When you go on a far road trip, especially when you don’t know when you will end, it is important that you got yourself good covered. You don’t want any problems or surprises with both your health, car or damaged products.
In this post I cover the various insurances you need and I have some useful tips for you.
Start with good research
In Holland we have a saying “a good start is half the work.” Start with formulating your travel conditions. Are you going to do activities like water sports or skydiving, are you bringing your own dive gear? It’s important to know this. Then look at the length of your planned journey. Are you going just a month, two times a year or traveling to the other side of the world? It’s very important to know.
Search for the insurances who match with your conditions. Read the small letters clearly because I had to find out the hard way. I started with a travel insurance which covered 365 days. From this I understood you are always insured, even when you travel 2 years but it means the maximum covered period is 365 days. The second year I was not covered and had to find a new insurance company. This seemed hard as most companies don’t want to start a new insurance when you are already traveling.
Joho Special Isis Insurance
So I found Joho Insurances. A Dutch company who makes packages for travellers or people who will be abroad for a long time, for study or work. I informed them about my situation and they quickly replied and provided information about which insurance fits best.
This was the ‘Joho Special Isis’ insurance. A bit of a weird name in this time, especially when I was traveling in the Middle East but ey, there are many girls around the world who carry the same name. They are very clear about what they can do for you and this made me decide to go for this package. My medical costs are also covered through this insurance, luckily so far I didn’t need to make any claims.
Joho focusses on travelers and has packages for every need. So if you want to go deep sea diving or just relaxing on a random Indonesian island. Joho has a suitable insurance for you.
Traveling around Europe is quite easy as you get full coverage in most European countries with your standard car insurance. See the green card (insurance slip) and check for which countries you are covered. Mostly this covers all European countries except Russia.
Turkey was the last country for which I was covered and after that you have to get an insurance for each individual country. This can be a real pain in the ass. You can only get a third party insurance, this means you are covered for when you hit a person. But when you hit an object, your car gets stolen or damaged by someone else you are not insured.
To make it easier I made a list of how I insured my car in all the various countries.
This was the first country who was not covered on my green card. In the first city in Russia I had to visit an insurance company who can offer you a Russia only green card. You just need to show your drivers license and pay about €30 for a month.
Strangely enough Iran is also listed on the green card but always crossed out. Getting a third party insurance for Iran is easy, straightforward and cheap. Just when you cross the border there is a small insurance office, before you exit the customs area. The people speak English and can provide you with a insurance in minutes. Costs are about 15 euro for 3 months.
United Arab Emirates
The first country where I had problems to find a car insurance. By law a third party insurance is mandatory but as a foreigner it is not possible to get an insurance in the UAE. You need to have a permanent residence and local drivers license to get one.
Insurance it possible through a German company Tourinsure. Through them you can get a third party car insurance which is valid in the whole GCC region (UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar). Their service is good, once payment has been made they sent you a digital copy of the green slip and send you the original one by mail. It is quite costly, 250 euro for the first month and 90 euro for every next month.
Yeah India. According to some blogs it is possible to get your foreign car insured in India. Try calling or emailing an insurance company in India and you won’t receive an answer. When I arrived in Mumbai I visited many companies but no-one wanted to insure me, the reason why was not clear. When talking to people about this many people told me no-one in India really has an insurance. When you encounter an accident you have to sort it out together and mostly the guy with the biggest muscles is the one who doesn’t have to pay. It’s sad but it’s the way it works here. I decided to stop my search for an insurance and pray to the Indian god of luck.
Free tip: you can better hit a little child as a cow with your car. Cows are holy in India and if you hit one you first will get chased by the whole village and then you will need to pay the rest of your life.
Just a warning about Bangladesh. It is not possible to enter the country without paying a deposit 1 to 2 times the new price of the car! A Carnet de Passage is not valid here, contrary to what mosts blogs and the carnet itself says. If you can get an insurance in Bangladesh, I don’t know.
Traveling by own vehicle through Myanmar is different. By law it’s mandatory that a guide and government official escort your during the entire stay. In my case they awaited me at the India/ Myanmar border and we said goodbye at the Thai border.
You have to arrange this through a tourist company who also take car of your car insurance.
Same rules as Myanmar apply.
You need to be in possession of an insurance policy and ICP (International Circulation Permit) before you enter the country. At the Thai border you will find various offices who can arrange this for you. The price is about €60 for 3 months and can be extended through the Malaysian Automobile Association.
Funny detail: the price of the policy depend on the cylindrical capacity, which an electric car doesn’t have. This caused some stir at the insurance office but with some talking I managed to get the lowest category.
I have traveled through this country but I don’t know if I was insured or not. For Malaysian citizens their local insurance is valid in Brunei but it was not clear if that was valid for me too. It was not possible to get an insurance at the border and as I was planning to stay there only for 2 days I didn’t really bother.
Indonesia is in many ways similar to India, also in terms of unclear insurance policies. It’s not possible to get it at the border and for a foreigner it seems near to impossible to get one from a insurance office.
One a few blogs I have read that the Indonesian government has a special fund for accidents which involve foreign cars. When the foreign car caused the accident the fund will cover all the costs. However I couldn’t find any info about this fund on official government websites so it’s still unclear if I’m safe or not.
I hope you have a better idea about how you need to prepare for a long road trip or find some useful information for when you are already living the dream. If you have any questions let me know in the comments.
Disclaimer: after doing research I choose for the Joho package myself. I receive a small cashback for writing this article. Views are my own.