Friday November 14, 2014
Europe is one of the biggest and closest destinations for business travelers and holiday makers alike, in both summer and winter seasons. Hence, it is important to understand the level of protection you currently have, what you may be short of and other practicalities before setting off especially if you are driving a classic car. Many Europe bound British motorists assume that their current insurance is automatically protects them when driving in the EU, and although this is partially true, most insurers only offer basic RTA (Road Traffic Accident) level of protection.
Depending on the country you’re travelling to, your insurance policy may also include third party cover, which again is no big help in the event of legal matters resulting from the accident or even if your vehicle were stolen. Research indicates that 80% of UK insurers provided protection for foreign travel as standard, while most of the rest provided comprehensive cover as an optional chargeable extra, and others provided no cover at all. Adding to this, some insurance companies expect to be notified of your travel dates and countries you will be visiting, while other insurers may not ask for any notification at all.
If you have a specific classic car insurance policy, call us to check your level of cover to the country you are visiting.
Demystifying the Green Card
Owing to history, British motorists have needed a Green Card document as prove as their insurance coverage overseas. However, due to the onset of the single market in the early 90’s, a few European countries permitted British motorists to travel without a Green card, but this directive was not welcomed by all the countries in Europe. To avoid any difficulties on your trip, it is highly recommended that you do carry your Green card no matter what country you travel to.
There are no costs associated with getting a Green card, which is a document that proves that you have adequate level of cover to drive in the UK, and that cover under EU law protects you while you drive within Europe. But take note that in most instances Green card cover offers basic level of protection such as third party coverage, even if you’ve signed up for comprehensive cover in the UK. This is when it starts to get tricky as some insurers offer comprehensive European cover generally for up to 30 days at the same level of protection like you have in the UK and label it as Green Card Cover. Simply put, a Green card offers the basic level of protection needed in drive in the EU at no cost, whereas if you’d like the same level of cover as you currently have in the UK, you will have to pay more for what insurers dub as “Green Card” cover.
That said, insurance rates will vary depending on several factors such as the length of your trip and the type of vehicle among others. If you do plan on taking out “Green Card”, it is highly recommended that you do so well ahead of your travel date so that your document arrives in time. Furthermore, ensure that you’re vehicle is in a good state by completing a comprehensive check to include updating MOT, refilling water and oil. With regards to breakdown cover, it may be exempt from your UK insurance when travelling in the EU so it is important to keep a helpline number handy in case you’re faced with any such inconvenience.
Another aspect and often overlooked in the high cost of car repairs in the EU compared to the UK and may be a reason for a boost in insurance premiums. When planning a trip to the EU, give your insurance company a call further to clarify exactly what you’re covered for in order to avoid any nasty surprises in the event of an accident.