Green insurance card for motor vehicles

What is a Green Insurance Card?
When do I need this insurance confirmation?
For which countries do I need the green insurance card?
Where can I get the green insurance card?
What to do if I forget the green insurance card?
What is the "big green card?
What is a border insurance?
What to look out for with the green insurance card?
Tips and tricks for the green insurance card
Insurance recommended for car trips

Green insurance card: What drivers need to know

Why do I need a green card? Do I always have to carry it with me when I travel abroad in my own car? What do I do if I forget it? Time and time again, we receive inquiries from unsure car and motorcycle drivers who want to know about the purpose and details of the Green Insurance Card. Finally, carrying such a certificate appears in times of digital vignette. To the simplifications in car travel as something antiquated. But unfortunately it is often not possible without this card, which in reality is a piece of paper.

Green insurance card for motor vehicles

What is a green insurance card?

It is a confirmation for a trip to other European countries as well as to the Mediterranean region that the own car is sufficiently insured. The official name for it is the "International Motor Insurance Card". Of course, no one calls it that, instead they always talk about the green insurance card. This is because the paper on which this insurance confirmation for foreign travel is printed is traditionally green in color. However, from the summer of 2020, this confirmation can be printed out yourself – even on white paper.

When do I need this insurance confirmation?

Whenever traveling abroad by car, it is recommended to carry such a card. In EU countries it is a safety measure, in several other countries it is even a must. However, we strongly advise you to have the card with you whenever you travel abroad – this can cause problems with authorities or in case of damage or loss. Avoid accidents.

For which countries do I need the green insurance card?

In most European countries (especially within the EU) the Austrian license plate alone should be sufficient proof that there is a liability insurance for this car. Still, it's advisable to carry one with you on all trips abroad. This makes it easier to deal with the authorities, for example after a rear-end collision or during inspections. In addition, motorists in some countries such as the Czech Republic, Serbia (no card requirement officially since 2012) or Italy like to be asked for this green card despite the existing regulations.

In any case, carrying the confirmation is obligatory in the following countries:

– Albania
– Bosnia-Herzegovina
– Montenegro
– Moldova
– Russia
– Turkey
– Ukraine
– Belarus

Where to get the green card?

The card is issued by the insurance company with which the liability insurance for the vehicle was concluded. On it you can also see the period of validity for which this certificate is valid. Most of the time the card is issued automatically after the insurance is taken out, but sometimes it has to be requested separately. If someone wants an exhibition, the confirmation can also be requested digitally from July 2020 and printed out at home. This can be especially interesting if you plan a trip at short notice and realize that you don't have a green insurance card (or have misplaced it).

What do I do if I forget the Green Insurance Card?

And already it happened: You drive your own car to a country like Montenegro and suddenly you realize that you forgot your green card at home. What now? Turning back and skipping the vacation is hardly an option. When entering countries where the card must always be carried (such as Albania, see above), border insurance should be taken out. This provides a backup in case something happens. If one should be asked in countries, for which it actually no obligation to carry along exists in most European countries, best the insurance policy of the existing liability insurance to show.

What is the "big green card?

In principle, the Green Card is the smaller version, which is sufficient for countries in Europe and in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, such as Albania or Bosnia-Herzegovina. But if you want to travel to certain countries, you need the "big green insurance card". This is subject to a fee and a higher insurance premium will be charged for the duration of the trip to these areas. For example, an extra 5 percent of the annual premium can be demanded. These are the countries in question:

– non-European part of Turkey
– non-European part of Russia
– Morocco
– Tunisia
– Israel
– Azerbaijan

What is a border insurance?

When entering some countries, insurance must be taken out locally – this is mandatory liability insurance, but the coverage amounts are usually very low. Among these countries are Kosovo, Georgia and Armenia. In certain countries, an insurance policy can be taken out at the border instead of the Green Card.

What should be paid attention to the green insurance card?

– For which period is the certificate valid? The correct period of validity must be indicated on the card. If the card has expired, a new one must be applied for.
– Be careful not to confuse the so-called large card with the small card – as described above, for some countries such as the non-European areas of Turkey or Russia you need the large version.

Tips and tricks for the green insurance card

– Unfortunately, the Green Insurance Card does not yet exist in credit card format or even in electronic form. Instead, the paper confirmation must be carried – make sure it is in good condition and legible.
– Check the green card to see which countries it applies to – this avoids misunderstandings.
– Even if drivers do not need a green card for countries such as Italy or the Czech Republic, it is advisable to carry one. Again and again, drivers and car clubs report harassment by the authorities when the card cannot be shown.
– Attention when driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example when vacationing in the southern part of Dalmatia (Dubrovnik): It is sometimes checked whether a green insurance card is carried along. If this is not the case, insurance must be taken out locally.
– It is also advisable to carry an international accident report. After a claim or an accident abroad, it is advisable to note down all the facts in detail and, if possible, to take photographs as well.
– In the event of damage or an accident abroad, it is advisable to notify the police and not to settle anything "privately" – otherwise you could face serious claims. This applies of course in particular to accidents with personal involvement.

Insurance recommended for car travel

If you want to be on the safe side, take out comprehensive travel insurance for your trip abroad with your own vehicle – depending on the variant, this can cover Europe or other regions. This means that you are not only covered by a liability insurance, but you also have a comprehensive insurance.

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