Do you plan to take your car overseas this summer? A great many motorists do and it gives you a great deal of freedom to go wherever you want to, but there are some things you need to be aware of before you go and while you’re away. For example, a recent survey revealed that over half the motorists questioned didn’t know whether their car insurance covered them for driving overseas. One third thought their policy did cover them, but a worrying 10% said they knew they were not covered for overseas travel, but decided to undertake the journey anyway, effectively driving abroad without any car insurance at all.
Driving anywhere without insurance is both illegal and risky, and if you are involved in an incident while abroad, if you do not have valid insurance you render yourself at best liable to face massive financial costs and at worst at risk of arrest and detention – not the outcome anyone would wish for on a family holiday.
What cover do you have?
Levels of UK car insurance vary considerably from fully comprehensive policies which include glass cover, bodywork damage cover, no claims bonus protection and legal assistance, to basic third party fire and theft which is the minimum level of cover required. Once abroad, many of the features of a UK policy can be reduced to simple third party cover, which means that in an incident, only the other driver’s vehicle is covered, and your own may not be insured for either damage or theft, so always check the ‘driving abroad’ section of your own policy before setting off overseas.
If you plan to drive outside the EU, you should ask your insurer for a ‘Green Card’ which is proof that your car insurance complies with whatever requirements are in force in the country you plan to visit.
Driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, trying to navigate in unfamiliar territory and a tendency to driver longer distances without a break can make you more prone to have an accident abroad than you would be at home, so if the worst happens, here is some advice:
Ensure your windscreen is OK before setting off
If you have any damage at all to your windscreen, get it repaired or replaced before you go abroad, contact your nearest myWindscreen technician for expert and cost-effective windscreen repairs or windscreen replacements. If your windscreen or other vehicle glass does get damaged while you’re abroad, if you haven’t got special glass cover in your car insurance policy, you will have to pay the full cost yourself.
Be prepared in case of accidents
Make sure you have details of your insurance policy with you along with contact numbers in case of emergency – if you’re unlucky enough to be in some kind of collision, make sure you get as much detail as possible about any other vehicles involved plus the driver. You need the driver’s contact details and those of any witnesses, plus the make model and registration number of the other vehicle. If possible, take pictures of the scene, and then contact your insurance company and the local police force if necessary.
Taking sensible precautions before you go and ensuring you have all relevant information to hand while you are abroad means that you can remove some of the risk from motoring overseas, and hopefully avoid spoiling your well-earned holiday.