LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s leading insurance trade body has warned UK motorists they will be breaking the law if they drive in the European Union without special proof of insurance after March 29, if politicians fail to strike a Brexit withdrawal deal.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) called on consumers and companies who plan to travel by road in the EU after Brexit day to request a ‘green card’ from their insurer one month in advance, citing the growing possibility of a disorderly British departure from the bloc.
The ABI advice, issued a day after Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was rejected by UK lawmakers, represents a major call to action to millions of policyholders who drive in the EU for business and pleasure each year.
It follows failure by the European Commission to confirm a waiver of the green card scheme agreed by European insurance authorities in May, the ABI said. The same requirements would apply to EU motorists travelling to the UK, it added.
In 2017, 2.4 million heavy good vehicles travelled from Britain to the continent, while a further 370,000 travelled to Northern Ireland, according to official statistics, the ABI said.
“It remains the case that insurers do not want a ‘no deal’ Brexit; it would be bad for the economy and bad for our customers. We continue to hope these arrangements are never needed and urge the Government, UK Parliament and EU27 to agree an orderly way forward,” ABI Director General Huw Evans said.
The ABI reassured policyholders that travel insurance would continue to work in a no-deal Brexit scenario, even in the event the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system - which allows individuals some free healthcare in the EU - is not replaced. (Reporting by Sinead Cruise and Simon Jessop; Editing by Mark Potter)