How to get your campervan insurance in South America?

Getting the insurance for your van to travel South America is not so difficult. Of course, travellers who want to ship their vehicle from another continent must be aware that in order to be able to remove the vehicle from the destination port in its arrival they MUST have got the insurance beforehand, otherwise you won’t be able to retrieve your camper from the port. If the vehicle is not retrieve within several days  (most of the time four working days) port expenses can be generated for storage and handling of the cargo.

In South America, Uruguay and Argentina are the most chosen port for overlanders who want to start a great adventure in this continent.  Among these two, Montevideo is the most popular and the one we choose. It seems that here the procedures and all the paper work to retrieve the van are much lighter, easier and faster. Less hustle.

In South America there are several companies that offer insurance for you van to drive in the countries that  belong to MERCOSUR; Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, although insurance can also cover some associate countries such as Chile, Bolivia and Perú, depending on the insurance company.

If it is the first time you have to get and insurance, we recommend you to hire an insurance that covers all the possible countries mention above, and get and insurance with at least 6 month of durations. Like that you will not have to worry about renewing the policy on each border you cross during the first 6 months of you trip.

  • The company we used, and we have no complains about, for our first insurance is Allianz, and the person you need to contact is called Roby and his email: roby@speiserseguros.com.ar. The payment has to be done by bank transfer, so you can get it at any time you like from anywhere you want.

After the first 6 months we started to get individual insurance policies for each country as we were going to keep driving north.

  • At this time we were in Chile, and the name of the company we used is HDI Seguros. Insurance can also be contracted easily online and the name of the insurance is SOAPEX.  The price for 36 days is 12,93 USD.  This company also works in Peru.

Once we left Chile we decided to get the insurance at each border crossing. We found it easy, quick and relatively cheap.

  • Peru. Just after crossing the border there are several companies that offer insurance policies. Depending on the company that you choose you will find several possibilities according to the time you want to travel within the country; 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. We choose La Positiva. We paid 15.0000 chilean pesos (22 USD) for 6 months. It can also be paid in peruvian soles and the insurance can be renewed anywhere in the country.
  • Ecuador. In this country insurance is NOT mandatory. So we did not hire it 😉
  • Colombia. We crossed the border between Nueva Loja (Ecuador)  and San Miguel (Colombia). From San Miguel the closest offices to get the insurance is located in La Hormiga, a town a few kilometers from the border. In this town there are several offices where you can get it, although each one of them has a different price or don’t know how to proceed with a foreign vehicle.  We went to Mocoa, a town slightly further, here you must go to the office at Calle 8, Sura Seguros Soat . The coordinates for gps:  1.145754, -76.646065. Insurance here has to be hired for at least 3 months. Price change depends on the vehicle, for our VW T4 it was 200.000 pesos colombianos (50 USD ). Very professional.

If you have already got to Colombia you might have in mind Panama as your next destination, if so, HERE you have a link to ship you vehicle in a container from Colombia to Panama without hiring a port agent. You will find everything step by step and with very detailed instructions.

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