Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Irish motorists may need 'Green Card' to drive across border

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Jeannette Daniel | 19 January, 2019, 06:01

The warning by British and Irish insurers comes in spite of European insurance bodies already agreeing to waive the green card requirement in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as that agreement has not yet been approved by the European Commission.

It has warned that those who travel without one may be breaking the law.

Speaking in the Dáil (Irish parliament) on Thursday, the Irish foreign minister said that the green card system would also apply to Irish drivers travelling in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"This will mean a green card will be required to demonstrate to the authorities in Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, if you're driving there, that valid motor insurance is in place for those vehicles".

Drivers from Northern Ireland may need a special "green card" when travelling to the Republic, insurers have warned.

Currently, there is a Green Card-free circulation area covering the EEA and Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland.

However, A.M. Best warns that were the United Kingdom to exit the European Union without a deal, or at the end of any agreed transition period, "passporting rights are expected to cease and U.K. -domiciled insurers will no longer be able to issue insurance contracts in the EEA".

A Green Card is an internationally recognised insurance document that provides proof of the minimum compulsory motor insurance cover required by the relevant country.

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But costs could still increase for auto owners, as insurers may choose to impose administration fees to reflect the cost of providing them.

Systematic border checks of the document as proof of third-party motor insurance have been abolished in the area.

"We had hoped to avoid the need for Green Cards, however as there continues to be uncertainty as to what the final outcome of the Brexit process will be, we want to raise awareness about the possible implications from a motor insurance perspective". Insurers and insurance brokers plan to begin issuing Green Cards to policyholders from March.

Failure to obtain a Green Card for your UK-registered vehicle may result in you having your vehicle seized, prosecution or a hefty fine.

Now all motor vehicles with a valid Irish registration travelling within the EU are covered by the terms of the EU Motor Insurance Directive (MID). Customers should always double check their travel insurance policy meets their full needs.

What the Association of British Insurers have said about Green Cards.

"You should contact your insurer before you travel in order to get one. This advice applies to businesses as well as individuals", Evans stated.

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