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ABI reminds consumers on the insurance implications of a no-deal Brexit

With a no-deal Brexit still a possibility, and with the current exit date of 31 October looming, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) today reminds consumers and businesses of the insurance implications if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

ABI’s guidance highlights that:

  • Drivers should contact their insurer, to arrange for what is known as a Green Card and take it with them if they wish to drive their vehicle in the EU in the event of a no deal.
  • Travel insurance will continue to work in the normal way, even if the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system that allows people some free healthcare in the EU is not replaced.

Green Cards

Green Cards will be required under EU regulations as proof of insurance if there is no deal. The documents are supplied by your insurer and customers are advised to contact their insurer about one month before you plan to travel to get one. Those who travel without one may be breaking the law. 

Among those affected are:

  • Northern Ireland residents travelling to the Republic of Ireland. You should contact your insurer to arrange for the appropriate Green Card documents.
  • Republic of Ireland residents travelling to Northern Ireland. Valid Irish insurance discs will be accepted as proof of insurance for Irish vehicles.
  • Anyone planning to take their vehicle to Europe, or freight company planning to transport goods into the EU.

Although an agreement between the relevant European insurance authorities was made in May 2018 to waive the need for Green Cards in the event of a no-deal Brexit, this has not been confirmed by the European Commission, hence the industry is planning on the basis of Green Cards being required.

Travel Insurance

Travel will continue to work in the normal way, even if the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system that allows people some free healthcare in the EU is not replaced. Customers should have their travel insurance documents or their insurer’s emergency medical assistance contact number with them as they have the medical expertise, contacts and facilities to help you if you fall ill or are injured abroad.

In the event of severe travel disruption at ports or airports customers are being advised that airlines, travel agents or credit card providers would be the first point of contact for any financial compensation.

If these routes have been exhausted and you have travel disruption cover in place as part of your travel insurance policy, it is possible that you will be covered against some financial losses. However, this will depend on your policy so you should check the scope of cover provided and speak to your insurer if unsure.

Director General of the ABI, Huw Evans, said:

Huw Evans, Director GeneralWith a ‘no-deal Brexit still on the table, we want all insurance customers to know the facts about what this means for them, so that they can take the necessary action.

“If you live in Northern Ireland and drive to the Republic of Ireland, or if you plan to drive your vehicle to mainland Europe after a no-deal Brexit, you will need a Green Card to prove you are insured. You should contact your insurer before you travel in order to get one. This advice applies to businesses as well as individuals.

“I can reassure people that their travel insurance will continue to operate in the normal way when it comes to medical expenses, as emergency medical treatment is a standard feature. Customers should always double check that their travel insurance policy meets their full needs.

“Insurers are ready for a no deal. But we urge the UK Government to pull out all the stops to, at this eleventh hour, agree an orderly exit from the EU.”

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Notes for Editors

Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667


  1. ABI’s consumer advice in the event of a no-deal Brexit is here: https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/motor-insurance/travelling-to-the-eu-if-a-no-deal-brexit/#travel


  1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


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  1. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, abi.org.uk.





Last updated 27/09/2019