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Updated : 04/05/2015


Car insurance cover abroad

The accident was my fault

Declaring an accident

Fill out the European accident statement. This standard document, identical in most EU countries, helps you record the facts and makes it easier to settle any claim.

Injuries to you and others

Your insurance from home will always cover you if you injure someone else (third-party damages) in any EU country.

However, cover for other types of damage such as injuries you suffer (first-party insurance), fire, theft and so on suffered while abroad is not a standard part of insurance policies.

For these, you will have to check with your insurer before leaving the country.

Your liability insurance policy covers all passengers travelling in your vehicle, other than the driver. In most EU countries, you can also arrange additional 'first-party' cover for the driver.

Damages - amounts

You are covered up to the amounts set out in your insurance contract.

EU law guarantees minimum liability coverage. If you are in an accident in another EU country, you will be covered for at least the following amounts:

for personal injuries:

  • €1 000 000 per victim or,
  • €5 000 000 per claim (whatever the number of victims).

for damages to property:

  • €1 000 000 per claim (whatever the number of victims).

If your insurance policy comes from a country that applies higher liability coverage than the EU minimum, you will be covered up to that amount throughout the EU.

If the actual damage exceeds the maximum amount in the country where the accident happened and you do not have higher cover in your insurance policy, you will have to pay the difference.

Find out more information about national regulations concerning accidents and amounts:

Choose country

Choose country

Common rights across EU countries

* Information not yet provided by national authorities

You may want to check whether your insurer offers unlimited liability cover, especially for personal injuries.

EU law also guarantees that you receive the highest amount of liability cover available - see example below.

Sample story

How EU law gives you maximum liability coverage

Your home country applies the established minimum EU liability cover of €1 000 000 for material damages. You cause an accident in another country where the minimum liability cover is €1 200 000. The material damages have been estimated at €1 100 000 - €100 000 higher than the applicable amount in your country.

Even if you have not agreed higher amounts with your insurer, you will be covered for €1 100 000 because EU law applies the most advantageous coverage - in this case the cover applicable in the country where the accident happened.

The accident was not my fault

Claiming while abroad

You can submit your claim for compensation to the insurance company of the person who caused the accident.

Claiming when you get home

You have 2 options:

Sample story

Check where it is easiest for you to submit your claim

Ignacio is a Spaniard who was the victim of a car accident during a trip to Germany. Because Ignacio does not speak German, he found it difficult to submit his claim for compensation in Germany.

Ignacio decided to submit his claim to the Spanish national compensation body once he got back to Spain - thereby avoiding the language problem.

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In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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