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Road Accidents Caused By Foreign Drivers

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Road users in England must have third party only insurance as the minimum level of insurance to drive a vehicle on a road. The police could give you a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points if you drive a vehicle without third party only insurance.

Third party only insurance means that if you have an accident that causes damage to another vehicle or injury to anyone then your insurance company will pay compensation to the owner of the damaged vehicle or the injured person. However, your insurance will not compensate you for the damage to your own vehicle.

Since 1949 England has been in the Green Card system, so that if you suffer a road accident in England caused by a European driver, such as a resident of Germany or Spain, you will not have to contact an insurance company in Berlin or Madrid. Under the Green Card system the European driver’s motor insurer must appoint a representative in England to handle compensation claims.

If you suffer a road accident caused by a European driver it is important to get details of the name and address of the driver and also details of the manufacturer’s name and model of their vehicle. You must take details of the registration number of the vehicle and the country in which it is registered. If the European driver’s vehicle is a heavy goods vehicle it is important to get details of both the registration number on the front of the vehicle and also the registration number on the rear of the vehicle because they are often different. Ask the driver for the name of their insurance company and the insurance policy number.

In England the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) administers the Green Card system, therefore visit the MIB’s website to obtain details of the representatives in England of the European driver’s motor insurer. If there are no details of the European driver’s motor insurance company, or if it does not have an agent based in England, then the MIB will assist you with your compensation claim.

If the European driver cannot be identified, or if they were driving without motor insurance, an application for compensation may be made directly to the MIB.

Motor Insurers’ Bureau website:

Phone number for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau’s Green Card department: 01908 830001.

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