Tag Archives: foreign motor insurance

Motor Insurance for overland travellers

I classify motor insurance as essential. Not necessarily for your vehicle but the other person, 3rd party cover. Worst-case scenario is you have an accident and another person gets seriously injured. You don’t want an angry mob after you or locked up in a dingy jail without insurance.

Very few of the specialist insurance companies would provide cover for our whole trip. Those that would only offered 3rd party insurance. Many countries still require you to buy local insurance even with pre-arranged insurance meaning a doubling up of costs. However many people report travelling through Africa without requiring local insurance.

Through the International Motor Insurance Card System, it is possible to buy temporary local 3rd party motor insurance. And it is through these card systems that we intend to cover our vehicles.

An arrangement between authorities and insurance organizations of multiple states to ensure that victims of road traffic accidents do not suffer from the fact that injuries were caused by a visiting motorist rather than a motorist resident in the same country.

Wikipedia, 2011

Our routes will take us through 4 different card regions. These 4 regions will cover most of the 26 countries in the trip. There are a few countries that do not fall into these regions; so we plan to buy local 3rd party cover which is normally available at borders and larger towns

Based on our route we plan to get the following cards:

  • Green Card – Primarily European cover, you can pre-organise Green Card cover from a few Insurers in the UK. Our UK policies covered us as far as the EU, but not all but all Green card member countries like Morocco.
  • Brown Card (Carte Brune) – Covers the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); from Senegal and Burkina Faso all the way through to Nigeria. Previous forum posts indicate that costs were around 38,000 CFA/£38 for four months’ third party insurance.
  • Pink Card (Carte Rose) – Covers the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS); from Cameroon to Congo (Republic of). Reports are that costs are around £40 for 2 months
  • Yellow Card – Covers the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Will cover us from DR Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe up to Kenya but goes as far as Ethiopia/Eritrea.

This is plan for now, how it turns out may be a completely different story.

Local Carnets – the “carte” insurance above is not to be to be confused with a Carte Grise (grey card), an international certificate for motor vehicle ownership required in West Africa and other French speaking areas.