UK drivers will need to carry a green card as proof of insurance when they travel across the EU or the EEA if the UK leaves without a deal

Insurers have been urging brokers to highlight the implications of a no-deal Brexit to commercial drivers and haulage firms which operate in the EU if there is a no deal Brexit.

If the UK leaves without a deal, and with it a transition period where a formal trade deal between Britain and the European Union can be agreed, UK drivers will need to carry a green card as proof of insurance when they travel across the EU or the EEA.

The penalties for a failure to have a green card can include the seizure of the vehicle and its contents. For haulage firms and the owners of the cargo they are carrying it could spell disaster.

While private motorists need to have a single green card for haulage firms they require two. One for the lorry and one for any commercial trailer needs to have a separate green card

As such underwriters are contacting brokers to ensure they can work with their clients to make sure they are ready for any no-deal departure at the end of the month.

Allianz Insurance CUO, Neil Clutterbuck, told Insurance Times: “Awareness of the need for a green card is as crucial for the commercial world as it is for private motorists. We have developed an automated solution which we switched on in March. This online portal means cards can be emailed or posted to the broker or direct to their client if requested.

“As the document needs to be printed on green paper however, we anticipate that postal will most likely be the preferred option. The portal will ensure a smooth transition in a time of uncertainty and should make the additional administration for brokers a simple and quick process. We have already issued over 2500 cards and are anticipating many more requests as the 31 October approaches.”

RSA has written to its customers and brokers to spell out the need to understand the impact it will have for commercial vehicles and hauliers.

It has told brokers that they have to take urgent action to liaise with their commercial motor clients as they will require three weeks to process the green card applications.

“If your customers are not planning on driving in the EU in the near future, there is nothing to do,” it explained. “However, if they are outside of the UK on (or around) the 31 October, you will need to call RSA at least three weeks before their departure to ensure they can receive a Green Card.”

“A separate Green Card will be required for all trailers, but please be aware that all commercial trailers of 750kg or over and any trailer of 3500kg or over, must be individually registered if being used outside of the UK,” RSA added. “Please let us know the details of all trailers being used outside the UK.”

Such is the concern that the Motor Insurance Bureau is said to have put plans in place to open special booths at major ports that will have the ability to check the insurance cover and provide the green cards for those drivers who arrive without having obtained them.