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European Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover

The fact that it is collectively known as the European Union does not mean that everything that goes in one country is valid in another. This is not true, they have certain laws and regulations that apply in every country but in general each country has kept the laws they had before the Union became effective. The European Union is more about work and free immigration between countries than acting as one country, they are not and they will never be one country. In fact if you think about it, the United Kingdom uses the Euro but internal commerce is done using the Sterling Pound. You can pay for things in Euros but they will give you change in Pounds which you can exchange for Euros when you leave the country.

Getting a European Car Insurance Policy

European insurance is the same; each country has its own regulations and policies with regards to insuring foreigners of different ages and driving different cars (read about buying car insurance abroad for more information). If you are bringing your American car for a tour on the European highways it is important that you take care of all your insurance details before getting on a boat and bringing it over. This does not only mean to discuss the policy and your needs with the broker or insurance company but signing and having the policy delivered to you while you are still in America.

Be sure you take care of accident and injury coverage, third person and property damage and especially breakdown coverage. If you don’t get this done before leaving, you may have to pay emergency fees and charges upon your arrival in the Old Continent. Although getting European Car Insurance UK policies is pretty easy, other countries in Europe may not make things so easy.  When you buy the insurance policy do not buy a yearly insurance, it is possible to get one for the time you will be in Europe, especially the breakdown insurance. Buying insurance that lasts longer than your trip is a waste of money and efforts on your part.

There are many insurance providers all over Europe that will gladly sell you a one or three month policy that includes comprehensive breakdown coverage plus any other coverage you believe is necessary. Before buying insurance in a specific country, make sure that it will be valid in all the other countries you will visit. For example it is known that a British or French insurance policy is valid anywhere within the European Union, policies issued by other countries are not necessarily going to be legitimate.

European Car Insurance Laws

Whether the European car insurance cover you buy is to cover a car you bring with you or to cover a rented car in Europe, be sure to read and understand every clause and detail in the insurance policy. This is especially true if you are buying a policy written in a language you do not understand or you know little of, have them provide you with a copy in the language you understand and have the broker or insurance agent sign it acknowledging that it says exactly the same thing that the original policy written in the foreign language. Breaking the language barrier and trying to understand what the policy says and what it covers after the accident is not logical, do this before you drive their car or your car. Make sure that everything you want and need is taken care of before you leave the rental or insurance office.

Usually when you rent a car in any European country the rental contract includes car liability insurance, sometimes it also fire and theft insurance but you have to ask if it does. If fire and theft are not included you can do so for a small amount of money. The part which you definitely have to study is collision insurance, this is not included in your rental contract and the European highways are designed to drive at speeds of one hundred miles an hour, a collision at that speed will cause extreme damage to both vehicles. To protect yourself from having to pay for a collision, you will need a Collision Damage Waiver.

European Car Insurance with a Green Card

You can get the Collision Damage Waiver from the rental car company or from your credit card company. If you don’t have a valid credit card, you will usually be expected to have a green card. Whichever you chose to use, they are both expensive, the price will depend on the car you are renting and it could be somewhere between ten and twenty five dollars per day.

The easiest way to get the waiver and forget about the problem is to charge it through the rental agreement; you will be getting the miles from your credit card company anyways. Besides doing it through the rental company will save you the hassle of dealing with the rental, company and your credit card company in case of an accident.  Also understand that it is important to know whether the country you are in is operating a “no fault car insurance” type system.  If you are unaware, it helps to know so that you are prepared to take proper action following an accident.

There is a third option that is cheaper, if your stay in Europe will be greater than seventeen days (e.g. European car insurance long term policies), it is possible to enter into a short term lease with several European car manufacturers and distributors, Peugeot and Renault will do it, Lamborghini and Ferrari wont. The fact is that you will be driving a brand new car for the time you stay there and it will be fully insured without any additional costs to you.

This is possibly your best shot if you will be in Europe more than seventeen days, crossing borders in a leased car is no problem either, they are equipped with GPS and the car’s owner knows where his car is every minute of the day. In fact he will know how fast you are driving his car and in what direction at the same time you do.  This is different than the locals who are looking to get and compare rates for European drivers.

Best Deals on European Vehicle Insurance

Buying car insurance in Europe is very much like buying it in America, the only difference is that there are many countries involved in Europe and you have to play it safe and careful. You definitely do not want to crash into a Lamborghini or a Ferrari while cruising towards Milan without proper collision damage insurance, you will be paying for that car forever and there may be some for your children to finish paying. This is why research and investigation are important when travelling into foreign countries. The more you know the less trouble you will get into.

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