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Breakdown Cover While Driving Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 26 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Driving Abroad Breakdown Cover European

Many insurers are unaware that when they travel abroad on a driving holiday, they’re not fully covered for breakdowns with their regular car insurance policy. Just because you have fully comprehensive cover in the UK, doesn’t mean that you will also be covered across Europe or other areas abroad in the event of a breakdown. It’s extremely important to have your car covered for driving abroad and to make sure you full understand what your breakdown policy covers you for.

Notifying Your Insurance Company

Many insurance companies will require you to notify them (often in writing) before you travel abroad with your car. If you don’t give them this notice, you may find that you won’t be fully covered if you’re involved in an accident overseas. Often, if you don’t let them know beforehand, you will only be covered for third party insurance so it’s worthwhile checking to see if your policy requires you to let your insurers know before setting off. Your policy will generally tell you how much advance notice to give your insurer so that the policy is extended for overseas travel.

Premium Insurance Cover

There are a number of premium and ‘high-end’ insurance policies that will cover you for travel abroad for a set period of time. It’s often between 30 - 90 days and generally you won’t be charged extra for this. You will still need to let them know that you are planning to go abroad though, but assuming your trip isn’t longer than the stated time, you won’t be charged extra. Many insurers will only cover you for repairs when you’re overseas, meaning that any other ‘extras’ such as car hire or transportation in the case of breakdowns, won’t be included.

Green Cards and European Accident Statement Forms

A great way to ensure that you have acceptable proof of insurance cover in the event of a breakdown abroad is to ask your motor insurer for a Green Card. This will provide overseas authorities with proof that you have existing motor insurance in the UK. Most European countries will accept the Green Card and it can save you a lot of time and energy. You can also ask your insurer for a European Accident Statement Form, which is free of charge. This helps you take notes of any accidents you are involved with while abroad.
  • Ensure you obtain a Green Card when possible
  • Ask for a European Accident Statement Form

Separate Breakdown Cover While Abroad

If you can, it’s better to arrange separate breakdown cover for your car when taking it abroad. Many policies won’t provide breakdown cover overseas, so buying separately can be a worthwhile investment. You can often get them when you buy your holiday insurance and should cover a number of areas:

  • Roadside assistance in the event of breakdown
  • Emergency repairs at the roadside if needed
  • Hire car if your car is off the road
  • Accommodation if you’re stranded without your vehicle when it’s being repaired
  • Providing spare parts for your car or getting it home safe to the UK

There are a number of large motoring organizations that can provide you with further help on obtaining insurance for your car when taking it abroad. Try checking with the RAC, AA or other national recovery services, as well as your own regular motor insurer.

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