It’s hard to travel any distance on any road without passing a vehicle which is registered outside of the UK, whether this be a HGV or simply a visitor to the UK. But would you know what to do if you were involved in an accident with a foreign vehicle which wasn’t your fault?
The question of providing insurance cover for any motor vehicle travelling outside the country in which it is registered dates back to just after the Second World War and led to the introduction of the ‘Green Card’ scheme. The main aims of this are:
- “To facilitate the movement of vehicles across international borders by the use of an internationally acceptable document proving the existence of insurance (the Green Card or International Insurance Card)”; and
- “To ensure that the victims of foreign registered vehicles are not disadvantaged.”
Today, there are more than 40 member countries of the Green Card scheme.
If you are involved in an accident with a vehicle that is covered by the Green Card scheme, you should be able to make a claim for compensation for your injuries and any uninsured losses you have suffered. Details of who belongs to the Green Card system can be found on the Motor Insurer Bureau website.
Thankfully, you don’t have to deal directly with the foreign insurer as they must appoint a representative in the UK to deal with your claim.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in this type of accident, it is important that you obtain as much information as possible from the other driver. In particular, make sure you obtain their name, address, vehicle details (including make, model and registration number), the country the vehicle is registered in and any insurance details you can. If it is a lorry, ensure you make a note of both the front (tractor unit) and rear (trailer unit) registration numbers if they are different. At least try to get the front registration number, as this is the most important for insurance purposes. The information you collect will assist you, your insurers and anyone acting on your behalf in trying to identify who you need to correspond with about your claim. If necessary (for example, if you cannot understand what the driver is saying), you should get the police involved.
Depending on what information you have obtained, you may be able to identify who you need to contact in the UK about your claim. If you know the country of origin of the vehicle and who the insurers are (or you have the Green Card number and country it belongs to), you can go to the MIB’s website and try to identify the foreign insurers’ representative in this country. If you have no details or cannot find who their representative is, you can contact the MIB directly. They will make enquiries with their counterparts in the vehicle’s country of origin and attempt to identify who the relevant insurers and representatives are.
You can contact the MIB by phone on 01908 830 001 or visit their website at www.mib.org.uk