This map details Insurance zones throughout the world where you can buy a single policy to insure your vehicle for Overland travel across multiple countries. Europe – Green Card, South America – MERCOSUR, East Africa – COMESA, West Africa – ECOWAS.
In Europe there are three types of insurance:
- Normal insurance (purchased in the EU for EU Vehicles)
- Frontier insurance
- Green Card insurance
This is insurance that you would normally buy in your country of residence.This can only be purchased for EU registered vehicles.
Insurance purchased in any European Union (EU) country should cover you for all EU states at the minimum required level without paying more or restrictions. There is normally small print that says something like “your insurance will only cover you for 90 days at the same level in other EU states” this means if you have fully comp or extras, they will only be covered for 90 days, but the basic legal limit (third party) will apply as long as the insurance is valid.
For EU insurance (frontier), you also need to check the T&C’s to ensure you are fully covered, expect to see something like this:
This insurance can cover both EU and foreign vehicles and can be purchased in advance online via insurance brokers like Tourinsure or Alessie or at the borders. This insurance would normally cover only countries which are in the European Union.
Green card insurance can be arranged through your current EU insurer, or through a an insurer listed on the Cobx website.
Although green card insurance can cover many other countries, this is not automatic and you do need to ask / confirm which countries you require coverage for. Green Card insurance in most instances (unless provided FOC) is more expensive than local insurance purchased on the border, unless you are just travelling through for a couple of days.
In some instances your current EU insurer may provide Green Card insurance for free.
In South America it is possible to obtain MERCOSUR insurance that would normally cover Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. However if you ask, it is sometimes possible to include other associated countries like Bolivia & Peru.
For other countries you would obtain third party insurance on entry.
In 2015 Ecuador introduced a new state sponsored vehicle insurance. During the transition period it was not possible or required to obtain insurance. Dec 2015, Insurance was not required for foreign vehicles, nor could it be purchased at the border.
You can obtain insurance at most borders in Central America. Insurance is not required in Guatemala.
Canada & USA – Most insurers will insure both the USA and Canada and sometimes Mexico. To obtain insurance you normally require an address in the country, this could be a friends place or a hotel etc.
2017 Update: Most overlanders are having difficulty obtaining insurance in North America, however you can try the following insurers.
Note the country you ship into i,e Canada or the US may affect which insurers will cover you, also the age and type of vehicle.
- Lions group insurance
- Thumb Insurance
*If you are shipping with IVSS you can purchase insurance through them with your shipping
- State Farm
- Lions group insurance
Mexico – Insurance can be purchased in advance through any of the following: Baja Bound | MexInsurance | Sanborns | MexPro | HDI Seuros | ACE Seguros | MexIci | Lewis and Lewis
Where required insurance can be purchased at most borders, insurance can also be purchased for the following insurance zones:
East Africa – COMESA, Yellow Card – Burundi, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Yellow card insurance can normally be purchased on the border.
*Note Egypt has been known not to accept COEMSA at the border.
West Africa – ECOWAS – Brown Card – Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.
*When purchasing any of the above you must specify which countries you will be visiting.
Middle East – Tour insure from Hambrug can provide coverage for (UAE, Oman, KSA) and all countries in Africa.
Iran – In Iran you can buy third party insurance at the border (Bazargan) at Iran Insurance, just before you leave the customs area. You may also be able to obtain green card insurance to cover you through Iran.
Armenia – third party liability insurance is mandatory when importing a car. You are directed towards an insurer just before you leave the customs area at Agarak. (Iran-Armenia border). We paid 13.000 dram for a month. Very straightforward and cheap.
Australia & New Zealand
Each state in Australia has different rules:
for example in NSW CTP foreign vehicles do not require Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance (green slip). In the case of an accident, a NSW third party personal injury claim involving a visiting overseas vehicle is made against the Nominal Defendant Scheme, administered by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority.
When we arrived in QLD we were required to purchase CTP insurance as part of our vehcile registration.
Most of the motor organizations will cover foreign vehicles, i,e the NRMA, RACQ, RACV etc
If you are travelling in Australia, it advisable to take out insurance that covers you throughout the country.
New Zealand – Vehicle insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand but it is recommended. You can purchase this from Covi Insurance or Campercare.
It is possible to obtain specialist insurance that would cover specific regions like, Asia, Africa, Central & South America, although it may be more expensive than obtaining insurance locally or at the border. One company that can provide such insurance is Alessie & Tour Insure (Hamburg).
*Note European Union (EU) is not the same as the continent of Europe, and some countries in “Europe” are not part of the European Union (EU).
*Always read your insurance policy, the T&C’s and coverage, so you know what is and what is not covered, if in doubt contact your insurer.
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Information provided on this site is generally provided for people travelling outside of their home country, visa zone or customs area. If you have any questions or would like clarification on any matter please leave a comment or reach out to our comunity in our overlanding facebook group.
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