One of the things you will need to arrange for any motorcycle trip in the USA is temporary motorcycle insurance.
If you are renting a bike, this will almost certainly be arranged on your behalf by the organisation you are renting the bike from. This was certainly the case in 2009 when a group of us rented bikes from EagleRider, one of the largest rental companies in the US. HOG Fly & Ride does the same. Both have standard arrangements and standard plans for insurance and it is really simple – the renter does all the work and you ask the right questions, sign the forms and pay your money. Done.
If like me you are taking your own motorcycle to the US, then putting insurance in place is slightly more complicated. Finding insurance companies that do this isn’t easy, but I found one that specialises in this type of insurance. They are called Motorcycle Express and essentially the cater for foreign nationals touring in the United States and Canada.
They can arrange different types of policy....
.... Motorcycle shipping
.... Motorcycle insurance
.... Roadside Assistance and emergency towing
.... Travel medical insurance
.... Trip cancellation insurance
.... Emergency medical evacuation (ambulances etc)
.... Insurance in other countries
They have an online system that is fairly easy to use, but you do need to read what they say carefully. I am not talking here about the small print, but the large print! The issue here is that the words and terminology used by US insurance companies are quite different from similar firms here in the UK and probably elsewhere as well. I went through the whole process of getting an online quote and then realised (thanks to my American wife) that I had mis-understood a few things.
In the UK, the main part of a motorcycle insurance quote is centred around covering any damage to your bike caused by an accident, or theft or fire. This is different with Motorcycle Express in that the quote puts Bodily Injury, Property Damage and Uninsured Motorists as their first priorities. This is not a problem, but just be aware that the US has different terminology to other countries and if you are not sure, then ask them what each type of cover is for. I nearly ended up with an insurance policy that didn’t cover my bike!
I also took out their Roadside Assistance and emergency towing policy. As I have a Harley, I also already have the Harley roadside assistance service called HOG Assistance and I am told this covers me when I am in the USA. However, in some of the more remote parts of the US, I want to be able to get help quickly, so being a cautious type, I took out the additional policy.
Of course, unlike Europe, nearly all medical services in the USA need to be paid for, so taking out travel medical insurance is an absolute must. I certainly did. It isn’t cheap.
Overall the costs of these insurances is expensive. These are the ball park figures for my 5 months trip....
Motorcycle insurance, including bodily injury, property damage etc. $1200
Travel medical insurance (includes evacuation) $975
Roadside assistance and towing – about $50
Here is a link to the Motorcycle Express website