The Fixer: Staying safe in Europe

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It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a large, faceless organisation alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.

This week, she answers a reader's questions about car insurance when driving a British car in Europe.

Dear Fixer,
I am planning to take my family to France on holiday this summer. We will take the ferry from Dover before driving down to the south coast, where I have booked us into a camp site the next day.

I am looking forward to having the independence that comes with having our own wheels while we are away, but I am a bit worried about driving on the other side of the road for the first time and want to make sure that I have the correct motor cover in place.

Do I need to let my insurer Endsleigh know that I am taking the car overseas? And will it cost me any extra?

D Pritchard, Warwick

Dear Mr Pritchard,
The basic level of cover required for driving on the Continent is an International motor insurance certificate, which you would be expected to present if you were involved in an accident on European roads.

The certificate is more widely known as a 'Green card', and is an important document to get from your insurer before setting off – not least because it may be necessary to activate whatever Continental cover that comes with your UK policy.

However, it alone offers even less than third party cover in some countries. What's more, most insurers automatically downgrade a fully comprehensive policy to provide the minimum level of cover required for the country you are driving in – normally third party only.

The good news for you, however, is that Endsleigh is one of the few insurers to offer European cover as standard (for trips of up to 30 days).

As your policy is fully comprehensive, you are therefore fully covered at no extra cost. If you have breakdown cover, you may also want to check if it will protect you while you are in France, though.

The Fixer

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