The ABI issues the warning as its director general says a ‘no deal’ Brexit is “increasingly possible”

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is today setting out advice for consumers and businesses who may be affected by a no-deal Brexit.

Green Cards is a top priority for the association, which has urged businesses and consumers to talk to their insurers, and sort out a Green Card which will allow them to drive in the EU in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Green Cards would be required, under EU law, as a proof of insurance.They are supplied by an insurer and the ABI has advised any consumer to contact their insurer at least one month before they plan on travelling.

Those who travel without one may be breaking the law. The same requirements will apply to EU motorists travelling to the UK.

Who is affected?

Those most affected would be those who travel across the irish border on a regular basis, those planning driving to other countries in the EU, such as France or Germany, for a family holiday, and freight companies planning on transporting goods into the EU after the 29 March.

An agreement between several European insurance authorities was made in May 2018 which would waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no deal Brexit. But this was not confirmed by the European Commission, which is why the industry is still planning on the basis of Green Cards being required.

No change to travel insurance

Travel insurance will work in the same way, even in the event of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) sytem that allows people some free healthcare in the EU isn’t replaced.

Customers are still urged to carry all of the relevant information and paperwork, such as travel insurance documents or their insurer’s emergency medical contact number. 

However, if a customer suffers severe travel disruption, the ABI says to check with the insurer to see whether they are the best people to speak to, as airlines, travel agents or credit card providers would normally be the first port of call for financial compensation.

No deal is increasingly possible

Director general of the ABI, Huw Evans said: “As it looks increasingly possible that a ‘no deal’ Brexit may happen, we want all insurance customers to know the facts about what this means for them.

“If you live in Northern Ireland and drive to the Republic of Ireland, or if you plan to drive your vehicle to mainland Europe after a no-deal Brexit, you will need a Green Card to prove you are insured. You should contact your insurer before you travel in order to get one. This advice applies to businesses as well as individuals.

“Despite ‘no-deal’ uncertainty about the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), I also want to reassure people that their travel insurance will continue to operate in the normal way when it comes to medical expenses, as emergency medical treatment is a standard feature. Customers should always double check their travel insurance policy meets their full needs.

“It remains the case that Insurers do not want a ‘no deal’ Brexit; it would be bad for the economy and bad for our customers. We continue to hope these arrangements are never needed and urge the Government, UK Parliament and EU27 to agree an orderly way forward.”

Allianz ready to offer Green Cards

Allianz is already close to finishing the process of being able to offer Green Cards to customers, meaning its customers will not see any change to the cover currently provided.

Jonathan Dye, head of motor insurance said: “We continue to monitor all developments regarding Brexit and have worked through various risk based scenarios including a hard Brexit. We are currently finalising our process for issuing Green Cards and can confirm there’ll be no change to the cover we currently provide.”