Buying advice: Travelling abroad after Brexit
Words: Richard Dredge
In 2016 when it was announced that a referendum would be held to determine whether or not the UK should remain a part of the EU, a new word was coined: Brexit. Short for British Exit, it’s a topic that has dominated headlines for the past five years or so. Well, that and Covid, which has also got a brief mention from time to time.
Once it was clear that Britain would indeed be leaving the EU, a massive array of alternative facts, myths and misinformation began to swirl around, with nobody really knowing what would happen.
Well, now the EU is Britainless for the first time since 1973, and the realities of Brexit are starting to become apparent, so if you’re planning to travel to Europe with your motorhome this year – once you’re allowed to leave your own home that is – there are a few things that you’ll need to do to ensure that you’re properly insured.
The good news is that you can still take your motorhome wherever you like, and whenever you like (Covid permitting), just like before – although there is now a cap on the duration of your travels.
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries and, while the UK was never a part of this, when it was part of the EU, its citizens enjoyed the right to unlimited freedom of movement throughout the zone. That all ended on 1 January when the UK left the EU and, as a result you can no longer spend more than 90 days travelling in the EU in any 180-day period.
There are also a few extra hoops to jump through, but nothing that should cause you any problems. By the time Covid allows us all to carry on as before (which is probably several months away yet), the insurance companies should have streamlined their processes to make everything as quick and painless for you as possible when it comes to sorting out your paperwork.
To see what’s changing, we caught up with Andrew Evanson of Motorhome Protect.
He told us, “You should display a GB sticker on your motorhome when travelling in Europe, and you’ll need to carry a green card. These are standardised documents recognisable at borders and they prove that you have the necessary motor insurance cover in place.
Physical copies need to be with drivers at all times and insurance specialists such as Motorhome Protect will be able to arrange for these to be issued to policyholders on request. We’d recommend that you give plenty of notification of the dates you are planning to travel when organising your trip, so there aren’t any unwanted delays or stress caused.”
While we were speaking to Andrew, we asked him to do some crystal ball-gazing; does he think that insurance premiums or policies are going to change as a result of Brexit?
He commented: “We’ve had conversations with our insurer partners about this and we currently don’t expect premiums to rise. We understand that there has been some uncertainty around European travel in the build-up to Brexit, so when making initial holiday plans any motorhome owner should clarify what their policy covers.
For example, all of our policies include EU travel as standard, but that’s not something that you can assume is included with all of the policies that are on the market.”
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A large proportion of motorhome and campervan owners regularly travel in Europe, so any insurer has to stay on the ball when it comes to knowing the rules. Specialist companies will also have a straightforward process in place for dealing with queries and document requests from policyholders.
So, don’t be put off quizzing your insurer if you’re planning to cross the Channel this summer. If there’s anything that you need to ask it, you can be certain that your insurer has already been asked dozens of times before.
In association with Motorhome Protect Insurance Specialist
Tel: 01865 818331