International vehicle insurance question



We are planning to leave the USA and try to drive around the world as much as possible....Ca, to Baja to Mex, Central, SoAm, ship to Africa, Ship to Europe, try to drive from Turkey to Mongolia, then to China, ship to Australia , back to the USA....4-5 years in a Merz 1017.

Got a quote for world vehicle insurance for 10K year with $500 deductible. We are worried about vehicle theft and break in during shipping.

Anyone have advice?


Soooo, everyone is driving around the world with no insurance?
Yes. I have been on the road for 8 years in Africa, the Americas and Europe and I have never met an Overlander with comprehensive insurance. We only buy the locally mandated third party liability insurance in each country.


Paperwork Specialist
Welcome to the real world of paperwork..

I seriously doubt one insurer can give you "world vehicle insurance " in the real world- so please have a good read what it is he is actually offering you and on what terms. I seriously doubt he does a universal maritime cover as many think the term suggests - this is a minefield and varies per line / country / terms / shipping company.. Please note that per country / region the laws are different what vehicle insurance means and on what terms.

Also, you could be looking at having to obtain an ATA Carnet for the vehicle and that get more complicated to get once you've left the country of immatriculation of the vehicle. Please make sure you understand what is needed and where as paperwork & leges stop more trips than mechanical breakdowns..

We, in Europe, have usually a green card to proof we have 3rd party coverage in a number of countries - see below - where can go. As you can see, quite a few countries are included.


However, as soon as you're outside these countries one usually buys insurance at the border of the country you are visiting. Please note - 3rd party only. This is nothing special and should give no real problems - just needs time. And money, obviously.

Have Fun !


Good morning,
Thanks for the reply. That's what I figured, as it does seem quite complicated when reading an underwriters contract. I was just worried about theft and damage to the vehicle beyond a reasonable out of pocket costs.

As for the ATA Carnet, I've heard mixed experiences for Africa travel, and will need to look into it more.



Standard is buy government or government approved 3rd party insurance and be willing to take a total loss on your vehicle.


Active member

Maybe someone like Lloyd’s would underwrite something but please be seated before opening the letter.

In 2001 we managed (mostly) without a carnet. But, even then we really should have had them. Do a lot of research and get at least three quotes per “product” if possible to see where everyone is at.


Paperwork Specialist
Carnets are simple things. In fact, so simple most people - including Customs - up using them. Do not worry - they cost money but make life much easier for the international overlander. Please note they run for 12 months - some are extendable for another 12 months but not all...

Accept that you're going to be out of a lot of money when your vehicle / lugagge etc. gets stolen en route. It happens - but not often. And it will be questionable if your "all risk insurance" will actually pay out what you think they should.

Have the 3rd party and enjoy the trip !


New member
Hi Mamba2020,

We were able to purchase supplemental auto insurance through Clements that could be used worldwide (except for a few embargoed countries). The plan still required us to purchase government-mandated local insurance at each border as mentioned above, and then the global policy would act on top of that.



New member
Hey, I just joined. We tried something like that, I mean we are European and it's easier for us. We have companies that have offices pretty much in every EU country so whenever we wanted a trip we just discussed it with our insurance agent. It's simpler than in the states. For example we were doing a 5 month trip across the US we had a lot more problems since we have international licenses and it was hard for us to get a proper insurance. We went online and tried to find out more about it. We stumbled across this really nice article that gave us all the info we needed. It helped us make out trip a lot smoother and without any nasty business
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