Insuring your car for travelling abroad
If you live in the UK, you can arrange for your car or motorcycle insurance policy to cover you while driving in the EEA and certain other European countries. Often the basic cover will only be enough to meet the minimum legal requirements of the country you are in (usually a set amount to pay compensation if you injure someone or damage their property), but this may not be enough if you have an accident. Nor will it cover you for theft or damage to your car.
Some insurers will ask you to pay an additional premium for comprehensive cover so that you have the same amount of protection as in the UK. Some may include it at no cost. Check with your broker who will help you select the most appropriate cover. They may need to refer to your insurer depending on the number, reason and length of trips you plan to make.
Now we’ve exited the EU things have changed when it comes to driving your own car in Europe. Please read our guide here to understand the changes that may affect you.
If you don’t tell your insurer about your plans and check cover is in place and do have an accident while abroad, you may find yourself paying for the extra costs that would not have been insured had the accident happened in this country, provided the insurer agrees to deal with the claim at all.When you are choosing which policy to buy ask your broker if you have the option for cover while driving in the EU/EEA and if it is necessary to tell insurers about journeys to Europe of less than 30 days.
The UK is currently no longer a member of the EEA Green Card Free Circulation Zone. Remember you will need to give your broker plenty of notice if you need a motor insurance Green Card which is compulsory for travel in the EEA and certain other European countries. This provides the necessary evidence that your policy meets the legal requirements for third party liability in the country you are visiting.
Remember if you plan to drive your car outside the UK check that your insurance policy will extend to like for like cover in Europe.
Tips on driving abroad
- To help reduce the chances of breaking down, have your car serviced before you take it abroad
- Contact your broker or insurer to make sure that you have adequate cover for driving abroad. Some companies limit comprehensive cover to a fixed number of days abroad in one trip or only provide the legal minimum
- Make sure you take your driving licence, vehicle ownership, printed Green Card and motor insurance certificate with you when driving abroad
- Make sure you have a separate Green Card for vehicles you tow including larger trailers and caravans as well as one for your vehicle
- Get familiar with the motoring laws of the country you will be driving in by checking on the UK Government website. In some countries you are required to keep emergency items, such as a warning triangle, first aid kit and/or fluorescent jacket in the vehicle at all times
- Make sure that your emergency medical and travel insurance are up to date
- If you have one your European Health Insurance Card is still valid or apply for a new Global Health Insurance Card but be aware that this is not valid in all countries
To ensure quality cover at competitive premiums, contact an insurance broker. To find your nearest local BIBA broker go to our Find Insurance Service online or call 0370 950 1790.