March 2019: Regulatory Bulletin
Welcome to our March Regulatory Bulletin
This month we focus our update on the impact to motorists with UK-registered cars who want to drive their vehicles in the EU after 29 March 2019.
Brexit impact on driving in the EEA
Will Green Cards be required if there is a no deal Brexit?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it is likely drivers will need to obtain and carry a physical copy of a Green Card with them when driving in the EEA as well as Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland to prove that they have valid insurance cover for their vehicle.
Does this apply for driving across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Border?
Yes. Please contact us at least 5 days before the intended travel date so that we can process the request for a Green Card and ensure that it reaches you in good time.
Do we need to tell Hiscox if a policyholder intends to drive in the EEA before we officially leave the EU?
Yes. If a policyholder is planning to drive in the EEA, Andorra, Serbia or Switzerland during or shortly after 29 March 2019 you should contact us at least 5 days in advance of this date to obtain a Green Card for their trip.
What if a policyholder travels without a Green Card?
They will be breaking the law and may be accused of driving without insurance. They could be subject to a fine, have their vehicle seized or face prosecution. The only other legal option available would be to purchase insurance locally when they arrive in the country (often known as ‘frontier insurance’). However, such insurance cover may not be widely available and may be more expensive than UK issued policies.
How do I obtain a Green Card?
Please contact us at least 5 days before the intended travel date so that we can process your request and ensure the Green Card reaches you before your client travels. We can email a Green Card electronically as a PDF document to you, however it must be printed on green paper prior to departure. A black and white copy is not acceptable because it would not meet the required format and therefore may not be accepted when checked. The Council of Bureaux (COB) does not set out any rules for the pantone other than to say that a Green Card must clearly be green in colour. Printing the document with an edge to edge green background setting unfortunately still leaves a small white border, this could create possible problems for the client when crossing borders since customer officials might suspect it as a false document.
Will there be an administration fee for issuing a Green Card?
No. We will not charge an administration fee for issuing a Green Card.
What is the validity period of a Green Card?
Regulations deem all Green Cards are valid for at least 15 days from their effective date, they do not specify a maximum period. We will issue annual Green Cards in order to reduce additional administration.
Will policyholders still be able to use their insurance to drive in the EEA after Brexit?
Yes. There will be no change to the cover we currently provide in our motor insurance policies, which includes legal minimum third party liability motor insurance required for travel to EEA countries, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland. Our UK policyholders will not need to purchase additional third party motor insurance policy cover when travelling to these countries with a UK registered vehicle.
Is a Green Card needed for each vehicle insured on a policy?
Yes. A Green Card is required to cover the registration number of the individual vehicle, so a Green Card will be needed to cover each vehicle insured under a policy when being driven in the EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.
Does a driver need to carry any additional documents if they are driving with a trailer?
The Green Card is required to specify the licence plate of each individual vehicle and identify any trailer or towed vehicles. In some EU member states a separate Green Card is needed for each trailer. Please contact us so that we can advise on the exact requirements of the countries a policyholder plans to visit.
Is an electronic platform to record and distribute Green Cards being considered?
Yes. This is being considered by the Council of Bureaux (COB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), this would remove the need to print a physical copy on green paper. We are working closely with the MIB and they will inform us of any progress.
Can a Green Card be issued for a non-UK registered vehicle?
No. The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), as the issuer of the Green Cards, only guarantees UK registered vehicles. For clarity, the MIB are also not able to issue Green Cards to non-UK registered vehicles which are permitted to drive in the UK.
What if a policyholder loses their Green Card whilst they are abroad?
We can send a Green Card electronically as PDF document, however as previously stated the document must be printed on green paper.
You can access all our previous Regulatory Bulletins here.