Automotive Insurance

What does your car insurance cover when traveling abroad?

car insurance, It is vacation time, and many of you will have thought of using the car to enjoy a well-deserved rest, even beyond our borders. But… Beware!

Before traveling abroad, you should review your policy to avoid surprises, as it is essential to be clear about what your car insurance does and does not cover.

Don’t worry; we explain everything here.

Perhaps we have thought of moving soon with our car to a foreign country. A great option, but first, we must do some preliminary work not only regarding our vehicle ( review and tuning ) but also regarding our car insurance and the mandatory documentation that we must have.

Is my car insurance good for traveling abroad?

That is the big question if I am covered by car insurance abroad.

The answer is that it works in some countries, of course for the entire European Union and the countries that are part of the multilateral guarantee agreement, which is a certain way works like international car insurance.

To move without worries through these areas, we must have contracted at least the mandatory civil liability insurance.

What is the multilateral guarantee agreement?

It is an agreement that allows the compulsory civil liability insurance of the vehicle to be valid in all the signatory countries as international car insurance is deducitable.

It is made up of all the nations of the European Union and some more:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czechia
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Finland
  • Britain
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • malt
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

If you have an accident in an EU country, the compensation limits will be those established in that State (although if they are lower than those that apply in Spain, the latter will apply). If not, the compensation limits established in each territory would apply.

Beyond the countries in which this kind of international automobile insurance certificate has been approved, there are other nations that are part of the Inter-Bureaux Agreement.

To circulate on its roads, you must carry the Green Card with you.

From 06/01/2021, this “Green Card” is replaced by the International Certificate of Insurance, which ceases to be in a “green pre-print” and is printed, at the request of the client, on a white DINA4 paper, although the “green cards” issued prior to this date are still valid, which we will discuss later.

They are Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Tunisia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

But, what if you want to travel to a country that does not belong to either of these two agreements? You must apply at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters for an international driving permit, which is valid for one year, and take out insurance in the country of destination.

What coverage does the insurance give me abroad?

It depends on the guarantees you have contracted with your company.

Basic foreign car insurance, of course, does not provide extensive coverage beyond our borders since it only takes care of the damage that the insured person causes with his car to other drivers or vehicles, which is known as liability. Civil.

Can I extend the compulsory insurance?

If compulsory civil liability insurance seems insufficient to us, we have plenty of options to extend the coverage of our policy.

To this can be added the voluntary subscription coverage that we have determined together with the insurer, perhaps to expand the geographical scope in which we are covered or to include additional guarantees such as rescue, vehicle repair, theft, fire, windows, transfer of the car, health assistance, roadside assistance …

What should I do before traveling?

In addition to checking your car and checking that it is in good condition to make a long trip, it is essential to know what coverage and conditions your contract establish in relation to trips abroad.

If you think your insurance may fall short and you need some additional coverage, you always have the option of contacting your insurer to request more protection before you get going.

Documentation needed to go abroad.

Apart from the mandatory documentation that we must always carry in the car (driving license, circulation permit, ITV card), we must always carry our ID and/or passport.

If we travel with our vehicle, we will have to have car insurance and, if necessary, the Green Card (International Insurance Certificate since 06/01/2021); in the countries of the European Union, this certificate is not necessary, and the international driving permit.

What is the Green Card or International Certificate of Insurance?

The Green Card ( colloquial name with which the International Certificate of Insurance is known) is a document that guarantees abroad that your car is insured, proving that in the event of an accident, the mandatory civil liability is covered and that your car proceeds of one of the countries that form the multilateral guarantee agreement.

Therefore, the green card is essential to travel through the signatory countries of this agreement; we insist that in the European Union, it is not necessary.

Steps to obtain the green card

We already know that it is a green insurance card, but… how can it be obtained?

There is not too much mystery. It is enough to contact the insurer with which we have a contract -almost all companies manage it- to request it.

Of course, we must be aware that it does not become obsolete since the green card expires every year; if we have it expired and we need it again, we will have to demand it again.

What if I stay abroad?

In this case, it is also necessary to contact the insurance company, which will choose either to cancel your policy or to make a new assessment of its price based on the risks to which the client and vehicle are exposed in their new environment.

If for his part, the insured is not satisfied with the conditions, he always has the possibility of changing the company.

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