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Old 26 Jul 2007
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Insuring bike (theft or fire)?

or vandalism. On a trip where we´ll be starting off in a few months time, going from Europe to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and then (time, money & our endurance permitting) onwards to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia.

Insurance companies here in Finland say NO, no insurance available at all (outside of Europe, that is). I was in talks with a company Alessia, in the Netherlands, who first claimed they might be able to offer a policy. They actually did, but it did not include coverage for theft, fire or vandalism.
The reason Im after such coverage is that I have a 07 model 650Vstrom, and because this country really is a taxpayers "paradise", they cost some 40% more here than, say, in Germany (as we have a specific mc-tax for all bikes which will be registered here). So this is nearly a 10000 euros machine (here).

If it is really so that no-one can offer such coverage, then I will have to either buy some cheaper bike from Germany, or a tax-free bike here (but wont be able to ride it here, which will make its preparation a lot harder). In both cases there might be some problems I´d encounter with plates, getting a carnet, crossing borders, etc. Plus it will be a big hassle to try and find a suitable bike, especially now, when its not a long time till we should get going.

In short, it would be by far the easiest option for me to find some company that can offer such coverage at a reasonable price (I know it might cost quite a bit). I would like to go with the bike that I have right now, and of course you have to take some risks on this trip anyway, but it really does not sound very tempting to lose it completely, if I´m unlucky. Naturally I will do everything I can not to have it stolen, or burnt, in fact I think the risk is not high. But you just never know. I do realise that insured or not, my trip will be screwed, if the bike goes, so not planning to let that happen.

And how do people with expensive GS´s, or other new bikes, usually go on trips like this.. the bike is fully your own responsibility, and if lost, then thats just tough??

One clarification: I´m not after any third-party insurances etc., those I will probably have to get separately for each country anyway. Im after something that would insure the bike itself, and primarily against theft / fire.

Any ideas? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 27 Jul 2007
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The theft rate is .. well almost .. non existant for things like the mona lisa painting .. your bike goes into the same catagory when in places like India .. no oneeles has a bike like that there .. so it is very unlikely to be stolen.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. I'd say any policy you find will be too costly .. so the incentive to offer a policy is .. none as no one takes up the policy.. catch 22.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 27 Jul 2007
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Theft rate

I´ve been to India, and I know there are nearly zero big bikes there (except for Enfields). In places like Thailand, Cambodia, etc., there are some, not many, but I would think the risk is still higher than India.

In countries where theres no market for this kind of bikes, I dont think anyone would steal it to use as spare parts. And you cannot even ride that kind of bike around there much, if its stolen, because it´ll wake everybodys attention. While those 2 primary reasons for stealing bikes practically do not exist in those countries, I think its much more likely to happen here in Europe (or Australia for that matter).

Still I dont think its a good idea to go with a bike you feel you cannot part with (money-wise). There are other ways to lose the bike completely, even if its not stolen... what if you happen to put it into some boat crossing a river, and the boat turns around (this happened to a Finnish guy, who went RTW with a 1500 Goldwing in the late 80´s/early 90´s)?? Or you put it into some garage for the night, which burns down? Small chances, I know, but there may not be anything you can do. Thats why, if theres no insurance (and possibly even if there was, you´ll never know what they will REALLY cover in real life!!) its better to start off with something cheaper.

And luckily I think I still have a way around this, even if I cant find an insurance. Though it will include selling, buying, registering, etc, a big hassle, in a short time. But bying a tax-free bike, at least I dont have to pay those rip-off taxes, into my home country -- for a bike that I may never even use in here! And I´m now talking about exactly the same kind of bike that I have now. After the trip, I´ll be happy to pay the taxes (so to speak!) when I´d bring it home, but by that time it can be insured no problem.

Last edited by pecha72; 27 Jul 2007 at 06:42. Reason: forgot something
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Old 27 Jul 2007
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No insurance on taxes

I don't know how your insurance system works but over here the insurance will not cover your taxes anyway. They only insure the value of the bike. You might want to check this out if it is affecting your decision.

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Old 27 Jul 2007
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In Finland, the motorcycle-tax is payed as a one-off, when the bike is registered here. The ´price of the day´ for all new or used bikes has this tax in it as long as theyre being used, and the insurance should cover according to that price.

We got this tax as a ´punishment´ against bikers by the government in the early seventies, when a lot of riders were killed and hurt badly riding the Z900 and other sportbikes, that had no brakes or handling by todays standards. It is quite strange that we still have it, been part of the EU for over a decade now. The government is doing everything they can to keep this system, as its a big income (cars also have taxes).

At the moment my decision-making sadly does not even have the option "whether or if I should take the insurance policy or not", because I havent found anybody, who would even offer one!!
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