When you are traveling as a motorist with your vehicle in other countries outside of the United Kingdom, there are many things that you will want to be aware of for your personal and financial security as a foreign driver. While your trusty accident insurance policy may cover you and your vehicle inside of the UK, it may not provide any coverage, or may provide somewhat limited and changeable coverage, when you are out of the country. Learning what coverage your policy provides and understanding what you will do in the case of an incident outside of the country are necessary precautions that you must take before traveling as a safe and prepared driver.
If you find yourself traveling regularly to the continent, you will want to check with your car insurance broker to see what is written in the fine print of your motor vehicle contract regarding your international coverage. Most UK vehicle policies will provide you with the legal minimum coverage in any European Union country. So, while you will be taken care of in case of a minor accident in France or Germany, you will not be likely reimbursed with comprehensive coverage if you were to be physically injured in an accident that was your fault, for example.
Additionally, travel insurance should be able to take care of your physical and financial needs in the cases of fire, theft, natural disaster, or other unplanned for occasions. You will want to make sure you pay the appropriate extra fees to build this type of coverage into your existing motor policy, since most insurers do not automatically cover this level of accident or incident when you are traveling abroad.
Talk to Your Insurance Adjuster Prior to Traveling
When contacting or meeting with your insurance adjuster prior to travel outside of the UK, make sure you inquire as to your EU certificate and what that means for your particular policy. An EU certificate may entitle you to full or partial insurance coverage while you are in an included country, or it may simply meet the legal minimums for insurance payment liability if you involve someone else in an accident. You will still want to inquire as to whether you are covered in other countries in the same way as you are in the UK in terms of fire, loss prevention, theft and in the unlikely event of tree damage or storm damage.
Another factor that you will want to take into account when hitting the roads of the continent is the possibility of a green card. If you are acquiring a green card in a foreign country, you may be eligible for both limited liability and third party comprehensive insurance when driving in that country. However, make sure you give your insurance adjuster the maximum amount of notice when planning a trip like this, as they will have to make the necessary adjustments to your policy and you will want to make sure everything is in order before you travel. Often, it will not be necessary to tell your provider of travel excursions to the continent that are of less than 30 days, but this, too, will change depending on your particular scenario and necessary amount of coverage.
Providing your broker with plenty of prior notice and being sure to understand the fine print of your policy will give you a solid platform from which you can work with if the worst happens and you are involved in an accident when traveling. Give yourself ample time and communication resources with your insurance agent, and you will be fit to hit the road safely and securely when the time comes.