What is a green card for car insurance?

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  • Driving your car overseas requires the purchase of an insurance green card
  • Failing to purchase insurance for overseas driving can leave you financially liable
  • If you plan to rent a car, you will need international rental car insurance
  • A comparison tool can help you find the right coverage for the countries you are visiting

If you want to drive your car while on vacation or living abroad in another country, not including Canada or Mexico, there’s a good chance you’ll need an insurance green card.

A comparison tool can help you find a travel car insurance policy if you need to drive a car while you are visiting a European country or a country that is a member of the green card system.

Start comparison shopping today by entering your zip code in our FREE tool above!

Green Card Basics

A green card is proof of insurance while you are driving in a foreign country. The card contains information about your international insurance policy, and it is accepted in every country that is a part of the car insurance green card system.

If you do not have a green card while driving in Europe or another country that recognizes green cards, you could be held liable for all accident-related expenses.

Most of the countries that require a green card in order to drive are located in Europe and along the Mediterranean sea. A few of the countries that require green cards include the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland. Currently, according to MIB, a total of 48 countries require an insurance green card if the car is foreign registered.

International Car Insurance Basics

Standard car insurance policies in the United States don’t typically offer coverage abroad, which is why an insurance green card or international car insurance is needed.

International car insurance protects you if you get into an incident while driving your car abroad and works similarly to the policies issued in the United States.

However, different countries require different minimum amounts. Therefore, you should research every country to plan to drive in or through to make sure the policy you intend to purchase is accepted in every country and adheres to the minimum requirements.

International Rental Car Insurance

If you do not plan to transport your vehicle overseas and instead, plan to rent a car, you will need international rental car insurance with a Damage Protection Waiver (DWP).

Standard overseas rental car policies only provide liability, which is not the liability coverage we expect and understand in the United States.

Instead, overseas liability protects against property damage that you cause with the vehicle. It does not repair the vehicle. DWP is collision insurance. However, it also repairs the vehicle in the event of an accident or incident.

The Hazards of Driving Without Car Insurance Overseas

If may be tempting to decline the car insurance when you travel, vacation or live overseas. However, the money you save by not purchasing the insurance won’t cover the costs if you get into an accident.

  • Unfamiliar road conditions and objects – The roads overseas are similar but not exactly like the roads in the United States. They contain features that U.S. drivers may not be familiar with, like low guard rails, hedgerows, and turnabouts.
  • Bad road conditions – Depending on the country you are visiting, you may have to deal with bad or dangerous road conditions from improper installation to high cliffs or steep drop-offs.
  • Not knowing the local driving customs – Drivers in other countries may follow different right-of-way rules and local customs that you do not know about or understand, or they may follow more closely than you are accustomed. Try and research the local driving customs and roadway rules before you drive in a foreign country.

Before you depart on your trip, locate and find an international car insurance policy or an insurance green card. This task can be accomplished by using a comparison tool to find an appropriate policy for the overseas countries you plan to visit.

Getting a quote with a comparison tool is an easy way to input your driving information and the countries you plan to visit so that you can see a variety of policies and premium amounts, which will help you choose an affordable international insurance policy that provides you with the right amount of international car insurance should you get into an accident or incident.

Make sure you have the right coverage for your travels. Get started by using our comparison tool below!

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