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Old 10 Feb 2008
maria41's Avatar
The franglais-riders
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: South West London
Posts: 853
Smile International MC insurance and talks with a chilean lawyer....

Well, as some of you may know, I had a crash 2 weeks ago on carretera austral. None of my fault. As a result of this I ended up prosecuting successfully a canadian biker who had not 1 but 2 insurances!
I think for those of you preparing such a trip, it could be useful info!

I won´t go into details. he admitted fault to the police, and left the next day on his tour, giving me the documents of his argentinian insurance. Let´s start with that one.

The cheap insurance for bikes that you can buy in south america are NOT 3rd party. They only cover costs on personal injuries, NOT the damages caused to someone else vehicule. If you buy insurance of this type and you cause a crash, you will have to pay for any damages caused to other vehicules.

Now, the lad who destroyed the front end of my bike also had a US international Motorcycle insurance. What is the probability that a US insurance bought by a canadian, will pay europeans for an accident that occured in Chile? They would drag it for ever.
When I phoned them they did not even recognised the policy number.
Following the advice of a local chilean judge, I went to the police. All details of this story will be posted very soon on my website.

The bottom line is that I ended up hiring a lawyer and suing the guy. He was stopped at the border, his bike confiscated by the police and had to make his way to Punta arenas. It did not matter that this guy had international insurance, he was forced to pay for the cost of repairing my bike.

My lawyer told me this happens often. 3 weeks before, he had the case of a british guy who crashed, and despite having international insurance bought in Perou, was forced to pay the damages thet he caused, by a judge.

The guy who crashed on me was also forced to pay.
So, before you buy international insurance that will cost you an arm and a leg let me tell you I don´t think it is worth it.
Insurance for your bike is a legal requirement, for peace of mind and in case of crash, it is good to have that piece of paper. I was asked for mine by the police, when I crashed, despite me being the victim. But it is just that, a piece of paper!
As for the "international insurance" when I asked my lawyer if they would pay, he laughed a lot!
SO, for a trip like that, my advice would be, yes if you can, to avoid fines and for peace of mind, get a cheap one. Don´t waste you money on an international expensive one, they don´t like it at all down here!
And make sure you have contingency money in case you cause an accident.
Maybe the guy who caused my accident will get a refund from his insurance in the US, I don´t know, but I am pretty sure it will be a nightmare to get them to pay!
But the best way is probably to avoid riding like you are in the Paris-Dakar.
And remember, if you kill someone, you will go to jail, insurance or not!

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