If you want to be fully covered while riding motorbikes in Vietnam, you need the following insurance policies:
(1) personal medical insurance
(2) third party liability insurance and
(3) bike theft insurance
(4) damage waiver
We will go over the details to help you understand the risks and how to have a safe motorbiking experience in Vietnam.
Personal Medical Insurance
This is the most important insurance that we recommend all riders to Vietnam to purchase it. It covers you when you have accidents and get injured.
The good news is IDP (international driving permit, 1968 Convention) is now valid in Vietnam from August 1st, 2016 with the 46/2016/ND-CP decree. In reality, the police normally accept both 1968 & 1949 Convention IDP’s. The difference is insurance companies provide insurance policy when you have a 1968 IDP (not the 1949). If you have a 1968 Convention IDP, please also bring your home country driving license with motorbike endorsement.
As you can’t get a local license with tourist visas. Even if you have business visas, you need to wait 7-10 days after you arrive in Vietnam to do the paperwork. This means it is nearly impossible to get a local license. Therefore, you can’t buy any personal medical insurance from Vietnam companies.
Luckily, you can buy this personal medical insurance policy from companies like Allianz, CHI, or World Nomads…or on the Lonely Planet website. They only request your country or international motorbike driving license. In this case, you will be fully covered if something happens.
This policy covers third parties when accidents happen. It’s very cheap to buy this in Vietnam, around 4$US/year!
You need to have a Vietnamese motorbike driving license but as explained above it’s nearly impossible.
The best way is to ride on guided motorbike tours and our guides will lead you through safely and arrange (best without police involvement). He finds out how much you pay if you hit somebody.
FYI, the most a customer had to pay was 600$US when he hit a young local girl and broke her leg. If you do a self-guided trip, call us right after you hit anyone. We can talk and solve the situation as soon as we can.
Even local Vietnamese people wouldn’t use this policy to claim insurance because the coverage is very little (about 1,800$US). When accidents happen we just talk and find out how much to pay. If the police come, they allow the involved parties to solve the incident before they file anything.
Bike Theft Insurance
This is not really available in Vietnam. Luckily, manual clutch touring bikes are not popular in Vietnam. Vietnamese people like scooters (at least 90% of bikes in Vietnam).
Please use safe/paid parking where you pay small fees (25-50 cents) to keep the rental bikes. Take the key with you and you will be safe.
In case you really want this insurance, you can buy it from some insurance companies, such as Liberty Insurance Vietnam. They offer a product called MotoCare that covers your motorbike in case of theft, robbery, fire, explosion, or housebreaking. However, you should also have a valid registration certificate and a driving license to buy this insurance.
Bike Damage Waiver
In fact, no insurance company offers this type of insurance in Vietnam. Some motorbike rental companies may offer a damage waiver option that covers any and all damage to the motorbike, except for some exclusions such as theft, loss, or third-party damages. The damage waiver is usually non-refundable and may vary depending on the model and duration of the rental.
As our bikes are not expensive, we haven’t provided this option because most of our customers don’t need it. You just pay for replacements if you have any bad luck.
To know whether a self-guided or guided tour is better for you, please follow this link.
Just contact us if you still have more questions about your Vietnam motorbike tours.