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Central America and Mexico Topics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
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  #1  
Old 12 Dec 2022
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Have I got this right?

I am about to commit a #$%# load of money to ship my bike from New Zealand to USA and on air fares for my wife and I.

Being New Zealanders we do not need visa for any Central or South American country (but because we have previously travelled in Syria and Iran we have an appointment with the US consulate here on Thursday to hopefully get a visa for the US).

So once we have the bike in USA we can "simply" head south without needing any other special things (yes we will arrange motorcycle and health insurance)?

We are both vaccinated for Covid.

Yes I know this is a simple question, we have researched on the web, but just want the final confirmation from others who have travelled that way.

Thank you
Kiwi Mike
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  #2  
Old 12 Dec 2022
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Insurance? For your bike and to cover your medical expenses? Most of US states require some kind of liability insurance and hospitals are very expensive so you may want some kind of travel insurance with hospital coverage.

Do you have 5G phone? World phone plan? If not get prepaid something like cricket or straight talk in walmart. Preferably via AT&T they have better rural coverage. Also phone selection is important if your phone doesn't support 5G EX (band n64?) you may be left without service outside of interstate system.

Free Wi-Fi is available at fast food and hotels so you just need enough data for emergencies, WhatsApp and Google maps.
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  #3  
Old 12 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
Insurance? For your bike and to cover your medical expenses? Most of US states require some kind of liability insurance and hospitals are very expensive so you may want some kind of travel insurance with hospital coverage.

Do you have 5G phone? World phone plan? If not get prepaid something like cricket or straight talk in walmart. Preferably via AT&T they have better rural coverage. Also phone selection is important if your phone doesn't support 5G EX (band n64?) you may be left without service outside of interstate system.

Free Wi-Fi is available at fast food and hotels so you just need enough data for emergencies, WhatsApp and Google maps.
Thank you, and sorry I did mean travel insurance
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  #4  
Old 12 Dec 2022
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FOUR kinds of insurance you need to know about for travelling

Remember, there are FOUR kinds of insurance that are relevant:
  1. Vehicle / Liability insurance to legally drive on the road in most countries
  2. Travel Insurance, the usual medical stuff. Be SURE you're actually covered!
  3. Evacuation insurance, to get you out and home.
  4. The one that you generally can't get for your bike once you're out of your home country / area; theft and damage for the bike.
Re: 1 - Canada / USA and Mexico all REQUIRE you have Liability insurance before driving anywhere. Loads of threads on this.
Countries south, you generally get it at the border when you get there. Mexico too, but it's a LOT easier if you do it in advance online.

Re: 2 - READ THE FINE PRINT! Much travel insurance assumes you're going on holiday to a resort, and at most will be renting a scooter, so it's invalid over 30 days or over 125cc!

Re 3 - yeah you want evac insurance. A Recent Evac was US$190,000 to get someone from Africa to USA. Yes you can afford it, or you can't afford to go. See the Ripcord and Global Rescue ads on the home page and elsewhere. Yes we make a few dollars if you buy from them using our links, but they're there BECAUSE we recommend their type of service.

Re 4 - Theft and damage for the bike - you're self insured. Also known as a very big reason many people take old bikes not expensive new ones.

Hope that helps, and that you have a GREAT trip!
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  #5  
Old 13 Dec 2022
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There is usually a place you can buy liability insurance at Mexico border.. and probably a better deal in border town but none on US side. Mexico also takes a deposit for TIP (temporary importation) make sure you check bike out when you leave and get money back. Besides loosing ~$500 when TIP expires in 6mo you will have problems coming into country next time.

As for medical 5 years ago I hit an effin deer at 60mph. Nothing broken just tore ligaments and was on the crutches for several weeks. 3min ambulance ride (crash happened practically in front of the hospital) x-rays, crutches, Tylenol and a shot ended up with ~$5000 bill.

I don't bother with insurance in any other country but wouldn't dare do the same in US of A.
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  #6  
Old 15 Dec 2022
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So exiting times, we obtained our USA visa today, and scary as it means there is nothing stopping us now to do this adventure :-)

Thank you everyone for your replies, one question re insurance for USA and Mexico - we plan to leave USA fairly quickly and travel into Mexico. As we have dont have a set schedule we won't know how long we will be in Mexico for. So do we say buy 8 weeks of coverage for USA and Mexico and then buy more if we are still in Mexico - does it work that way?

(Grant I have emailed Ripcord asking for a "Offer code" and your link to Global Rescue no longer works)

Kiwi Mike
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  #7  
Old 15 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young1 View Post
So exiting times, we obtained our USA visa today, and scary as it means there is nothing stopping us now to do this adventure :-)



Thank you everyone for your replies, one question re insurance for USA and Mexico - we plan to leave USA fairly quickly and travel into Mexico. As we have dont have a set schedule we won't know how long we will be in Mexico for. So do we say buy 8 weeks of coverage for USA and Mexico and then buy more if we are still in Mexico - does it work that way?



(Grant I have emailed Ripcord asking for a "Offer code" and your link to Global Rescue no longer works)



Kiwi Mike
From what I remember buying insurance at mexican border the difference between 1 and 6 months was maybe 30%. I think my Canadian friend buys insurance online but I usually don't bother just get at the border.

Where are you shipping bike to? LA? There are lots of things to see in US and Southwest is nice this time of the year it's actually prime time for Death Valley.

Here's a thread on ADVrider on Mexico ask there and guys would help you in. Many thread regulars either live in MX or spend considerable amount of time there good luck

https://www.advrider.com/f/threads/i...o-safe.546927/
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  #8  
Old 16 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young1 View Post
So exiting times, we obtained our USA visa today, and scary as it means there is nothing stopping us now to do this adventure :-)
(Grant I have emailed Ripcord asking for a "Offer code" and your link to Global Rescue no longer works)

Kiwi Mike

Thanks for letting me know Mike, FIXED now.

Global Rescue link for 2022 (they've changed their system!)

Full Disclosure: If you buy from any of these guys we get a portion of the fee. It costs you nothing more.
Thanks for using our links and letting them know we sent you!
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  #9  
Old 16 Dec 2022
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As far as medical insurance is concerned we got a world wide cover INCLUDING USA AND CANADA from our home country.
Bike insurance for Canada and USA was through Motorcycle Express (Google). Mexico was through Lewis and Lewis (California - fully comp). Central America was at the border - usually obligatory but not always, if it is they will tell you.

Apart from that you can just go - best resource is IOverlander app for borders, don’t go to a border without checking it. Take original of your bike reg document, make copies (B&W) of passport, license, bike reg - you won’t always need license copies but might need 2 of the others so take plenty.
There are some idiosyncrasies for the odd border so I can’t emphasise enough the importance of checking IOverlander as things change.

I can recommend Overland Embassy for crossing the Darian Gap.

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  #10  
Old 16 Dec 2022
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For moto insurance in Mexico you may want to take a look at Mexadventure.com. Good customer service, I think Chris is the owner.
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  #11  
Old 16 Dec 2022
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For the compulsory vehicle liability insurance for MEXICO you should be aware of the option of getting "Drivers license dedicated " insurance , referred to as DL from here on.
The coverage amounts in DL insurance will be the same as if you were to buy the " vehicle dedicated " trip insurance which you are probably speaking of when you mention buying another eight weeks of insurance . Both types will include provision for legal assistance and bail bond , some form of roadside assistance. Read the fine prints .
Take note however : the cost of the DL insurance will be much lower than buying the vehicle dedicated daily rated trip insurance.
After I discovered DL insurance have been buying that type of insurance for years with no complaints . **
Typically the trip insurance will be made out to you with the VIN , make and model of the bike ( or car) and the price will start at rate of , say $20 per day , for one day or for X number of days . For a longer period the daily price may be reduced slightly in steps up to a particular length of stay in Mexico . For a month you may be paying $300 or more .

The DL insurance on the other hand is made out to you and YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE NUMBER, with no mention of any vehicle name or VIN .
The beauty of DL insurance is twofold : the price is much less than vehicle trip insurance AND I am permitted to take different vehicles into Mexico on different trips under that single DL policy . (I know this versatility is of no use to Young1, but in that ONE year I am able to take several trips into Mexico with different bikes and the car , one vehicle at a time . )
In my case I discovered that I can buy a whole year of DL insurance for less money than I would have to pay for two or three weeks of the vehicle dedicated liability insurance .
If you are going into Mexico for a month you will likely be spending less for the liability insurance if you buy a DL policy . At most you would spend 180 days ,minus one , in Mexico which is the usual maximum length of stay on an FMM ( the Tourist Card ) . Again ,in my case I buy ONE ENTIRE year of DL insurance for $150USD, or I did until covid interrupted my travel habits .

The sources for this DL insurance are the same people who will sell you vehicle dedicated trip insurance but you need to ask them about it . In my case I deal with Mexusinsurance , out of Calexico , California . When I first visited their office in person , about 14 years ago they were the ones who explained the DL for me and since then I have simply renewed the policy annually , the most recent was for 2019 when a full year for that cost me $150 .
I understand that there are other insurance services which charge less still.
Whomever sells it , whether in Mexico or the USA , the insurance they sell is serviced by the very same Mexican-registered insurance companies , which may be subsidiaries of US or European insurance companies . Insurance for the USA is not valid in Mexico and vice versa .

** As for the type of full coverage vehicle insurance - fire, crash repair, theft - I go without on the premise that I will have to swallow that cost or loss ,because to me as a frequent traveller in Mexico the amounts of money required would soon be substantial . After 45 years and many trips in Mexico and not paying the premiums for full cover insurance I have saved enough money for the cost of a new replacement bike .
I think that this is what Grant referred to as being " self insured ". (?)
Your risk / loss tolerance may vary and you may want to insure to the hilt . But if you ride at a sensible conservative pace , keep you observation skills sharp and interact safely in traffic and watch where you park the bike your risk of loss can be dramatically limited . Avoid any and all contact between vehicles . Simply dropping the bike may cause some scratching and dings but full cover insurance may have a deductible so high that you will still pay for your repairs out of pocket .

As for Central America , the LIABILITY insurance is compulsory to have in Belize ,Nicaragua ,Costa Rica and Panama (2020) and it will be sold at each country's official border crossings , no way to not be aware of it . The cost will be very low . Each country's insurance supersedes any claimed general Central American insurance you may have bought .
The other Central American countries (GT, HN ,ES) do not actually demand that you have such liability insurance but it is wise to have it ,in case you do get into a small scrape with another vehicle , sometimes sneeky types do that intentionally in order to get some cash from you in a quick roadside settlement without getting police involved . Don't bite !
For CA insurance you may refer to the various insurance companies found on the internet sites and try buying it before hand , with reservation . The closer to the border you are you will have better ideas as to when and how long your stay may be in the next country and so you will better be able to buy the appropriate length of policy .
What may be the wiser and more practical approach for South America would be to buy insurance for such countries as you near the time when you will be entering them . Again some of them may have sellers of insurance at or near the border .

One of these insurers I can recommend for easy service is located in Guatemala and may be reached rather quickly by email and a policy can be arranged to cover Guatemala, as well as cover for Honduras and El Salvador. ( a friend did just that a week ago in Belize the day before he entered Guatemala )
This Guatemalteco Insurance company is called TodoRiesgo , with HQ in Guatemala City and agents in the various Departments of the country . For contact you may trcorreo - t - doriesgo.net and ask for Edgar Daniel Alvarado who deals with his district of the Peten . Company site is www.todoriesgo.net
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http://advrider.com/index.php?thread....207964/page-5 then scroll down to post #93

Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 17 Dec 2022 at 17:31. Reason: Correct spelling errors , punctuation , smoothen a phrase or two
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  #12  
Old 17 Dec 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young1 View Post
I am about to commit a #$%# load of money to ship my bike from New Zealand to USA and on air fares for my wife and I.

Being New Zealanders we do not need visa for any Central or South American country (but because we have previously travelled in Syria and Iran we have an appointment with the US consulate here on Thursday to hopefully get a visa for the US).

So once we have the bike in USA we can "simply" head south without needing any other special things (yes we will arrange motorcycle and health insurance)?

We are both vaccinated for Covid.

Yes I know this is a simple question, we have researched on the web, but just want the final confirmation from others who have travelled that way.

Thank you
Kiwi Mike
Just to hijack a little, can I ask where you’re shipping to and what company did you use.
Many thanks
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  #13  
Old 17 Dec 2022
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Originally Posted by Flipflop View Post
Just to hijack a little, can I ask where you’re shipping to and what company did you use.
Many thanks
PM sent
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