Insurance

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There are different types of insurance people can have for their vehicle. Often drivers refuse a ride because of insurance reasons. This article should picture the insurance situation in different countries. Also some forwarding agencies do not allow their truckers to pick up hitchhikers because of insurance reasons.

Situation in Germany

The German Kfz-Haftpflichtversicherung which means liability insurance for vehicles is obligatory in Germany. Every person in the vehicle is insured by this. If the passenger hurts somebody (for example a cycling grandmother) by opening the door, the passenger (or his insurance) is responsible for the damage.

Situation in Spain

In Spain trucks cannot pick up hitchhikers any more as of February 2011, presumably for insurance reasons. Insurance reasons are also the favourite excuse for people who are driving company cars.

Situation in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, truckers and generally people driving in company cars very often decline lifts with the reason that they wouldn't be insured in case an accident happens.

Travel insurance

It can be a good idea to get a travel insurance that covers theft and other inconveniences. Some travel insurances totally cover medical issues, others can be combined with a usual medical insurance e.g. to cover transport back home.

Personal experiences

3 times useful

Anonymous, December 2010:

I would like to say something about travel insurance. I took out travel insurance before I went traveling for now already 2 years. I only pay €140 for one whole year.

Unlucky, I needed to use it already 3 times.

  • When my grandfather died they flew me back for free from Senegal.
  • When I had bus accident, they paid for my 2 weeks hospital in Mali, Business class back to Europe, ambulance from airport to my home (350km), all treatment at home (doctors, kinesics,...)
  • When I had malaria, I went to hospital in Kenya for few days.

I think they spend around €7000 for these 3 cases together. I really support people to think about these kind of travel insurance! It is not a lot of money but if you need it, you are very happy to have it.

Read the small print of the insurance contract very well so you know when they will help you and when not. Like €140 for one year means in my contract, traveling for a maximum of 6 months in a row!! But if you hitchhike it is difficult for them to keep track of you! E.g. if you've already been traveling for 9 months and you need their help, you just tell them you left maybe 2 months ago. No flight tickets that they can check if you hitchhike. They only could know it if they would check my passport or my visa bill, but they don't do that. I used Europ Assistance, but I'm sure there are other similar insurers. Read your contract very well before you start traveling.


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