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Everything You Need To Know About Green Cards

Why do I need a Green Card for my trip to Europe?

With the uncertainty of the manner of UK leaving European Union (EU) on-going those people wishing to travel into Europe in the Spring and Summer have been advised by the Home Office and the ABI to carry an Insurance Green Card at borders and/or by the local Police.

Until Brexit hit, Green Cards were consigned for rare use when drivers wished to travel to countries not within the EU but had an arrangement to allow EU travel into them, subject to recognisable proof.

But now, the UK is planning on leaving the EU this may mean that the existing arrangement with EU countries may be disrupted for a short period, or longer. This could result in EU countries no longer accepting just a certificate of insurance, the only way to overcome these events (if/when it happens) is by issuing Green Cards on behalf of our insurers again for all EU trips so that you, our customer, is completely covered when travelling abroad.

At this point we don’t know whether this will happen but drivers/riders travelling to Europe over and after the planned date the UK leaves Europe are advised to request a Green Card, just in case.

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Brexit is looming

What is a Green Card?

For starters, it is GREEN.

The certificate is printed on green paper for inspectors, border control and law enforcement agencies throughout Europe all know what it is. This is a standard procedure for all insurance companies across the UK.

By stating the following information specific to you and your trip, it clarifies that minimum insurance cover would be in effect as you travel through their country, it includes the following:

  • Name and Address
  • Names of any additional drivers
  • Dates of Travel
  • Countries Visited
  • The vehicle Make, Type and Registration mark
  • The insurer and the Policy number

What does it look like?

Insurance-Green-Card-Office

Example of a Green Card

How do I request a Green Card and how does it cost?

To request a Green Card from Devitt, call our service team on 0345 872 3614 or email us at contactus@devittinsurance.com advising of the dates and countries you wish to visit along with your policy information.

As this document is specific to travel dates and requires to be a physical copy (you can’t just show it on your phone via an email), there is a need to request this document from your Insurance Broker in plenty of time so we are able to issue the Green Card correctly and post it to your UK address so it’s ready to go with you on the date of your travel. As a result of the need to issue each one and send out to you we charge £15.00 administration fee for this service.

Green Card FAQs

How long will it take to issue and send a Green Card?  From receipt of your instructions by phone or by email, providing we have all necessary information, we will be able to issue from our systems within 24 – 48 hours. Postage to your home address would typically take 3 to 4 days.  Our advice is pretty simple, as soon has you have planned your trip get the request in as soon as you can. Don’t leave it to the last minute!

What happens if the UK Exit  from EU contains a deal that means the current system of Certificates of Insurance are proof enough?  Then there is no more need for Green Cards – unless you are travelling to a Non-EU country but feel free to contact us to confirm if you’re unsure.

I am planning a trip to Europe before UK leaves the EU deadline, do I really need a Green Card?  If your trip is likely to mean you leave before and return after Brexit negotiations finish, our advice is to request a Green Card from us, just so you don’t get stuck trying to come home.

If you are returning ahead of the UK leave date then you don’t need a Green Card.  If you feel safer, we will issue you one for peace of mind.

What happens if I am not sure about the exact dates of travel?  What about if I decide to come back later than planned?  If this is the case then please provide more flexibility in your dates – maybe a week or so later than you desired return date.

Is there anything else I need to take/arrange before I go that could changes as a result of Brexit impacting EU travel? As well as Green Cards, an International Driving Permit may be required. As this isn’t linked to your insurance policy we can’t assist with the process of requesting it. Again, you should arrange this in plenty of time ahead of your trip.

How long am I permitted to go on my trip for?  Your policy will advise the maximum period you are allowed to stay in Europe for any trip so check that first!  In addition, if your Insurance policy renewal date occurs in the period of your trip, we will only be able to issue the Green Card until the expiry of the current policy.

What happens if I am away when my Policy renews?   Unless we have payment and confirmation to renew for the next insurance term, we will be unable to issue an extension.  Once you can provide that for us, you should be aware that we would need to work out a way to get the physical copy of the green card over to you.  Please bear this complication in mind when planning your trip in this currently extraordinary situation.