Also known as the International Motor Insurance Certificate, this is a widely recognized document that serves as recognizable proof of motor liability insurance in the event of a traffic accident abroad…
The Green Card or International Motor Insurance Certificate is equivalent to the national motor insurance certificates of any country a motorist visits. It is an internationally recognized document that is accepted by the authorities of all countries where the Green Card is valid.
The Green Card Scheme is managed by the Council of Bureaux in London and Brussels.
It is not essential for EU citizens to have a green card when traveling within the EU and certain other European countries. However, if you don’t take one, you should carry your insurance certificate with you instead. However, a green card can serve as easily recognizable proof of liability insurance, for example in the event of an accident or when traveling abroad.
The green card itself does not offer insurance cover, but it certifies that you have at least the statutory minimum liability insurance cover in the countries you visit. However, if you also wish to be insured against other risks such as fire or theft abroad, the insurance company is entitled to charge a surcharge if your cover is limited to the Member State in which you reside.
Where do you get a green card?
You can get the green card from the insurer that issued your car insurance.
It’s usually free, but there may be a small administration fee.
For visits by motorists to countries participating in the Green Card System, the Green Card is not a required document as it is replaced by the national vehicle registration plates of those countries. These countries are the member countries of the European Union plus Andorra, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It is also advisable to take the green card with you when traveling abroad.
The same situation usually applies in Gibraltar, Monaco, Liechtenstein and San Marino, but it is advisable to check the coverage carefully.
The national license plates of the countries signal to the authorities of the country that your vehicle is only insured for insurable liability insurance. Therefore, please contact your health insurance company for more information:
What insurance documents, if any, are required for the countries you intend to visit?
The coverage of your own car insurance for the countries you intend to travel to
The procedure to be followed in the event of an accident in a country visited
Other countries are party to Green Card agreements (you must either have a Green Card or take out insurance at the border).
Currently these are:
Belarus, Albania, Moldova, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iran, Ukraine, Israel, Serbia, Montenegro (although Kosovo is considered part of Serbia, it is under the control of United Nations Green cards are not available for Kosovo and border car insurance is required).
After signing an agreement called the Uniform Agreement, Italy participates in the Green Card System with all foreign bureau members except Turkey.
If you are involved in an accident abroad, contact your insurer or your insurer’s representative in the country concerned immediately. The green card provides information through the local green card office, but it remains important to contact your auto insurer or your insurer’s representatives.
If the accident was caused by an uninsured or unidentifiable vehicle, you are entitled under Community law to compensation from the motor guarantee fund of the Member State where the accident occurred. This corresponds to the regulations in force in this Member State.
New rules have been introduced to ensure motorists are quickly compensated in the event of an accident, no matter where they are in the EU. This has simplified procedures and accelerated claims settlement, as fines are levied on late payments. This not only applies to accidents that occur in the EU, but also to accidents between two EU parties in a country outside the EU but belonging to the green card system.