Author Archives: Tom Collins

Driving in Europe Post-Brexit

If the UK leaves the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement (a ‘no-deal Brexit’), UK motor insurance customers driving in the European Economic Area, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland will need physical proof of motor insurance when they travel, commonly referred to as a Green Card. This is in addition to a certificate of motor insurance.

If you are planning on travelling in Europe after the UK leaves the EU, make sure you have the right driving documents in place before you go. GOV.UK is recommending that ALL drivers who need to drive abroad after this date will need a Green Card and GB sticker.

What is the Green Card and why do I need it?

The Green Card is an internationally accepted document which proves that you have valid insurance to drive your car abroad. If it is determined that a Green Card is required for European travel following Brexit, it will be illegal for UK motorists to drive in Europe without it; whether travelling for business or pleasure.

Where can I drive with it?

The Green Card system currently comprises 47 countries. This includes all European (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Switzerland, Russia and other members in the Middle East and surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

How do I apply for a Green Card?

Responsibility of issuing Green Cards lies with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), who have given delegated permission to insurers. This means that, if you are planning to drive in the EU after Brexit, you will need to contact your insurer directly.

Are Green Cards free?

The Department of Transport issued a statement in September that Green Card issuance would be free. However, individual insurers may charge a small administration fee. Check with your insurer about this.

How quickly will the process take?

No matter which Brexit deal goes ahead, the MIB and all insurers will no doubt be very busy. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggested motorists should ideally apply one month prior to travelling, so it’s worth planning ahead to avoid disappointment or disruption.

What if I have an accident whilst driving in the EU?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK motorists suffering a road traffic accident may have to make a claim with the foreign insurer directly. In uninsured and ‘hit and run’ cases, the MIB or equivalent would ordinarily pay compensation costs. However, this may not be the case and so access to compensation claims could vary from country to country.

Can I drive a trailer?

Yes, you can drive a trailer. Though nothing is concrete, it’s predicted that after Brexit you will need to register commercial trailers over 750kg and all trailers over 3,500kg before they can travel in Europe.

If I have more than one vehicle, do I need more than one Green Card?

For individuals with several trailers and vehicles, you will require more than one Green Card. For example, if you drive a caravan and tow car, these will each need separate Green Cards. To find out more, speak with your insurer who will explain how many you require.

Will I definitely need a Green Card to drive in Europe?

It is recommended that you arrange a Green Card to ensure you can legally drive in Europe after the UK exits the EU. While nothing is certain at this point, it certainly helps to be prepared.

Driving Licence

In the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’, drivers will also need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU. The IDP is issued by the Government via Post Offices.

Whether you are a haulage or courier business operating  in and out of Europe, or planning on a small trip to France with your family, motor insurance is likely to change. Stay on top of the game by calling our trusted team. Simply call us on 01303 221188 to find out more.

Independent Insurance Services under new ownership

We are pleased to advise that on 1/2/2019 IIS South East Ltd purchased Ray Johnson’s business. IIS South East Ltd has been formed by Patrick & Sharon Plews, local business owners, who intend to maintain the same service levels and ethos that you have enjoyed over the years. They currently own and run Stephen Lower Insurance Services Ltd, based in Capel-Le-Ferne, which, like Independent Insurance Services, has been trading since 1990.

IIS South East Ltd will be headed up by Martin Bridges, who has over 25 years’ insurance broking experience in East Kent, is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and is also a Chartered Insurance Broker.

We are delighted to confirm that Ray will continue to work with the new company on a consultancy basis for at least a year, to ensure a smooth handover and seamless transition.

All of your existing contacts – David, Kevin, Carol, Sylvia and Tom – will continue to provide you with tailored solutions for your personal and commercial insurance requirements.

10 reasons for professional indemnity insurance

If a third party suffers an injury, loss, or property damage as a consequence of another’s professional actions there may be legal liability for compensation to the third party. Professional indemnity (PI) covers the insured against their legal liability to compensate clients for injury, loss or damage due to a breach of duty in the conduct of their profession. Continue reading

Government announces whiplash changes

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) recently published the response to its whiplash claims consultation, which was launched to crack down on the soaring number of whiplash claims in the last decade. This increase in whiplash claims has pushed up insurance premiums for average road users, exacerbated by high numbers of fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Continue reading

Wearable technology and its insurance implications

Even if you’re not familiar with the term ‘wearable technology’, it’s likely you’re familiar with the devices themselves. Wearable technology can be broadly defined as small electronic devices that are in some way worn on the body. These devices are often able to track, collect and store various data, such as the driving, exercise and other behaviours of the people wearing them. Continue reading

New texting while driving regulations

New government regulations expected to come into force this year mean drivers caught texting at the wheel will face much tougher consequences.

With mobile phones being the hub of our daily lives, many – not just the young – can’t get through the day without their device. We will all know someone who just can’t ignore the sound of a text, needing to look immediately and to send a reply. It doesn’t matter what they are doing, even if it’s driving. Continue reading

5 Most Common Mistakes Made by SMEs

Starting a business of your own can be an incredibly fulfilling move for a keen entrepreneur with a bright idea. But sometimes the bread and butter of running your business can get buried under the responsibilities of navigating tax laws, understanding employment duties, and ensuring you are fulfilling all other legal requirements.

To avoid your SME’s accounts getting in a mess, take note of these five commonly-made mistakes. Continue reading

6 Easy Steps to an Eco-Friendly Office

There are many reasons to adopt a more environmentally-friendly approach to your workplace. If you’re cynical, gaining a moral edge on your competitors by broadcasting your green methods is just one.

More importantly, adopting less wasteful approaches in the office will help reduce your ecological footprint and can create a healthier, more productive working environment.

It can be done, and probably more easily than you think… Continue reading