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What to do if a third party is insured overseas

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Having an accident at all is an inconvenience but this can be further complicated if the other driver is insured outside the UK. There could be potential communication barriers, and you might wonder what information and details are important to obtain while still at the scene of the accident…

In this short article, we will make you aware of what to do and how the claims process can differ.

First, the overall premise is the same – you should decide whether there is a need for the emergency services or police then, where possible, aim to get the usual information to enable us to pursue a claim against the other driver:

  • Their vehicle registration (this is vital)
  • Their name and contact number
  • The name of their insurer and policy number
  • The country in which the third party is based and insured.

In most cases, the driver should have their certificate of insurance with them and we recommend you take photos of it with your phone to gather the information needed. If/when the UK leaves the EU then it is likely that the drivers from the continent will need a green card to drive here – a temporary certificate of insurance issued for driving overseas.

We would also urge you to take photos at the scene of an accident, as this further confirms involvement and can be helpful in proving what has happened (in case a dispute arises). There is no need to discuss liability with the other driver as we need to get an official admission from their insurer.

Once all the above has been done, the claim can be reported and is handled by ourselves. An organisation known as the MIB (Motor Insurance Bureau) handles cases against foreign insurers and we are able to trace a UK handling agent through their website (https://www.mib.org.uk/).

The biggest difference with claims against a foreign insurer is the length of time it can take to resolve liability. We communicate with a UK agent who represents the foreign overseas insurer and they subsequently contact the insurer overseas. Whilst this puts another step in the process, this should help to avoid claims going on for months without resolution.

If you hold a policy with Hugh J Boswell and have any further questions relating to an insurance claim, please feel free to contact our claims department on 01603 626155 (Option 1). We will be happy to assist.