What You Need to Know About International Motorcycle Insurance

January 2, 2024
By Michael Padway

If you’re planning to bring your motorcycle into a foreign country for touring, you may be required to purchase international motorcycle insurance or temporary “Green Card” motorcycle insurance. Chances are that your current policy does not cover international travel, so it’s important to establish whether:

a) the country you’re traveling to requires insurance and
b) which new policy you’ll be purchasing.

Note that most countries, including the United States, will not release a motorcycle from Customs without proof of insurance.

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International Motorcycle Insurance for US & Canada

If you’re interested in purchasing motorcycle insurance for the United States or Canada, it’s important to know that the U.S. and Canadian law requires it. This kind of temporary insurance will meet the minimum requirements of each state in the U.S. and will comply with any Canadian Province. Temporary coverage can be purchased for the duration of your trip and should include a variety of options including liability (only) or liability for fire, theft, and vandalism coverage.

The minimum coverage in the U.S. is $50-500k per accident in liability insurance, in addition to bodily injury/property damage coverage. Optional coverage includes:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Guest Passenger
  • Uninsured Motorist
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International Motorcycle Insurance in Europe

When traveling to Europe, American, and Canadian citizens will need to purchase a temporary motorcycle “Green Card” insurance. This policy will cover you for the duration of your trip and will meet foreign regulations for tourists. You’ll need to purchase temporary liability coverage for the number of months you’ll be traveling and you may also consider purchasing bodily injury, collision or comprehensive coverage. Additionally, it’s important to note that many foreign policies cannot be purchased internationally, so you must contact a local insurance broker in the European country you’ll travel to.

When purchasing insurance packages for foreign touring, it is important to consider your comfort level as a driver – be honest with yourself! If you are nervous about the tour, or you occasionally experience a lack of focus or heightened anxiety while driving, you may be more likely to be involved in an accident in foreign territory due to a combination of factors, including new surroundings, new road laws, and new sights.

Be sure to evaluate your situation and comfort levels prior to riding to ensure a safe trip! It’s always smart to play it safe and plan as much as possible for the unexpected. If you’re at all worried or nervous about touring in a foreign country, buy extra protection for you and your motorcycle. Good luck and stay safe out there!

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Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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