Information for customers intending to drive in the UK & NI in the event of a 'No Deal Brexit'
Read below to find out more about Green Cards and driving in the UK (including Northern Ireland) in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’.
As you may be aware, there has recently been a lot of media attention on the possible implications of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ on Irish motorists intending to travel in the UK after 29th March 2019.
One potential outcome of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ may be a requirement for drivers of Irish registered vehicles to carry a Green Card as proof of motor insurance when travelling between Ireland and the UK, including across the Northern Irish border.
While this remains an unlikely scenario, we at Zurich Insurance are determined to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to protect our motor insurance policyholders and minimise any potential future inconvenience that a ‘No Deal Brexit’ may cause.
Our priority is to provide peace of mind to our customers that they will continue to be protected on UK roads in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’. Therefore, if an agreement which removes the need for Irish motorists to carry a Green Card when travelling to the UK still appears unlikely to be reached by early March 2019, we will automatically issue a Green Card document by post to all of our Private Car and Light Commercial Vehicle policyholders who have purchased their insurance directly from us.
For valued customers who have purchased their Zurich motor insurance policy through a broker, we will be happy to accommodate a request for a Green Card via that broker. You will need to contact your broker directly to complete this request.
In the meantime, please rest assured that you are not required to do anything in relation to cross border travel between Ireland and the UK at this present time. Green Cards will only be required in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ on or after 29th March 2019.
Please continue to check this webpage where we will keep our customers informed of all developments and communicate any further news as it arises.
The information below should help answer any questions you might have in relation to driving in the UK and the potential future requirement for Green Cards:
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an internationally recognised insurance document which provides proof of the minimum compulsory motor insurance cover required by the country visited. It is a physical, A4-sized document which is printed on green paper or with a green background.
Why might I need one?
Currently all Irish motor vehicles with a valid registration travelling within the EU are covered by the terms of the European Union’s Motor Insurance Directive (“MID”). This allows motor vehicles to travel freely between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain as well as within other EU countries without requiring supplementary insurance documentation. Should a ‘No Deal Brexit’ occur, the UK, including Northern Ireland, will no longer be party to the MID, meaning a Green Card will be required to demonstrate to the authorities in Northern Ireland and Great Britain that valid motor insurance cover is in place for those vehicles.
Who will need a Green Card?
Only those who plan on bringing their motor vehicle to Northern Ireland, or any other part of the UK, will require a Green Card. Furthermore, Green Cards will only be required in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’.
What is the process for getting a Green Card?
In the event that the current negotiations regarding Brexit are not resolved by early March 2019, we will automatically issue Green Card documents to all motor insurance customers who have purchased their policies directly from Zurich, meaning you will receive a Green Card by post for your insured vehicle prior to 29th March 2019.
Customers who have purchased their motor insurance policy through a broker will need to request a Green Card by contacting that broker at least one week in advance of their planned travel dates to the UK.
I drive to the UK / Northern Ireland every day, how will this impact me?
If there is a ‘No Deal Brexit’ then anyone bringing their motor vehicle from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or anywhere else in the UK, will need a Green Card to show the law enforcement authorities that you have valid motor insurance.
What cover does a Green Card provide if I have an accident in Northern Ireland / UK?
The Green Card is there to prove to the UK law enforcement authorities that you have valid motor insurance. Even in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’, your motor insurance policy with Zurich will remain valid, for the existing level of cover, whilst you are travelling from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK.
Will I require a Green Card if I intend to bring my vehicle to another part of the EU after Brexit?
No, you will only require a Green Card if you are travelling to the EU via the UK. Please note that your Zurich Private Car policy extends cover for 30 days foreign travel within the EU, excluding Ireland and the UK. Travel outside of the EU and the UK is not covered under your motor policy, unless specifically approved by us.
Is there a cost involved in getting a Green Card from Zurich?
At the present time, Zurich will not charge its direct motor insurance policyholders for Green Cards which will be automatically issued to you in order for you to travel in the UK.
How long does a Green Card last?
Green Cards issued by Zurich in order for you to travel in the UK will remain valid until the expiry date of the motor insurance policy or until such time as the vehicle noted on the Green Card is no longer insured under your policy with us, whichever date shall occur first.
What happens if I change my vehicle?
Green Cards are issued in conjunction with a specific vehicle and a specific motor insurance policy. Therefore, the maximum length that a Green Card can remain valid is up to the expiry date of your current motor insurance policy. If that vehicle ceases to be insured under your motor insurance policy with us (for example, if you dispose of, or sell, your car), then you will require a new Green Card.
Can I transfer my Green Card to another vehicle?
Can I transfer my Green Card to my partner?
Each Green Card applies to a specific vehicle and the specific motor insurance policy covering that vehicle. If your partner is covered under the motor insurance policy on the specific vehicle then the Green Card will apply to them as long as they are covered to drive that vehicle under your motor insurance policy with us.
If there is a ‘No Deal Brexit’, what could happen if I drive in the UK (incl. Northern Ireland) without a Green Card?
The law requires any motor vehicle to be properly insured no matter where it is used. If motorists do not have the correct insurance cover for the country they are driving in then they may be subject to legal penalties and fines in that country.
If Green Cards are required, will I have to have it with me all the time?
Yes, the Green Card will be required to be with you anytime you drive your motor vehicle in Northern Ireland or anywhere else in the UK.