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Old 25 Jan 2008
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Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
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Insurance for Europe (for US registered bike)

OK, I seem to have hit a stumbling block...

I thought that when I brought my US registered and titled XR650 into the UK, I could just add it to my existing UK insurance policy, using the Chassis (VIN) number...

However, it seems that in 'Brown's Big Brother Britain', for me to insure a bike here in the UK, it now has to be actually registered in the UK too - not least so that the insurance company can inform the National Numberplate Recognition Database or whatever it's called - and my every movememt can be recorded etc. (don't even get me started on whatever happened to freedom to go about one'sbusiness and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty - Minority Report was not so Sci-Fi afterall huh?)...

However, I don't want to register the machine here in the UK as I wish to retain the US title and registration for when I take the bike back to the States, to make re-import and insurance straightforward there...

You'd think in this modern day and age of global travel, that as long as the bike is titled and registered to me, it shouldn't matter where the original ownership paperwork was done? Or is that too simple for the bloody UK these days...

So, the basic question is, has anyone with a US registered machine arrived in the UK with it, and got it insured for use during an onward trip though Europe? I can't believe this is not a simple enough proceedure - so can anyone recommend a broker/underwriter who will insure a foreign machine in the EU?

Many thanks in advance!

JennyMo xxx

ps. I can't simply use my original US insurance policy, as it was only valid within the 49 states...
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Old 26 Jan 2008
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: ATLANTA
Posts: 38
usa bike in uk

hey mate welcome to my world..ok this may help.first are you a usa citizen ?
if so you can get insurance with gieko or aig its pricy but worth it.i got my harley insured for $600 for 8 weeks full comp. there the only ones who will do it.if you uk citizen then youre out of luck.you have to do sva and register there.also did you get carnet before you left usa?you need it to take bike back.
hope this helps mate.good luck.
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Old 26 Jan 2008
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Hi Brittman -

Unfortunately (in this case at least) I'm not a US citizen, but British don'tcha know!

I used Progressive in the US as Geiko wouldn't insure me as a 'tourist', only a resident etc as you say... I'm also planning on being in Europe for most of this spring and summer, so a short term policy wouldn't really work (or else be prohibitively expensive) - good info for other US travellers though - love those Geiko adverts btw.

I wasn't aware I needed a carnet to get the bike back into the USA? I have my title (stamped with the date of export) and the original bill of sale, registration document etc. perhaps you can clarify?

I've been doing a bit of research since I first posted, and it seems that you can get basic Green Card liability cover via the ADAC (German automobile club) on a monthly basis for a foreign registered bike in Europe, however, that only covers you 3rd party and not for theft or damage etc.

It is also bizzare that I have to insure my American bike in Germany just so I can ride it in England?!, but there is noone in the UK that deals with this, not even the RAC (infact the RAC no longer insure motorbikes in the UK at all, can you believe it?!)

However, I think I have found a way around this... if all I can get is personal liability insurance via ADAC anyway, then as I have more than enough personal liabilty cover as part of my travel insurance package, I can just use that as cover should I be involved in an accident with anyone else... as far as I can see, this is perfectly ligitimate - and I checked this with my insurers and they said whether I was on a motorbike or a jetski, I'd still be covered for personal liability... so it looks like I'll just need a big padlock and hope the bike doesn't get stolen!

JennyMo xxx

ps. You'd think the UK would be a bit more switched on regarding insuring vehicles that are not registered here - is it any wonder that people drive uninsured?
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Old 27 Jan 2008
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Perth West Australia
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Insurance in UK - what a nightmare

Im taking my British built australian registered Triumph over to UK this August. I thought it would be straight forward, but have come across same problems as you guys. Im originally from UK and thought - no problem.

I've tried to insure using my british bike licence and a permanent address over there but the foreign bike causes a problem and you have to have been resident for more than 3 years. Unless I re-register which would be daft. Im only there for 7 weeks.

I've e-mailed several insurance companies and received no help.

The only thing I can see at this point is the green card thingy for 3rd party and Jennymo's idea of personal insurance.

Drives me nuts
Im from UK
Have UK licence
Have UK permanent address
Have UK made bike
cant get insurance
Perth to Peru 2014 | Perth to Perth 2012
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Old 27 Jan 2008
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Location: france
Posts: 114
Hi Jenny Mo

Did your travelling salesman legend not tell you that they were US bikes? That's why they were a bargain, cause there aren't that many people ready to deal with the hassle of getting them insured in the EU. Doesn't matter. I can't really speak from experience, as I've never done the US. But, Axa are worldwide they might be able to help you check them out. Best of luck

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Last edited by ta-all-the-way; 27 Jan 2008 at 17:10.
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Old 8 Feb 2008
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: West Virginia, USA
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by stevenkirk View Post
The only thing I can see at this point is the green card thingy for 3rd party and Jennymo's idea of personal insurance.

Drives me nuts
Im from UK
Have UK licence
Have UK permanent address
Have UK made bike
cant get insurance
This sounds bizarre, but it is to be expected. In the UK, unlike many countries, a vehicle gets a license plate for life. That is, as soon as it goes on the road, it should have a plate which stays with it, even when ownership transfers. A vehicle that doesn't have a UK plate raises a red flag, and thus insurance companies will assume it is foreign, never been registered in the UK, and won't insure foreign registered vehicles.

This is in stark contrast to the US where vehicles change plates when ownership transfers. Plates stay with the owner in most states. In fact your situation is even expected in the US becuase you can't get a license plate until you first get insurance in most states. So the insurance companies will even assume that your vehicle doesn't yet have a license plate and proceed to accept your business.
Better to be an idiot than a crook.
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