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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

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  • 1 Post By mark manley
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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 2024
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Vehicle and Personal Insurance Requirements by Country

Hello all,

New to the forum, and I'll do a proper intro post soon. I know this is a bike forum, but I figure the questions I have apply to a car as well. My best friend and I are moving to China next year from the US, and we plan to ship our '87 Jaguar XJ6 Series III to London and drive the rest of the way. As we deal with import requirements once we arrive, visas, route planning, etc, one more issue we must deal with is insurance, in this case the required car and/or medical insurance will need to legally drive in the countries we will be passing through.

The route begins in London, and after some time in England it's off to the mainland. After winding our way around the continent,
we'll enter Russia, at which point there are two major options:

1. South through the Caucasus nations, into the Middle East through north Iraq, a detour exploring the Levant, then onward East through Iran, Pakistan, and there comes a second set of options: continue East through India, Bangladesh, Burma, into China from the South or cross right there from Pakistan.

2. South-East into Kazakhstan, back up Russia, into Mongolia, then into China.

So, I'm here to find out which of these countries will require some form of car and/or medical insurance and recommendations on which providers can cover us. I saw the sticky on insurance providers, but I figure asking again could yield some more specific answers before I go calling around. And, obviously, we will look into insurance beyond the legal requirements.

Finally, if there is a car forum for these sorts of journeys, recommendations are welcome.
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  #2  
Old 29 Jan 2024
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Hello and welcome to the forum,

The most straightforward answer to your question is that you will require insurance for the car in every country you pass through and there is no requirement for medical insurance in any of them but you would be wise to get some in case of some medical emergency and you will have to get this in your home country in the form of travel insurance that covers you abroad. You can possibly get vehicle insurance that covers you for the UK and Europe on one policy but after that you will need to get local insurance at each border, there is often a seller just after customs and immigration.

Things change and possible routes come and go depending on the political situation in each country and how your own government is getting on with the one you plan to pass through. As things stand US passport holders cannot easily travel through Iran if at all ruling out the India route unless you ship around and Burma is closed with no sign of reopening anytime soon.

It is possible at the moment to drive through Turkey, Georgia, through a small part of Russia to Kazakhstan, a US passport holder on here or Advrider travelled that route last summer but obviously things can change.

This route also does not require a carnet de passage unlike going through India, I presume you have already looked into importing your car into China? If not this is the first thing to do before planning anything else.

This is not a motorcycle only forum, car drivers are welcome and is arguably the best place for the information you are after.
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Old 29 Jan 2024
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My thanks for the warm welcome. It's good to hear things are more sensible with required insurance than I thought. I'll still attempt to arrange things in as many places as possible before setting off, but to know that there are insurance providers at the borders if things can't be set up beforehand is reassuring. On the subject of medical items, does anyone know if past vaccinations, i.e. those one received as regular medical items during childhood, can be added to a Carte Jaune or if they must be had again?

I've done some preliminary research into the Iran situation, and it appears possible but not without a registered guide being with us at all times. It's a comfortable back seat; so, I guess we'll have a traveling companion. As for Burma, that is a shame. I guess we'll have to see about crossing into China elsewhere in the region.

Visas in general are going to be an interesting situation, as half or more of the embassies I have contacted know nothing concerning any special visas or documentation needed to drive into the country. So far, the Russians have been the only informative ones, letting me know there is a special driving-tourist visa for just purposes such as ours. I'll probably make a separate post on the subject after looking through the forum for info.

The China situation is actually one of the biggest hurdle, as I can't find much precedent for importing a car into the country. My consulting agent has also never heard of someone doing such a thing, but it must be possible. My only lead is a classic car tour that transpired some years ago, but website for the event, though still up when last I checked, yielded no response. This is an ongoing process.

I'll also make another post about how worried we should be about having the car turned inside out at border crossings. We suspect we'll acquire souvenirs and other items of interest. In addition, the car, on top of a full mechanical overhaul to prevent failures in the 30k miles of the journey, will be getting cosmetic work. So, we'd like to do everything possible to prevent customs agents from tearing the car apart and confiscating items.

Finally, it's good to have some positive reception to the idea in general. I once had the idea to undertake a trip like this on horseback, but I'll save that for another year (or decade).
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Old 29 Jan 2024
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There are no special visas for driving your own vehicle just tourist or transit visas and a carnet de passage for the vehicle depending on where you are going, the Central Asia route is good for avoiding this requirement but for South Asia via Iran, Pakistan and India you will definitely require one.

If you do manage to get into Iran you could try for Turkmenistan which can be problematic and get into Central Asia that way or directly into China from Pakistan or go India, Nepal, China which is actually into Tibet.

The only vaccinations that anyone at the border might be interested in are Yellow Fever if you are coming from or entering an infected area and possibly covid, the latter was certainly the case when I entered Nepal and India last year.

I read a book a few years ago about a British woman who rode across Central Asia on a horse, it took her about 18 months and was quite an adventure.

Last edited by mark manley; 29 Jan 2024 at 17:50. Reason: More info
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Old 30 Jan 2024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
I read a book a few years ago about a British woman who rode across Central Asia on a horse, it took her about 18 months and was quite an adventure.
Do you know the book's title?

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Old 30 Jan 2024
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Originally Posted by pakohan View Post
Do you know the book's title?

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Silk Route Adventure by Claire Burges Watson.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silk-Route-.../dp/0709080611
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  #7  
Old 11 Feb 2024
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I can answer at least partially your questions.

Russia:
need medical insurance, need vehicle insurance. Medical is enforced when you are getting visa, the friend of mine from Minnesota was charged $90 for it in Tbilisi. Vehicle insurance is required, however there are issues with getting it due to sanctions, so I wasn't able to all the times I had gone through, and not for the lack of trying. Penalty for not having one: ₽500, and you can talk yourself out of it in odd case if you stopped by police. No western card works, cash only.

Georgia:
Medical insurance not required/enforced, vehicle insurance strictly enforced. If you won't get one you will be charged leaving the country, along with all unpaid tickets. Vehicle insurance very cheap you can get it online at https://tpl.ge/en

Central Asia:
Kazakhstan: vehicle required, not enforced. It may become an issue when you get stopped by police.

Uzbekistan: vehicle insurance required, enforced at police stop. Their police and effin customs are not the nicest people, but otherwise a good country.

Kyrgyzstan: definitely not enforced, if required. Their police is the organized racket but mostly along the main road BTW Bishkek and Osh. They will try to ticket you for having LED lights, going 80kmh in 90kmh zone, etc.

Turkey: vehicle insurance required, enforced at entry point. You can buy it at the border crossing. and not cheap. IIRC some of the EU Green Card issues cover Turkey.

Armenia: if required not enforced. Can buy vehicle insurance after a border crossing.

Azerbaijan: vehicle insurance required, enforced at entry point.

Tajikistan: vehicle insurance required, enforced at entry point. MasterCard doesn't work and there may be a handful of ATMs in the country which you can draw money off MC, Visa works everywhere.
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Old 24 Feb 2024
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Certainly useful info. So, if I'm getting this right, most countries will have insurance agents at the border? As for penalties for not having insurance, it sounds like they're far less severe than any Western country. I'm also guessing that, unlike here in the United States, the local police aren't going to have license plate readers on all of their cars to see if one has insurance, not that I'd try my luck.

I'm frankly not expecting any insurer to compensate me for damages to my car, with it being a classic that most insurers won't even ensure here. I'm just looking for the national minimums.

I've done some research on here for universal insurers, but I haven't found any insurers whose websites don't look extremely sketchy. As such, I ask if anyone has recommendations for global insurers for both medical and cars. I'd like to find insurers to cover as many countries as possible and only after that start contacting insurers from individual countries. I'll make a separate post on the matter as well.

For regional and global insurers, what sort of prices should I expect? I'm guessing it's not like the U. S. where hundreds of dollars per month for basic coverage is deemed normal.
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Old 27 Feb 2024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by criceo View Post
Certainly useful info. So, if I'm getting this right, most countries will have insurance agents at the border? As for penalties for not having insurance, it sounds like they're far less severe than any Western country. I'm also guessing that, unlike here in the United States, the local police aren't going to have license plate readers on all of their cars to see if one has insurance, not that I'd try my luck.

I'm frankly not expecting any insurer to compensate me for damages to my car, with it being a classic that most insurers won't even ensure here. I'm just looking for the national minimums.

I've done some research on here for universal insurers, but I haven't found any insurers whose websites don't look extremely sketchy. As such, I ask if anyone has recommendations for global insurers for both medical and cars. I'd like to find insurers to cover as many countries as possible and only after that start contacting insurers from individual countries. I'll make a separate post on the matter as well.


For regional and global insurers, what sort of prices should I expect? I'm guessing it's not like the U. S. where hundreds of dollars per month for basic coverage is deemed normal.

Just to be clear we are talking about several different kinds of insurance general here.I don't know the specific country rules for the countries you mentioned but:

1. A majority of country require the driver of a foreign registered vehicle to have THIRD PARTY COMPREHENSIVE which may cover life only (e.g. Australia) or life and property (e.g. Thailand - I think but don't quote me).

This insurance protects the victim's expenses when YOU are fault. It offers you nothing (except a headache) and in numerous countries you'll have to pay the damage in cash to hospital, morgue, or panelbeater/mechanic before you'll be leaving the country and then be trying to get it recouped from the LOCAL insurance company which send you all the documents to claim in their local language.

There is an exception in some first world travellers insurance (google the major names or click on links to their sponsorship of the site) who will case manage your liability. Basically 'public liability insurance - life or property sometimes one or other other or sometimes both. Make sure you know this policy inside and out even if you are compelled to buy a local policy don't resent the doubling up. Because the local one may not be worth squat and you could be held until god knows what funery expenses get dealt with.

2. The second is theft, and damage property to your own vehicle whether at fault or not. To my knowledge there are no insurers anywhere that offer multi-country insurance for your $50,000 R 1250 GSA Triple Black once it's out of the jurisdiction it is registered in. Of course, confederated states as in Australia and the US and I guess Schengen states in Europe offer multi-jurisdiction projection for vehicles legaly registered in a confederacy of states with complementary policies. Crash a NSW registered bike in Queensland you cn be comprehensive theft insurance. But not if that bikes is visiting from Belgium under a Carnet. Whereas if the Belgian bike crashed or was nicked in France your normal Compreensive policy probably has it covered Europe wide.

If your bike is stolen written off or expensively damaged and you know the registration of the culprit in a third country then you stand a chance of recouping your loss via that third country's compulsory third party policy they may made yo buy on entry. Presuming he's paid his premium that is. I've hear stories about riders of $50,000 bikes making friends with young men with little income and a shit box two-stroke (unrelated to any crash) making a deal on creaming the insurance for the crash that only they witnessed. You'd find Aussies willing to help you out like that. You don't even need bike-to-bike contact, he's just got to be at full forcing you off the ride (not that semi trailer driving with it's lights off at night).

FYI: the purely type 1 third party (medical) insurance for my Australian 2023 R1250 GSA Triple black costs AUD $720 per year.
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