General Insurance Article - Outdated Green Card may have severe consequences for drivers


James Blackham from By Miles is arguing for a system where drivers can download a digital Green Card to their phones and warns that the unnecessarily complex process risks drivers incurring fines or even seeing their vehicle impounded.

 James Blackham, CEO of pay-by-mile challenger car insurance provider By Miles says: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it’s likely UK motorists will be required to carry a physical Green Card with them when driving in an EU country from January 1st - as additional proof of insurance cover. Failing to provide the document could result in a heavy fine, or even see your vehicle impounded. The current government advice is to apply for a Green Card six weeks in advance of traveling to avoid administrative delays.
 
 “Most other forms of travel documents can be used digitally, from air travel to train - and even similar policy documents for car insurance. It seems crazy that drivers are being asked to apply for a Green Card so far in advance and to carry a physical copy - giving them one more thing to worry about it. This needs to be made as simple as possible for drivers, especially at a time of continued uncertainty.
 
 Until recently, the Green Card would only be accepted if it was printed specifically on green paper, and thankfully the Motor Insurance Bureau and Council of Bureaux saw sense to accept a printed copy on any colour paper. This still seems excessive from an administrative perspective, especially in a time of double-whammy uncertainty in the age of Brexit and Covid-19 - we should be making things as easy as possible.
 
 “We’re calling for a change to this requirement for drivers to carry a physical Green Card abroad, and to allow drivers to store a digital version instead. Downloading a Green Card should be as easy as buying travel insurance in an airport and downloading your policy documents to your phone. Insurers should be able to put Green Cards right at their customer’s fingertips as soon as they need them, but we can’t until these guidelines are updated to be brought into the 21st Century.
 
  

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