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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys
Just a warning tale about insurance and other such cover when touring abroad.

I had a little mishap when touring in Holland recently, took my eye off the road for about 3 seconds to check the GPS and never noticed my mate on his bike stopped at flashing amber light in front of me, hit him square on at about 30mph.
Both went tumbling down the road. Luckily this happened right outside the fire station and they assisted right away.

I had a shoulder injury and an ambulance was called, but they declined to attend because we were both on our feet. A kind lady driver took me to hospital where I was treated for a broken collar bone and broken ribs and a damaged hip.
The FJR was looked after by the fire service and they stored it until it was recovered to the UK.

The hospital were not going to entertain me without an insurance policy or an E111, luckily I managed to get the E111 out my top box before being taken to Hospital, so might be worth keeping it in an inside jacket pocket when touring. I could not walk after the accident, and after treatment was wheeled out into the hospital car park and left to fend for myself!! My mates were there, but not much they could do to assist at that time. I was in a wheelchair I was not allowed to keep and not given a crutch, I was in a bit of a pickle.
A local taxi driver asked if he could assist, he took me to an hotel where I checked in with help from my mates and started calling insurance companies etc. Mates dilemma was if they stayed they missed their ferry. So, long story cut short, I chased them on their way thinking the insurance Co. would have me out of there in about 24 hours. Not the case.
After numerous phone calls and faxing of hospital reports to them, the claims company reckoned I was not covered because of my "dangerous" activity of motorcycling. I assured them that I had checked with the insurance Co. before setting out that i was indeed covered. Did they take my word, NO. It was 6pm and they said they would need to wait till the next day to check with them. Nothing for it but to settle down in the chair and wait. Luckily hotel staff were very nice and kept bringing lots of liquid painkiller to my room and even cut up my steak so I could eat with one hand.
One phone call to Carole Nash, bike was sorted and examined and on its way home long before I was.

Next day, midday nothing heard, contacted the claims company and they said, we think your motorcycle is too big for you to be covered !! WHAT!! More waiting, they phoned back and said, "hey, guess what, you ARE covered" mutter
grumble. They asked me to get a train or a taxi the 100 miles to Schipol airport, I told them I could not walk and would need other arrangements. More waiting. Another call from them, the hospital report did not mention I could not walk. They ordered me back to the Hospital to be re-assessed. I had to organise a Private ambulance to hospital, taxi back, armed with proper hospital report this time. More faxing and calls.
Nothing more heard that night...another painful night in the chair, unable to lie down. More liquid painkiller.
Day 3, bearing in mind I was unable to shower or change clothes due to injuries. Claims company phoned back again offering a taxi to the airport...what part of 'unable to walk do you not understand?' I basically told them to get the finger out and get me home! 4 hours later, they called back, private ambulance on route from Amsterdam will assist me on the flight home, and private ambulance waiting at Glasgow to take you home. Hooray! So I got home ok, Business Class as well..lol. 5pm Venlo to Schipol through the traffic = ambulance blue lighting it up the hard shoulder most of the way!

Bottom line:- None of the ambulances would even start their engines before noting full details of insurance policy, so pays to check that you are fully covered for motorcycling. Credit card was handy for the hotel, who incidentally, never charged me for room service or faxing etc. only charged me for 2 nights and not the 3 full days. And a contract phone when you can worry about the bill when you get home.

Costs :- FJR1300 £7087.42 in damages, so written off.
Mates ZZR1200 £5600 damages, also written off.
Hire car for my mate at my insurance expense (Est. £500)
Mates riding gear Etc. £700
Hotel, taxis, private ambulances and flight home £4000+
Getting the bike home £1000+
Damage to luggage, helmet and other gear £2000
Liquid painkiller and food €286
Mobile phone bill while abroad £182
Replacement bike (BMW K1200LT SE) £9000 - £6300 paid out for FJR = £2700
Loss of the balance of this years bike insurance policy £300 (policy cancelled due to write off)
Insurance Excess £350
New insurance policy £437
Transfer of private plate £80
Another mates speeding fine trying to get back to where I was £300...lol.. not included in the total.

Total bill roughly £25,137 for a bump at <30mph.

Claims are still ongoing but a lot of the above are not payable by any insurance, especially taxis and mobile phone calls, prescriptions Etc.
Moral of the story is CHECK your personal insurance covers you, and please don't even think about travelling without it, and make sure you travel with an E111.

P.S. Loved the FJR but now moving onto something a little more sedate, If I can do that amount of damage at <30mph then I sure as hell don't need 155mph anymore.

Malki
 

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Sorry to hear about your mishap

Welcome to the site, I am sure you will soon learn to fly again on the LT once you have gotten used to the size. Just had a quick look around your site some nice pix, you certainly get in some miles. Maybe catch you on the road somewhere. Hope you are back riding soon.
Thor13240 aka Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Stuart
Thanks for the welcome...totally fotgot all about my site...badly needing updated. Yes I love to do miles, more the merrier, have done 5 countries in one day on a CBR1000F and then again on an FJR1300, looking forward to doing the same on my KL1200LT....feeling slightly embarrassed that you have viewed my photos, knowing what you do...lol

Malki
 

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Keep on snapping

No need to feel embarrased, I would be more than happy to put my professional name to many of your pix, one that sticks in my mind was one of the sunsets, are you sure you are not after my job?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hardly after your job Stuart! When out on the bike I get lazy and leave the camera on Auto and tend to take quick snapshots rather than take time to compose, which is crap, I know. Gone are the days of my 35mm with loads of lenses and taking time with each pic, simply because you could not see what you were getting til a few days later. I think digicams make us all lazy, and I regret that...will need to re-read the manual of my Finepix 6900 and start getting back into it. Do you have a website that shows any of your work ?

Malki
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident Malcolm, but at least you and your mate lived to tell the tale. Didn't your motorcycle policy cover personal injury? I'm also insured via Carole Nash (policy with Royal & Sun Alliance) and they've issued me with a 'Combined UK, Irish and European breakdown recovery card' with phone numbers to be called "In the event of a breakdown or accident".

BTW: the E111 form has been replaced by an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), effective 1 September 2005. It's a credit card piece of plastic that I keep in my wallet.
 

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No website - too much like a busmans holiday

I agree with you in some respects about the digital era, not completely.
Dont be bothererd about using the camera on auto everything. When auto focus first came out and our new group didn't have it I scoffed at my fellow professionals who had the new gear.
Now I would not be without it. Any feature that makes my job easier and allows me to concentrate on the definitive moment I am loooking for has got to be a good thing hasn't it?
When travelling why carry a load of extra gear when you can slip a good quality compact which will cover most eventualities in the top box or your pocket and always be armed. I used to love carrying my leicas on trips but would always worry about leaving them anywhere (M6 kit is nice and compact compared to Slr's) on the bike or in a tent or hotel even and would find myself continually holding on to the strap when sat having a meal or coffee abroad - no longer.
I don't bother with a website, its smacks too close to being at work as we now spend a lot of time at a PC instead of the darkroom. Usually by the time I finish work the last thing I want to do is start messing around with computers and editing photos. I guess if you are anything like me and many other snappers I Know you probably won't do many prints either, just take them, edit them and store them electronically for slide shows 0n the laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
David - Yes we lived to ride another day, so we are both happy enough about that, funny thing is, day before I travelled, I got hackles on the back of my neck telling me my 16yr old leathers were not up to the job. So I went out and bought new gear with Kevlar armour Etc. saved me loads of grief, not a scratch other than the broken bones which is inevitable with a good thump on the road. The night before the bump I almost took the front face piece off my Caberg Justissimo helmet to go open faced, thank God I couldn't be bothered, first thing to hit the road was the chin part of the helmet, I'd still be sucking my soup thru a straw if I had taken it off!
I know about the new EHIC, I applied for it in June, just not got it yet, my daughters have theirs, so just a matter of time I suppose.

Stuart - You are completely right about lack of printing of digipics, wife was just complaining the other day that she has not seen any photos of our last 4 or 5 trips. I have just discovered Easy CD's DVD Builder, its a doddle to put all your photos on CD or DVD and it plays as a slide show on your domestic DVD player, music and all that stuff can be added as well, so she is happy now. Also a great way to back up all the pics should the PC crash!
 

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Quite a difference in the way things are done there relative to insurance!

Here in the USA, medical costs are extreme, but in most cases you will be treated immediately, especially if injuries are serious, whether you have insurance or not.

I had a major accident last November, and was actually walking around and helped get tht bike off the road and on it's centerstand. EMT's checked me out, and since I was experiencing some lower abdomenal pain, put me on a helicopter for a 60 mile ride to Phoenix. ($13,000!) Emergency room people started working on me immediately, and I was not asked for my insurance information until I was checked over and in a bed in intensive care. They had x-rayed me and found I did have some spleen damage.

All my medical costs for that accident came to over $120,000.

My total cost for medical was the $250 insurance deductable, plus about half dozen $15 copays for doctor visits afterward.

We complain about the ridiculous medical costs here in the US, but if one has insurance (costly in itself by the way) we are pretty much insulated from it. Even if one does not have insurance, treatment for serious injuries will likely be performed anyway, but you will be receiving LARGE bills for payment later.
 

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The difference is that Europe consists of lots of different countries. I am sure the Dutch health service treats its own citizens in a much more compassionate way. A fairer comparison might be: how would a visiting American be treated in Mexico or Canada after an accident?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree David
I saw several people being treated in the hospital in Venlo, a few with shoulder injuries as well, they all got a nice leather type sling with adjustable straps Etc. Me?, I got a cloth sling of the old fashioned type, no stick or crutch or a wheelchair. Not quite sure whether it was my tourist status or being a motorcyclist, I was the very last to be seen after the locals, even tho they arrived hours after I did. I'm not complaining, I WAS seen, but on my checking in at the local hospital at home due to severe pain, they say I should have been kept in for a few days, and not papped out into the car park to fend for myself. My fracture was apparently within a MM or 2 of going compound. Not my idea of a reciprocal health arrangement, on reflection, much more could have been done, I really felt like a 3rd class citizen in a Country that I have been to dozens of times.
 

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I had a disaster style accident in France a few years back BUT fortunately I had the BMW (Devitt) insurance with Mondial Assistance.

First class treatment from the French emergency services followed by Mondial taking over all the arrangements for continuing my holiday with a hire car and the choice of a flight home or taking the car to Calais with another to meet me in Dover.

They recovered the bike (a R1100RT) to the UK and then Devit stepped in for the insurance - officially it was a write off but as I had about a thousand ponds worth of dealer and factory fit options they agreed that the bike was unique and repaired.

All in all the insurance worked well across two different EU countries and it did not cost me a penny - they even gave me a very generous amount for replacing my riding gear - three months later I got my K1200LT - which I sold last year!

Ted Newman
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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Ted
I tried to purchase the BMW (Devitt) insurance for the new bike, but they would not quote, due to the total cost of the damage. :(

Malki
 

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Hospital Treatment

I remember several several years ago while on holiday in Southern England, a friend crashed due to a front tyre blowout, breaking his left wrist. A passing army truck stopped to help and strapped up the offending arm.
We rode on to Winchester hospital and went to the accident and emergency department. There were only three people in front of us.
We were fairly dirty after two weeks on the road, but they refused to let us sit down in case we got the chairs dirty. (we did anyway). We were ignored for nearly four hours before they finally condescended to check my friend. Several other people with minor injuries were seen before us. We then waited another two hours before they decided the wrist WAS broken.

At the same time there was a member of the British Motocross Team who had had a sidecar land on him during an event. When he arrived he was put on a trolley in the corridor and left for at least six hours before anyone looked at him.
The staff apparently complained that he was muddy and shouldn't have been brought in in that state. They were so obviously discriminating against motorcyclists.

Both groups sent letters of complaint to the area health authority, but got back standardised reply letters.

So you don't have to go abroad for bad treatment.
 
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