European Travel Insurance by Peter James
Driving your classic into Europe these days is far easier than used to be the case but it is still vital to make sure you are properly insured. All Motor policies give minimum legal cover for travel in European countries within the EU and those outside with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement such as Norway or Switzerland, who recognize the full policy cover as well. In other words, if you have comprehensive cover in the UK this will extend to comprehensive cover whilst driving in the countries specified on the Motor Certificate.
The potential problems arise with the European Countries on the fringes such as those within the Balkans so when you leave Europe, your first step should always be to establish with your insurer that you are covered in the countries you are visiting. Different insurers take a different approach to such countries as Slovenia or Macedonia for example and none automatically include the USA and Canada. In all cases, make sure you take your Motor certificate or Green Card with you.
If your policy includes Breakdown Recovery and Motor Legal Expenses as many classic policies now do, make sure that policy operates in the countries you are visiting. Generally, the service in the more frequently visited countries is excellent but it helps if you take the correct help line numbers.
So much for the vehicle: now for the driver. Notwithstanding the far wider Travel Insurance now provided under most Household Policies, it is still the case that adequate cover is often only provided by purchasing a separate travel policy. If you buy such a policy, do make sure you take it with you as part of your travel documents.
If you are unfortunate enough to need medical or vehicle attention during your trip, producing the policy can save you time and trouble. Also be aware, the reciprocal arrangements previously in force in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man now no longer apply.
Overseas travel should be a thoroughly enjoyable experience either on or in a well maintained classic but always remember to plan your Travel Insurance cover well in advance and don’t be afraid to ask.
Peter James is Joint Managing Director of Peter James Insurance and Stewart Miller Insurance.
Telephone: 0121 506 6040 or 0121 422 2282