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Graham Smith

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Posted on behalf of a friend…

A mate is coming over from the US, aged 72, clean license three years – my Footman James insurer are not interested in adding to my policy to ride my bikes

Any ideas where I might go to get him insurance to ride one of my smaller bikes?
 

Magnetoman

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Many US policies will cover it,
I've found this not to be the case. I've ridden in the Irish Rally most years since 2000 and the problem of obtaining insurance has become increasingly difficult over the years, to the point where it is now nearly impossible.

While my car insurance (State Farm), supplemented by insurance automatically supplied by my AmEx credit card, covers automobile rental, both explicitly exclude motorcycle rentals. I realize the question is about borrowing a motorcycle, not renting, but the same exclusion applies.

I own a motorcycle that lives in Ireland, titled and licensed to me. Since it is my own motorcycle I can get expensive "Green Card" insurance that covers whoever is named as a rider on the policy in any European country for a month (longer, if I pay more). The link in Bruce's post is to one company that offers that type of insurance, but note that it says it is "for your own motorcycle." The "Green Card" insurance I've used the past few years is issued by an English company so I have no idea what will happen after March 29 when the UK becomes non-European.

The insurance issue became a problem for me starting a few years ago because my younger daughter started coming to the rally with me so one of us has to be on a borrowed bike. Getting insurance for that has been an ever-changing, increasingly-difficult adventure. As it was explained to me, although there are various companies that issue insurance policies on old bikes (Carol Nash, Footman James, etc.) all these policies are underwritten by some massive conglomerate in Switzerland. It is they, not the individual companies, that determine what's allowed. Ten years ago my Irish friend just had to call his local agent to have me temporarily added to his policy for the bike I would borrow. That has ceased to be an option.

Thanks to the Irish Rally instituting a strict pre-1950 rule for bikes, and my Irish bike being 10 years newer than that, insurance has now reared its ugly head yet again. Both my daughter and I will need to be on borrowed bikes next year. So, I'm seeking a solution to this myself, but experience has taught me that it isn't going to be easy (if even possible).
 

bmetcalf

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At least in 2013, Ireland was one country of a very few where your US insurance would not apply and the easy, if spendy, way was to buy the rental car company coverage. There is also something about restrictions in Ireland if you are 70 and more if you are 75.

I plan to rent a car for the International and will be checking my car policy to see what applies.
 

Magnetoman

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At least in 2013, Ireland was one country of a very few where your US insurance would not apply
Bruce, I should have said my US car insurance doesn't cover motorcycle rentals in the U.S. It doesn't cover car rentals, either, when overseas. I hate to disagree with you but, as far as I know, most US car insurance does not cover car rentals overseas (nor motorcycle rentals). Luckily, my AmEx card does cover car rentals.
 

BigEd

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I've found this not to be the case. I've ridden in the Irish Rally most years since 2000 and the problem of obtaining insurance has become increasingly difficult over the years, to the point where it is now nearly impossible. ................
I own a motorcycle that lives in Ireland, titled and licensed to me. Since it is my own motorcycle I can get expensive "Green Card" insurance that covers whoever is named as a rider on the policy in any European country for a month (longer, if I pay more). The link in Bruce's post is to one company that offers that type of insurance, but note that it says it is "for your own motorcycle." The "Green Card" insurance I've used the past few years is issued by an English company so I have no idea what will happen after March 29 when the UK becomes non-European. ...............
Thanks to the Irish Rally instituting a strict pre-1950 rule for bikes, and my Irish bike being 10 years newer than that, insurance has now reared its ugly head yet again. Both my daughter and I will need to be on borrowed bikes next year. So, I'm seeking a solution to this myself, but experience has taught me that it isn't going to be easy (if even possible).
A friend from Australia visited me in the UK a couple of years ago. Insurance was a big problem. One thing that I did was to get the name of the owner of the bike changed to the friend via the UK licensing authority so that to the letter of the law the bike he was using was his own motorcycle. This might be viewed as "slight of hand" but does highlight the difficulty of arranging insurance for visitors.
 

mercurycrest

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Irene just told me I'm all wet (again). She used our VISA Card "Benefits" which cover the Rental Cars, etc..
 

bmetcalf

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Bruce, I should have said my US car insurance doesn't cover motorcycle rentals in the U.S. It doesn't cover car rentals, either, when overseas. I hate to disagree with you but, as far as I know, most US car insurance does not cover car rentals overseas (nor motorcycle rentals). Luckily, my AmEx card does cover car rentals.
Oh, no, someone disagreeing with me! :) I said many and was just basing that on the policy I have, so that wasn't a good choice of words.

Edit: Now that I read MC's post, maybe I did use credit card benefits. o_O
 

Magnetoman

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Failing to find anyone who rented motorcycles in Doha, I rented a car a couple of years ago because I wanted to see what the rest of Qatar looked like. I was sternly warned by the rental company that if there was an accident of any kind it required a police report for the insurance to be any good, and that if no one was injured in the accident the police would not come. Even a minor scrape would force me to spend the day at some office to get a report and that I would not be allowed to get on a plane without it on record.

Luckily, they also warned me of the speed cameras on the freeway into the desert. The road was in perfect condition, there was no traffic, the speed limit was only 100kph/62mph, and a speeding ticket was ~$1000 (xN for each camera along the way).

Back to motorcycle insurance. This has become a serious problem for those of us lucky enough to travel overseas and have friends willing to loan us motorcycles. Unlike, say, ethanol in fuel or requirements to wear helmets or protective clothing, insurance is a "hidden problem" that doesn't get attention because it is invisible to all but the few that it affects. I have to say that not many people would have much sympathy for someone who has the means to fly to Europe where he has a friend who will loan him a Vincent, but he has a problem finding insurance. Insuring a borrowed Vincent overseas is definitely a First World problem.
 

vibrac

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There was a way in Canada thanks to a real VOC Gent
But if I contemplated another USA road trip ( I do fancy the trans america trail - off road East to West but have little hope of a fellow rider and also nowadays I might not manage it all in one stay)
Whater on or off road I think the simple way is to buy a bike and sell it the other end would that work?
 

ClassicBiker

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There was a way in Canada thanks to a real VOC Gent
But if I contemplated another USA road trip ( I do fancy the trans america trail - off road East to West but have little hope of a fellow rider and also nowadays I might not manage it all in one stay)
Whater on or off road I think the simple way is to buy a bike and sell it the other end would that work?
You would need an address to register it and for insurance. Just needs to be somewhere to receive mail, even if it is to be forwarded on. But I don't understand your worry. I believe on my policy on both modern and classic bikes/cars, as long as the operator has a valid license if I allow them the use of my vehicle it's all good. I'll double check that for you.
Steven
 

Magnetoman

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I believe on my policy on both modern and classic bikes/cars, as long as the operator has a valid license if I allow them the use of my vehicle it's all good.
That's the way it is for me as well. I'm reasonably sure Australia is the same way, i.e. the insurance basically is attached to just the vehicle, not as well to the person operating it (as long is they're licensed). It's those pesky Europeans who make borrowing motorcycles difficult.

This discussion reminded me of a discussion I had on the Cannonball with a representative for Hagerty Insurance, one of the sponsors, who was along for the ride. My old bike insurance is with Condon & Skelly and he told me Hagerty covers riding in a timed event, which the Cannonball is, but C&S doesn't. That's not something you want to hear when you're 3000 miles from home with another 1000 miles to go on the ride. Anyway, the renewal notice came a few days ago and so today I called C&S. It turns out they do cover an event like the Cannonball, and they paid out for the total loss of a bike that burned up completely in the previous one.

Relevant to the current discussion, he confirmed that the norm for U.S. policies is they "follow the vehicle, not the driver." As long as one of my motorcycles meets the other requirements of the policy it is insured when ridden by anyone I loan it to in exactly the same way it is covered if I'm riding it myself. The full policy is 21 pages long and damn Graham for posting his question because now I feel I have to carefully read it.
 

Marcus Bowden

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It turns out they do cover an event like the Cannonball, and they paid out for the total loss of a bike that burned up completely in the previous one.
My friend Kenneth Smith was the man with the Harley JD 1927.I'm not sure if Hagerty's paid out or not but Ken couldn't leave the USA because of fraud & arson and ended up taking his own life, he had a few demons, a quick temper being one he didn't control too well at times, he asked a passer by to lend him a lighter to do the raged deed, on the 6th day of the Cannonball, day one he rode 50 mile out of the 80 designated, day three I rode about a hundred out of a 250 mile day, day 4 & 5 spent on repairs, 6th day went off to the start, I was clearing up at the Motel and just started to leave when I saw Ken walking back. He told me what he did, I told him he shouldn't be telling me. By the end of the rally every one knew. Hagerty's even found the man who loaned the lighter ! (investigation) Ken was an INDIAN man through & through, the Harley nearly kill him before I arrive on the scene. Not a pleasant story, I sorry.
,
 
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Magnetoman

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There have been several fires on the Cannonball, which is why the rules strongly suggest that everyone carry an extinguisher on their bike. The fire that Condon & Skelly said they paid for was John Pfiefer on a 1916 ioe Harley-Davidson. It launched a pushrod through the bottom of the fuel tank and what poured out was ignited by something on the bike (wayward spark from the ignition, probably). It's that bike that is shown burning on the side of the road in the link posted by Marcus.
 


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