Are You Insured to Drive Abroad?


Recent weeks have seen disastrous floods across the UK, which we have all seen or experienced firsthand. It is hard to fathom the anguish of those affected by the fact that they will have to go another week without their homes, automobiles, or even running water, as seen by the flooded streets and submerged vehicles. The best way to buy registered drivers license online.

However, most people can rely on insurance to compensate for some financial losses and inconveniences, if not their mental anguish. But how far do you think your insurance covers you when you’re behind the wheel in a foreign country? If you are unfortunate enough to experience flooding on your summer vacation, you may find yourself in the spotlight on “Holidays from Hell,” but you may feel much more at ease knowing that you have car insurance in place before you leave home.

While many of us take care to select the appropriate insurance for our homes and automobiles in the UK, when we venture beyond these shores, we are often left with more questions than answers. Taking off on an epic road trip, say across Europe, can seem like the trip of a lifetime.

There’s no reason it can’t be, but you should double-check your travel insurance before you leave. It’s common for drivers to assume that their home country’s auto insurance coverage will also protect them while driving overseas. Existing plans, however, will typically only pay for basic RTAs, or at best, third-party cover for international excursions. This case would not cover theft, fire, and other disasters. You also wouldn’t be protected in the event of an automobile crash and subsequent legal action.

Perhaps you’ve heard of a “Green Card” that allows you to drive in foreign countries. This document is accepted worldwide as proof that you have the mandatory insurance coverage for your trip. The card will serve as proof of your primary coverage, but it is not an insurance policy in and of itself. If you want complete protection, you will need to obtain additional insurance.

However, obtaining the same insurance protection you have in the United Kingdom while abroad is a breeze. If it is not already part of your insurance, you can ask your current insurer to cover more expenses while you are away. Depending on your destination and length of trip, you may have to pay a fee to get this extension.

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If you plan to use your car on many trips, this could also be an excellent time to shop for car insurance to ensure you get the best bargain possible. Even if a Green Card is no longer required in EU countries, it is still helpful evidence of primary insurance, so be sure to inquire about them with your preferred insurer. You should be able to get one with the help of your insurance company.

Since Green Cards are provided at no cost by the government (and do not provide insurance coverage), purchasing “Green Card cover” from an insurer means paying to extend your UK insurance coverage abroad. So whether you bring a Green Card with you or not, it is still a good idea to carry along proof of insurance in case you ever need to file a claim. And don’t leave any such paperwork in your car; if you get flooding like that in the UK when you’re abroad, all your hard work will be for naught.

Think about your breakdown protection as well. Automobile breakdown coverage is available in conjunction with or independently of travel insurance. Your auto insurer may also offer this protection. This coverage might pay for things like a rental car. At the same time, yours is being fixed, roadside assistance, emergency repairs, shipping your vehicle back to the UK or sending you spare components, and even lodging if you’re stranded without a car. The cost of auto insurance will range from reasonable to prohibitive, depending on the extent of coverage the policyholder need.

If you’re planning a road trip of a lifetime, you might find the following general ideas helpful:

  • Make sure to have your car maintained before you leave on vacation, and do your homework to verify you comply with any vehicle regulations in the nations you’ll be visiting.
  • Don’t leave home without proof of auto insurance, a Green Card (if you have one), information on your breakdown and travel insurance, and emergency contact information. Don’t forget to bring your proof of residency, driver’s license, and passport. You should research your destination(s) in advance to see if you require an International Driving Permit.
  • You should equip your car with a fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, tool kit, spare bulbs, and warning triangle. Some countries in the European Union require you to have many of these things.
  • Keep a spare set of keys in a secure location.
  • Before leaving for your trip, ensure you are well-versed in the road signs and regulations of the country you will visit.
  • Remember to bring your identification documents, like a driver’s license or passport. In addition, it’s a good idea to double-check with your destination(s) to see if you’ll require an International Driving Permit.

The romantic notion of driving blindly into the unknown may be at odds with all this preparation. However, with some planning ahead of time, you may guarantee yourself the trip of a lifetime.

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