Leaving the EU & Green Cards

Green Card Update: Published on 13th July 2021, the European Commission has agreed the UK will be included in the Green Card free zone that takes effect from 2nd August 2021. This means all UK vehicles driving in the EU and EEA states will require Green Cards for travel up to and until 1st August 2021, 23:59 hours. ERS will continue to offer access to Green Card Portal beyond this date, as it may take a short while for the news to filter through to European border and roads policing authorities across to European border and roads policing authorities. For any immediate Green Cards required for July/August travel, visit ers.com/greencard

  • Arrangements for EEA policies underwritten prior to Brexit

    Lloyd’s is proposing to transfer certain policies to Lloyd’s Brussels. The proposed transfer will not change terms and conditions of any policy, except that Lloyd’s Brussels will become the insurer and Data Controller in respect of the transferred policies.

    Further information about the proposal (including whether it could affect EEA policyholders pre-transfer position), which policies are transferring, policyholder rights and what EEA policyholders need to do can be found at lloyds.com/brexittransfer.

  • Green Cards

    What is a Green Card?

    The Green Card is an international Certificate of Insurance, providing visiting motorists have the minimum compulsory insurance cover required by law of the countries subject to the Green Card free circulation area, as currently permitted within ERS policy wordings (see Foreign Use section).

    With the end of the UK’s membership of the EU from 31st December 2020 UK motorists have been required to carry a physical Green Card with their hard copy motor insurance certificate to both be presented when travelling through Europe. Without a Green Card, motorists run the risk of being denied access at the country borders, being fined for not having the proper insurance documentation or having their vehicle seized.

    On 1st July 2021, the European Commission has agreed that UK drivers should no longer be required to carry a Green Card as proof of a valid motor insurance when driving in the EU and EEA states. This requires to be approved formally by the European Commission, which can take up to 20 days to become legally binding. Find out more.

    In the meantime, British motorists must continue to approach their insurer for a Green Card before driving in Europe. The MIB has recommended that UK drivers do continue to use Green Cards for a limited period, until 31st August as it may take a short while for the news to filter through to European border and roads policing authorities across the European Economic Area.

    Does the Green Card need to be on Green Paper?

    No, since 1st July 2020 the EU Commission agreed that the Green Card can be printed on either green or white paper with black ink and this was now acceptable by all participating countries.

    Can a customer show a digital copy of their Green Card at the border?

    No, a physical copy of a Green Card on plain A4 white or green paper is needed when travelling, as digital copies are not currently accepted. If customers arrive at the border without a physical Green Card on plain white or green paper, they will not be allowed to drive in that country. ERS are permitted to share a Green Card with policyholders in an electronic format, however, to be accepted at international borders they must be printed.

    What is ERS’ process for issuing a Green Card?

    Policyholders are advised to contact their insurance broker or intermediary to request a Green Card if they're travelling outside the UK in their insured vehicle from the 31st December 2020.

    Brokers can request a Green Card through accessing the dedicated ERS Green Card portal, which will produce a PDF version of the Green Card; this PDF will be emailed to the Broker to be printed.

    Please note this must be printed on A4 plain white or green paper to be valid and effective dates of cover must be within the period of insurance shown on the Certificate of Insurance.

    The Green Card will allow customers to drive in which countries in the EU after Brexit?

    If the customer is travelling outside the UK after the Brexit transition with their vehicle and foreign use is extension is covered by the policy coverage. Then the countries covered automatically by the Green Card are as follows:

    EU Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain & Sweden

    EEA Countries: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland

    For travel to Gibraltar, please refer to the specific question further down in these FAQs.

    What if the customer wishes to travel outside of EEA countries?

    The Green Card Portal will only cover countries in the EEA, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland as permitted currently within the ERS Policy (where applicable). If additional countries are required then a request will need to be made to greencards@ers.com stating the country that the customer wishes to visit.

    Will customers still be provided with motor coverage outside the UK after Brexit?

    ERS will continue to offer the extension our policy coverage within the EU as permitted. Please refer to the policy wording for the level of insurance cover and length of time permitted for any visit. However, going forward it will need to be supported by the issuance of a Green Card alongside a valid Certificate of Insurance.

    Do Policyholders need separate printed Green Cards for each trailer or Caravan?

    In some EU member states, a separate Green Card is needed for each trailer or caravan, which for further details you should refer to DfT. Where applicable, you should produce two Green Cards from our Green Card Portal (one for the towing vehicle and one for the trailer) if insurance cover is provided by ERS.

    When will access to the ERS Green Card Portal be available?

    The ERS Green Card Portal has been available since 14th March 2019 at ers.com/greencard - click on the dropdown option at the top of the screen entitled ‘Green Card Portal’.

    Having issues producing a Green Card through the portal?

    If you are experiencing problems producing the Green Cards through the ERS Portal (ers.com/greencard), then please send your query by email to greencards@ers.com and we will provide a response within 24 hours.

    What will happen if a policyholder drives abroad without a Green Card?

    It will be illegal to drive abroad without a valid Green Card from 31st December 2020. Motorists may be prosecuted, face penalties/fines, or have their vehicle seized.

    Will a Policyholder need two Green Cards if their policy expires during travel in EU after Brexit?

    If a Policyholder’s policy is due for renewal during the period of travel, they will be required to obtain two Green Cards - one for each ERS policy period. The Green Card must align to the dates to shown on the Certificate of Insurance. If the policyholder changes insurer, they should ask both their ERS and their new insurer to provide a Green Card relating to the period of travel in EU.

    Do I need a Green Card to drive my vehicle in Gibraltar?

    Under the EU Commission definition of Gibraltar, it is including under the United Kingdom as is the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. However, from the 31st December 2020, Gibraltar will no longer be under the current definition in our policy wordings under foreign use for the United Kingdom or EU. So for policy coverage to be granted we will need to endorse the policy with an extension of the United Kingdom definition and then support this with a Green Card from our portal.

    Do UK Citizen’s need to display a GB sticker on their vehicles when travelling outside the UK?

    UK registered vehicles will need to display a GB sticker when driving in any of the EU countries, though you do not need to display a GB sticker to drive in the Republic of Ireland (as stated on the UK Government website).

    Drivers currently only need the GB sticker if the insured vehicle does not have a blue EU registration plate that displays the GB initials; unless you travel to Spain, Cyprus or Malta and a GB sticker is required regardless of the registration plate.

    Do ERS need a copy of the Green Card produced?

    No. This is because any Green Cards produced through the ERS portal are retained and we have direct access to these. ERS deem them to be in the possession of the insured unless voided on the ERS portal.