At the time of writing, Brexit will take place on the 29 March with or without a Withdrawal Deal. This could fundamentally affect the way many of us prepare for our travels in Europe in terms of motor and travel insurance. This bulletin outlines how both Brexit deal outcomes will impact on the current situation.
Guidance from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) is that UK drivers should be prepared to have a Green Card when driving abroad after midnight on the 29 March 2019.
If the UK leaves the EU on the 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement in place, and in the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, you will need to ensure you carry a physical Green Card while driving your vehicle in the European Economic Area (EEA) and some other countries (Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland).
What is a Green Card?
Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary minimum motor insurance cover for driving in the country being travelled to.
How do I get a Green Card?
You can contact us or your motor insurer directly and do so as far in advance of your trip as possible to ensure you receive the Green Card in time for your trip. Some insurers are advising that you need to give them a month’s notice in order to get a Green Card in time for any planned trip. Our advice would be that if you are intending to take your UK car to the continent after the 29 March 2019 you should request a Green Card from your insurers now, whether there is a Withdrawal Agreement or not, to ensure that you are ready whatever the outcome.
The UK has issued 27 million EHIC Cards, entitling the bearers to state-provided medical treatment should they need it while visiting one of the EU countries.
If a Withdrawal Agreement is made and ratified by both the EU and the UK, there would be a transition period from the 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020 to allow time for negotiations on the future relationship. During this period citizens would have exactly the same rights and guarantees and would still be able to use their card.
However, if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a Withdrawal Agreement in place, the situation is much less certain. The intention is to put emergency legislative measures in place so that UK travellers can continue to benefit from the EHIC, but until such measures are activated the benefits will cease on the 29 March.
Our advice therefore is that it is even more important that you have appropriate travel insurance in place to cover medical costs while you are travelling in an EU country, as you would when travelling to a non-EU country.
More information can be found on the Association of British Insurers (ABI) website using the following link: http://bit.ly/2RY3EJW