Zurich Municipal FAQs


If the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement in place, and in the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, you will need to ensure you carry a physical Green Card while driving your vehicle in the European Economic Area (EEA) and some other countries (Andorra and Switzerland). A list of EEA countries is available here.

Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary minimum motor insurance cover for driving in the country being travelled to.

Please note, the below FAQs are only applicable in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

How do I get a Green Card?

For now, a valid Certificate of Insurance will cover you driving in the EU area. Later this month (September), we’ll open our online Green Card portal, where you will be able to obtain a Green Card in case there is no deal when the UK leaves the EU.

What happens to my Green Card if I cancel my policy?

The Green Card will become invalid from the date of cancellation and you should destroy it.

Will I need to carry any documents to prove I have the right insurance cover?  

Yes. A physical copy of your Green Card. Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary third-party motor insurance cover for driving in the country being travelled to. Green Cards are guaranteed through agreements between the countries that issue them. The Green Card acts as a guarantee that the driver’s insurer will honour any claims made against the insurance policy for incidents taking place while they are driving within the EU.

Under current international rules, Green Cards are physical paper documents printed on green paper.

Do I need to carry any additional documents if I am driving with a trailer?

Yes. You will need a separate Green Card for your trailer.

Will there be any additional charges?

No. Zurich is not asking for an administrative charge associated with the provision of Green Card documents.

What happens if I haven’t been sent a Green Card?  

If you are not carrying a Green Card when it is required, then you will not be able to drive legally in an EU member state.

If you do attempt to drive in the EU without holding a Green Card, you may be accused of driving without insurance and could be subject to a fine, having your vehicle seized or prosecution.

Will I need to show my insurance documents when I cross the border into the EU? 

You may be required to show documents at the border when entering the EU, but this will be a decision for the border authorities to take.

You may also be subject to police checks while driving abroad and you will also need to be able to present the document at the scene if you are involved in an accident.

Will all authorities in EU countries recognise the documents?

Yes. EU member states will all recognise the Green Card document.

The Green Card system has a standardised format that has been agreed by all EU member states (including the UK) and is currently used for travel outside the EU to other Green Card member countries.

I run a business where I employ drivers who regularly cross the border into the EU. Can I arrange their insurance for them or will they need their own documents?  

As an employer, you will be able to arrange insurance cover on behalf of your employees, as you do today. However, each of your employees will have an individual legal responsibility to carry these documents. Driving for employment or business purposes would not exempt anyone from needing to carry a Green Card.

What happens if I am involved in an accident abroad that I may be wholly or partly responsible for – do I need to contact Zurich? 

Yes. You will need to contact Zurich as soon as possible.

You will also need to ask for the insurance details of the other driver and we would also strongly recommend you gather as much evidence as you can about what happened in the accident, including taking photos if possible.

Do I need a European Accident Statement?

No. The European Accident Statement is a standardised document to make it easier for drivers involved in an accident to exchange facts but you are not required to carry a copy of the European Accident Statement in your car.

What help will I receive if I am involved in an accident that was not my fault while driving in the EU?  

Zurich is a trusted global insurer and has well established relationships with motor insurers in each member state to facilitate the settlement of claims for any incidents involving cross-border drivers.

If the UK exits the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and you need to make an insurance claim against an EU-registered insurer, you will be subject to the local legal system and your claim may be treated differently to how it would be in the UK.

Are you planning to charge for issuing Green Cards?

No, we will not charge for a Green Card.

How long will it take to get my Green Card?

If you choose to print the Green Card(s) at home, we will email a PDF to you within two working days. Remember, you would require access to green paper to print a valid Green Card.

If you opt for the Green Card(s) to be posted to you it can take up to three weeks depending on demand.

How long will Green Cards be valid for?

If you request a Green Card to be posted to you then it will be valid for the period that you have requested.

Please note that the start and end dates for your Green Card must be during your current motor policy period. If the insurance is moved to a different provider at the end of the current period of cover, you will need to obtain a Green Card from the new provider.

Where will the Green card allow me to drive?

A Green Card that we issue through the online application process will allow you to drive in member countries of the EU plus Andorra, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. If you’re planning to travel to or through any other territory, please speak to your broker or call your usual Zurich contact

What happens if a deal is agreed?

This will depend on the nature of the negotiations and the deal that is agreed.

Does this apply for driving across the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border?

Yes. A Green Card is required – you will be able to get a Green Card through our Green Card portal, which will open later in September. If you received a Green Card in Spring 2019, please request a new one once the portal is open to ensure your Green Card is fully valid.

Who needs a Green Card?

Green Cards will be required for each individual vehicle and trailers over 750kgs or braked. Full instructions will be available on the online portal, once it opens later this month (September).

Can fleet operators have a blanket Green Card?

No. Unfortunately this isn’t possible as each individual vehicle and trailer will require a specific Green Card bearing the details of that vehicle or trailer.