Car insurance in the Green Card system
As you might guess from the title, this article will focus on the so-called "Green Card". Contrary to popular belief, this term means not only a visa to stay in the United States of America, but also a type of insurance policy. So, car insurance, or Green Card - compulsory civil liability insurance for owners of vehicles registered in the territory of the countries participating in the international agreement of the same name. Simply put, the "Green Card" is the European equivalent of the domestic auto-citizen or CTP.
The history of international policies for car owners
Mandatory car insurance appeared back in 1949, when the Council Bureau was established at the international conference of auto insurers in London with the submission of the UN Economic and Social Councils. Here, in London, at the first meeting of the Bureau of the Bureau in 1951, common standards for the Green Cards were adopted and a model of agreement between the national bureaus of the countries participating in the council was approved.The new insurance system came into force on January 1, 1953 and implied that third-party liability insurance issued in one country would be valid in all other countries of the agreement.
To date, the list of countries participating in the Green Card system includes 47 countries, including all European countries (including Ukraine, Belarus and Russia), as well as Turkey, Israel, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia. In 2006, the headquarters of the Council Bureau moved from London to Brussels, and the very idea of such a union of insurance gained great popularity. So, today there are Pink and Brown cards (in African countries), as well as an Orange card (unites 19 Arab countries of Africa and Asia).
Among the majority of domestic car owners, the Green Card policy is not very well known, since it is not a mandatory type of insurance in Ukraine. It is mandatory only for those who are going to cross the border of the country on their vehicle. Since all the states neighboring Ukraine are included in the Green Card system, where the movement of vehicles without this policy is illegal, then leaving their homeland on their wheels without the coveted policy will not work.
Green Card and National Legislation
So, what you need to know about such a little-known and sometimes very necessary form of car insurance, like the Green Card? This insurance policy, as well as CTP, is intended to impose on the insurance company cash payments for damage to the vehicle, property, health and life of the injured party upon the occurrence of an accident. It should be noted that the limits of these payments of insurance sums are set in accordance with the legislation of the countries where the accident occurred, and can vary greatly.
The validity period of the Green Card can vary from 15 days to one year, which directly affects its value. If you are offered a Green Card for one day - in most cases this is a sign of a fake. Also, the type of vehicle and the country of visit affect the cost of such insurance. By the way, on the territory of Ukraine it is possible to conclude an agreement that applies to all countries that are members of the Green Card system or only to Eastern European countries (Russia, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova).
It should be noted,that the Eastern European Green Card, which is the most relevant for domestic motorists, is practically no different from its “full version”, except for a limited number of host countries and a slightly reduced cost. Thus, according to the new tariffs approved by MTIBU, from February 18, 2016 the minimum cost of a 15-day Green Card is UAH 526. So if you are traveling to neighboring countries, there is an opportunity to save a little on the insurance policy.
How to issue an international policy?
Car insurance is a very simple, but rather important procedure before leaving the country. Although at the border itself, as a rule, there are policy points for various insurers, we strongly recommend that you take care of buying it in advance, being at home so that you can quickly consider all the available options and not become a victim of cross-border “twister” and “throwing”.
For registration of the "Green Card" you will need only a passport, vehicle registration certificate and a driver's license of the relevant category. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of the insurer.The fact is that only about 10% of the more than 400 insurance companies registered in Ukraine have the right to issue policies of such a standard. To carry out international insurance of this kind can only full members of the Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine (MTIBU). MTIBU is a union of insurers, defining requirements for insurance companies, as well as establishing tariffs, conditions and guarantees of payments.
Green Card in action
After all of the above, when the meaning and nuances of the Green Card design are already clear, I would like to turn to, perhaps, the main question: what to do in case of an accident? What is the procedure after the accident so that the money spent on car insurance is not in vain?
If you become a party to an accident on the territory of a foreign state, you should initially witness it to the local government authorities (traffic police, customs, etc.). In drawing up the protocol, in no case should you give the policeman (or anyone else) the original of your Green Card - without its presence on your hands, your car is actually illegally located abroad.
For the police, it will be enough to get either a copy of your insurance policy or its number.
Another important point: if you are not fluent in the state language of the state you are visiting, it is better to make a note on the protocol, something like “I don’t know the language”, which can protect you from various pretexts of the insurer not to pay the policy. It would not be superfluous to record the contacts and the Green Card number of the second side of the accident and be sure to take a copy of the protocol, otherwise, due to some kind of formality, you may not be let out of the country where the accident occurred, until the circumstances are clarified.
And finally: after returning home, be sure to inform your insurance company about the incident and provide supporting documents.
Car insurance system "Green Card":