Tips for your international road trip Traveling abroad by car? Make sure you're protected

If you are crossing borders by car, you should be aware of the rules and regulations in the countries you are visiting. Helvetia expert Peter Plachel tells us what to keep in mind in case of an accident and explains when you might need the "Green Card."

Mr Plachel, what do I have to consider when I'm driving abroad in my car?

You should always have your insurer's emergency number at hand. This enables you to call for help when damage occurs. Additionally, we recommend always carrying a European Damage Report form in your vehicle. This allows an identical damage survey to be filled out in all languages.


Is it possible to insure your own car for a trip abroad?

Yes, Helvetia offers a so-called Vacation Comprehensive Insurance option. It covers your vehicle during your stay for up to five weeks for cases of collision damage and malicious acts by third parties. It's a kind of travel insurance for your car.


Set up insurances

Daniel Ahmeti and his team of professional insurance advisers at Helvetia are here to offer comprehensive insurance advice tailored to the needs of international people living in Switzerland.


Is an International Insurance Card mandatory?

Carrying the International Insurance Card — also called a Green Card — is no longer compulsory in EU and EEA countries. These countries, which include Switzerland, belong to the "numberplate agreement." This means that the plate attached to the vehicle automatically confirms insurance coverage.


Are there any exceptions?

In some South European countries, such as Italy, police occasionally still demand to see a Green Card. So it's still recommended that you carry one, especially during trips to Southern Italy. You definitely need the Green Card when driving in Southeastern European countries like Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey.


Do you have any additional tips for travelers?

When driving abroad, be informed about the various regulations of different countries. Countries have varying limits on legal alcohol levels, and the EU requires every vehicle to carry high-visibility safety vests for its passengers. Some German and Italian cities have environmental zones where you may only drive when in possession of a special badge. You can normally find this information on the homepage of each country's respective mobility club.


Peter Plachel

Peter Plachel is the Head of Vehicle Insurance at Helvetia.

He works in the Helvetia headquarters in St. Gallen in Eastern Switzerland.


Author: Helvetia Insurance

Helvetia offers an extensive product range for immigrants and covers all insurance requirements. You can rely on our in-depth expertise and personal service in any situation and for a wide variety of topics. Visit our website for more information and to get in touch with one of our advisers.

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