As the hard-Brexit doomsday clock ticks ominously towards the 29th of March, it has become clear that the Irish public needs to accept the possibility of a no deal scenario and prepare accordingly. Allianz are here to help by highlighting legitimate concerns and dispelling alarmist hype. To set the record straight we have put together our hard-Brexit car insurance mythbuster, for people who want the key takeaways without the heavy lifting.
Myth: You have to purchase insurance green cards, they only last for fifteen days.
Anyone with access to electricity will, by now, have heard of the magical green card that Irish drivers will need to apply for to prove that they are insured while on the road in the UK. Rumour has it that you need to buy these cards from your insurer a month before you travel and they only last for fifteen days.
In actual fact it is important for Irish motorists who plan to drive in the UK to be prepared and get a green card as soon as they can. These cards will become a reality if there is a hard Brexit, however Allianz will be issuing them on demand and free of charge. Furthermore, the green cards will be valid until the end of a driver’s policy and a minimum of 15 days and will allow Irish motorists to cross the border and drive in the UK as much as they want.
“We’re going to give our customers free green cards which will cover them for the duration of their policy. They will only need to apply for a new one when they change their vehicle or renew their policy,” said Allianz underwriter Justyna Banasik.
Myth: UK drivers living in Ireland need to change their licences
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Irish residents holding UK licences will need to exchange them for Irish licences as the documents will no longer be recognised here.
Drivers have until the 29th of March 2019 to exchange their licence for a full Irish driver’s licence.
After that date any UK license holder who goes to the NDLS office to exchange their licence will be given a Learners Permit. This means they will be disallowed from driving unaccompanied and will be required to undertake six driving lessons and pass a driving test before they are issued with a full Irish licence.
Myth: Motorists won’t get the same level of cover when driving in the UK after a hard-Brexit
According to Justyna Banasik there will be “no impact to the Allianz policy cover, our customers will have the same policy benefits after a hard Brexit as they do now”, meaning drivers will still be able to avail of perks like roadside assistance while in the UK, provided that’s part of their existing policy.
Myth: A hard-Brexit will change the cost of insurance for Irish drivers, especially those living on the border.
Despite the rumour mill being in full flight regarding insurance price hikes, Allianz representatives have confirmed that there will be no Brexit related fluctuation in the price of policies following a no-deal scenario.
Myth: Irish drivers in the UK without a green card aren’t insured and UK drivers in Ireland without a green card are also uninsured
A green card is simply proof of insurance, just like the disc on your window, so not having one does not mean that you are uninsured. Your insurance disc will not be recognised in the UK after a hard-Brexit, meaning that the police could seize your car and more, for failure to display insurance.
“If you're insured with Allianz you are covered to drive in Ireland, anywhere in the UK, anywhere in Europe and you will still be covered after Brexit”, said Justyna Banasik. “What a green card does is confirm to the authorities in the UK that you have valid insurance.
Myth: Insurance companies will penalise you for driving in the North without a green card
If you’re driving in the UK without a green card the Police can take you car off you, it’s like driving without displaying your insurance disc. You need to get a green card to drive in the UK, but insurance companies don’t penalise people for driving without insurance documents provided they are actually insured.
Myth: Irish people living in the north will have to get UK licences
If you're resident in Northern Ireland with a Republic of Ireland licence, your licence will continue to be valid.
Everyone in Europe and a decent cohort of those in the UK hope that a deal is reached that will prevent a hard-Brexit situation, in which case this article will be completely defunct, and we can all go about our normal lives without having to trade licenses or get green cards.
We feel it’s best to be ready for anything, even a hard Brexit, because Allianz focuses on not just being insured, but being prepared.