming from the east there appears to be no knowledge of it and if you want to rely on it plan to spend a lot of time explaining yourself (and your Russian better be good).

Hope this helps.
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  #122  
Old 7 Jan 2012
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Uh... yeah... That's what I'm thinking. My Russian is pretty basic and not up to the task of arguing with a cop for sure. In fact in those situations, I'm expecting my Russian will suddenly become non-existent.

I would suspect that the Russian police and those in other countries not accustomed to being shown Green Cards would (rightfully) be suspicious of a new form of documentation... especially one not written in their language and one with which they have had no experience. It may take a while longer for changes to filter down.

Thanks very much for the information.
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  #123  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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I started a new thread on this, to make it easier for people to find, but thought I'd post it here also


Poly & I have FINALLY found a Bulgarian insurance company that will sell green card insurance to us for people with bikes not EU registered!

cost is
60 euros 1 month
100 euros 2 months
140 euros 3 months

3 months at a time is the limit. but it can be renewed.
this is valid for all the EU countries, doesnt include non EU like Ukraine, Serbia, etc. (this is the same insurance as mototouring offers)
I've used it the last few years, & had no problems.
we will need a scanned copy of the bike document with tag number & VIN
and a copy of your passport or drivers license
(or if you have an expired green card, the info needed is on there)
we will scan & email you a copy of the green card, and snail mail the hard copy to you, anywhere in the world.
(the last 2 years I've passed German customs at the airport with just the scanned copy)

email me at motocampbg@yahoo.com if interested.

Doug
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  #124  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Non EU bike insurance

Hi all,

1st post !

I am travelling through non EU countries in the summer (Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary) and am not getting much help from my current insurers that are strictly EU only.

Can one get a hold of suitable cover for the short term crossing through the above countries

Paul.
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  #125  
Old 13 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spellytheman View Post
Hi all,

1st post !

I am travelling through non EU countries in the summer (Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary) and am not getting much help from my current insurers that are strictly EU only.

Can one get a hold of suitable cover for the short term crossing through the above countries

Paul.
Assuming your bike is UK-reg, and your current insurer is "strictly EU only."

Croatia & Bosnia in theory require & offer short term TP insurance at any border crossing, BUT the "required" insurance is in fact not offered/ available at all their border crossings (perhaps at the larger motorway crossings only).
If you cross into either at a border where insurance is not offered,
simply consider yourself "lucky" for not having to pay and "unlucky" for not
being covered. Simply ride on and take your chances.
Serbia is more strict. They will not allow your vehicle to enter the country
without paying for Serbian-only coverage, minimum 60 Euros for 30 days TP cover (as of 2010).
Hungary is part of the EU
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  #126  
Old 14 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
I used MotoTouring as well in 2010 and was very pleased with their service, but the insurance had many exclusions at the time: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia Herzegovina, Israel, Iran, Morocco, Moldavia, Macedonia (FYROM), Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey and the Ukraine. I think that these exclusions are fairly common.

Motorcycle Express Motorcycle Express - Ship Your Bike, however, offers Green Card insurance for non-Europeans that says "is valid all over Europe including Russia, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia". They don't list any excluded European countries. It's not cheap (e.g., $550 for 3 months, $1050 for 6 months for liability alone), but there is limited theft and collision available (at even higher rates).
Sam:

Over the past 10 years, I've bought insurance from both Motorcycle Express and MotoTouring. I used to buy it from ADAC in Germany before their rates went up - then I shifted to MotoTouring. I'll probably buy from the Bulgarian company next year. I have a Canadian (Ontario) plated ST1100 that I ship back and forth to Europe.

You raised a question about the difference between the coverage from Motorcycle Express and the others. Basically, it's like this: Motorcycle Express covers just about every country between Iceland and Iran. There might be one or two exceptions in former Yugoslavia - you will need to check with them to be sure. What countries get excluded varies from year to year, depending on who is having a war, who is under sanctions, etc.

The other companies - Knopf, ADAC, MotoTouring, the Bulgarian company, et al, write policies that are primarily marketed to non-EC residents who live around the periphery of the EC (for example, residents of Ukraine, Turkey, North Africa, etc.) who want to drive their vehicles into the EC. Hence, the area covered by these policies is limited to the EC (plus Switzerland). Commercially, this is easy to do because there are common liability insurance requirements throughout the EC, similar to how there are common liability insurance requirements between all the Canadian provinces and all the American states (your 'pink insurance slip' covers you for all of the USA and Canada).

What you need to do is decide what coverage you need - just the EC (plus Switzerland), or all of Eastern Europe and North Africa. If you only need the former, then get the cheapest policy you can get. A 'EC Green Card' the same, no matter who you get it from, you get exactly the same coverage on exactly the same paper form. If you plan to travel in countries outside of the EC, you have a choice of either buying the more expensive Motorcycle Express policy, which covers far more countries; or, buying a EC only 'green card' policy and then buying supplemental coverage (typically at the border) for whatever non-EC countries you are planning to enter.

If you plan to do more than just one non-EC country, it is probably most trouble-free to buy the Motorcycle Express policy. If you only plan to do one non-EC country, it may or may not be cheaper to buy specific-country coverage for that country at their border. For example, I went from Switzerland to Turkey and back this past fall - during the same period that the policy shown below was valid - and bought coverage for Turkey (a non-EC country, notice the X through 'TR' in the policy below) for about CAD $30 at the Turkish border.

ALL of these insurance policies (Motorcycle Express, all the 'EC only ones', and even the single-country ones you buy at the border) are usually issued on identical looking forms. Typically, all the forms are green. The forms will usually have country codes for just about everywhere you could possibly drive to from Western Europe, and the countries that are not covered by any one policy will have a big X through them.

The trick is to buy only the coverage you need. Because everyone's coverage (for basic liability) is identical - inside or outside of the EC - consider it to be a fungible commodity, like gasoline or flour or rice - buy your liability insurance only on the basis of price and reputation of the vendor for service, because the commodity being sold by everyone - the insurance policy itself - is identical in every respect (except, of course, for the number of countries covered). You won't ever need to worry about making a claim, because it is bare-bones liability coverage only, which means that it's the guy or girl you hit who has to worry about getting paid.

You could, if you wish, buy both liability and theft/collision coverage from Motorcycle Express. That is quite expensive, but it protects your motorcycle. I used to do that when my moto was new - I don't bother any more. I once made a claim on the collision coverage, and it was handled promptly, fairly, and with excellent service all around.

Below is an image of a policy paper (the famous 'green card'). Note that some of the country codes are crossed out. That is because this policy (from MotoTouring) only covers the EC + Switzerland. If you bought from Motorcycle Express, it would look identical except fewer countries would be crossed out.

Michael

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  #127  
Old 15 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtFisher View Post
Assuming your bike is UK-reg, and your current insurer is "strictly EU only."

Croatia & Bosnia in theory require & offer short term TP insurance at any border crossing, BUT the "required" insurance is in fact not offered/ available at all their border crossings (perhaps at the larger motorway crossings only).
If you cross into either at a border where insurance is not offered,
simply consider yourself "lucky" for not having to pay and "unlucky" for not
being covered. Simply ride on and take your chances.
Serbia is more strict. They will not allow your vehicle to enter the country
without paying for Serbian-only coverage, minimum 60 Euros for 30 days TP cover (as of 2010).
Hungary is part of the EU
Thanks

Thus with a UK bike and usual insurance giving 90 days cover to EU countries I can just turn up at Croatia / Bosnia border and then Bosnia / Serbia border and take pot luck at that point. If I don't get in it is not too bad to re route and go back to Croatia (trip is from Dubrovnick to Budapest)

Paul.
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  #128  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Paul:

Croatia is well on the way to joining the EU in the summer of 2013, so, I think it is probable that you should be able to get insurance cover for Croatia without too much trouble - either at the border, or perhaps just before the border (i.e. on the Slovenian side, if you are entering through Slovenia).

Don't know anything about Serbia, sorry.

Michael
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  #129  
Old 16 Jan 2012
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Serbia's expensive. Bosnia less so, and enforcement varies at different crossings. I paid a total of about 120 euros for the two a couple of years ago, so do your comparison shopping on that basis. Both are interesting countries for moto travel, but there are limits to how many places you can go on a single journey.

Also worth thinking about in that area: Macedonia, Albania.

enjoy,

Mark
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  #130  
Old 17 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spellytheman View Post
Thanks

Thus with a UK bike and usual insurance giving 90 days cover to EU countries I can just turn up at Croatia / Bosnia border and then Bosnia / Serbia border and take pot luck at that point. If I don't get in it is not too bad to re route and go back to Croatia (trip is from Dubrovnick to Budapest)

Paul.
That's true..."in general" you could re-route back from Bosnia-Serbia border crossing, to head north thru Bosnia across Croatia into Hungary/ Budapest.

From Dubrovnik, I assume you will want to ride via Mostar & Sarajevo.
In that case, if you still want to "try" Serbia border crossing, I suggest you use Bosnia Rte #M19 north from Sarajevo in direction of Serbia border at Mali Zvornik, rather than Bosnia Rte E762 east from Sarajevo in direction of Serbia border at Dobrun.

If you're then denied/ turned away at Serbia/ Mali Zvornik, it's relatively easy to get back on main Bosnia Rte #18 north toward Croatia border. Although the Rte E762 Serbia border is a "major" crossing, in 2010 that crossing did not even sell the required Serbia insurance, and I had to re-route South to get into Serbia at what was then the only crossing selling the required insurance. Further, at any Serbia border other than major motorway, you may have to wait/ delay for a local insurance agent to be called to come sell you Serbia insurance, before Serbia will allow you to enter. Not a problem if you're just ambling along, but a hassle if you're on any kind of "schedule".

Of course, that was 2010, and conditions change all the time.
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  #131  
Old 17 Jan 2012
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Michael,

Thanks for all your great information above. I decided again for this trip to go with Mototouring (didn't see Doug's offer in time ) and will pick up additional insurance at specific borders as needed along the way. The main reason for doing it this way is that I am not totally convinced that familiarity with the Green Card as an insurance document is universal (by road police especially) ... even if in fact the coverage is valid.

You mentioned that most countries issue a similar-looking green form, even for country-specific coverage. Hopefully that practice will continue to become more widespread. In 2010, the supplemental insurance I bought at the border going into Turkey was issued on something quite different. If the Green Card becomes universally issued, then it will make matters much simpler... just buy the coverage you need for the countries you need.

We can dream at least.
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Kamloops, BC Canada
1975 BMW R60/6
http://thetwilightproject.net
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  #132  
Old 17 Jan 2012
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I had already put Mali Zvornik in as crossing point heading towards Novi Sad after Mostar / Sarajevo so will go with your route advice.

Have almost booked a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik - no reefs on that route.

This is a great site by the way !

Paul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtFisher View Post
That's true..."in general" you could re-route back from Bosnia-Serbia border crossing, to head north thru Bosnia across Croatia into Hungary/ Budapest.

From Dubrovnik, I assume you will want to ride via Mostar & Sarajevo.
In that case, if you still want to "try" Serbia border crossing, I suggest you use Bosnia Rte #M19 north from Sarajevo in direction of Serbia border at Mali Zvornik, rather than Bosnia Rte E762 east from Sarajevo in direction of Serbia border at Dobrun.

If you're then denied/ turned away at Serbia/ Mali Zvornik, it's relatively easy to get back on main Bosnia Rte #18 north toward Croatia border. Although the Rte E762 Serbia border is a "major" crossing, in 2010 that crossing did not even sell the required Serbia insurance, and I had to re-route South to get into Serbia at what was then the only crossing selling the required insurance. Further, at any Serbia border other than major motorway, you may have to wait/ delay for a local insurance agent to be called to come sell you Serbia insurance, before Serbia will allow you to enter. Not a problem if you're just ambling along, but a hassle if you're on any kind of "schedule".

Of course, that was 2010, and conditions change all the time.
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  #133  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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last time I was in Macedonia, it was 50 euros for 2 weeks.
albania was about 25 a month.
serbia is always a gamble, sometimes going in the smaller checkpoints, they either dont ask to see insurance, or if they do, when I hand em my green card. sometimes they dont notice that SRB is X'd out, sometimes they do.
At the big main crossings, they always check, & hold your passport until you come back & show them you bought it. I think they get a kickback.
Oh, and you will save money by first going to the bank & exchanging for Serb Dinars, and paying for the insurance with them, as the insurance guy will give you a crappy exchange rate.

Sam, you gonna come visit us in Bulgaria again this year? We'll be having another travellers meeting, hope you can make it!

Doug
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  #134  
Old 24 Jan 2012
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Hi Doug...

Probably won't make it that far south this year, but if the timing is right, well distances are not all that great... Would love to attend. Of my 6 or so HU meetings, the Bulgarian meeting was my favorite by far! Highly recommended to all who can make it.

I'm sorry I didn't see your post before I bought my Green Card insurance, but I will keep you guys in mind for the next time.

Hi to Poly.
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  #135  
Old 4 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
You mentioned that most countries issue a similar-looking green form, even for country-specific coverage. Hopefully that practice will continue to become more widespread. In 2010, the supplemental insurance I bought at the border going into Turkey was issued on something quite different.
Hi Samuel:

The insurance I bought at the Turkish border in September 2011 was documented on a form that was EXACTLY identical to the 'green card' form that I posted a picture of above - the only difference was that there was only one 'country' listed in the coverage area, and that was Turkey (TR).

I visited Ukraine and Romania about 4 years ago, long before Romania joined the EC, and both the Ukrainian and Romanian border officials were familiar with the 'green card' format of insurance. On that particular trip, I had purchased my coverage from Motorcycle Express, because they provided coverage for both RO and UA.

Michael
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Here is where you get the cheap european green card insurance - Page 6 - The HUBB This thread Refback 12 May 2010 11:38
getting insurance for riding 'round Europe? - ADVrider This thread Refback 29 May 2009 13:56
Australians done europe?? BIKE INSURANCE!?? - ADVrider This thread Refback 21 May 2009 07:59
Australians done europe?? BIKE INSURANCE!?? - ADVrider This thread Refback 20 May 2009 22:24
Greencard & export from Dubai advice needed - ADVrider This thread Refback 13 May 2009 14:30
Greencard & export from Dubai advice needed - ADVrider This thread Refback 3 Apr 2009 10:44
Registering an Oz bike in UK? - The HUBB This thread Refback 23 Sep 2008 15:30
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