Had an Accident abroad?
Cross-border road traffic accidents Cross-border traffic is an everyday reality in Europe and accidents between vehicles from different countries are common. If you have had an accident click on the information for consumers to view a step by step claim process, contact points and frequently asked questions. There is also a copy of the sharing agreement for insurers and member contacts in the information for insurers section.
Had a car accident in Europe? What you Cross-border traffic is an everyday reality in Europe and accidents between vehicles from different countries are common. If you have an accident abroad, how do you pursue your claim for damages? This site tells you everything you need to know about submitting your claim quickly and efficiently.
Your claim step by step:
Before you go:
You can protect yourself against the risk of receiving less compensation when you have an accident abroad than when you have an accident in your own country by purchasing additional insurance cover. It is important that you contact your insurer regarding the need for additional insurance cover for your travel. The insurer will then advise you which additional insurance cover would best meet your needs.
If you have an accident abroad, the law of the country in which the accident happens applies. Your claim for compensation (property damage and personal injury) may therefore be submitted and handled differently to how it would be in your country of residence.
If you have an accident in Europe, you can use the system set out in the European Motor Insurance Directive to ensure quick settlement of your claim. This applies to the European Economic Area (the EU member states, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland.
If the insurer falls outside the scope of the Directive, your claim may have to be made directly to the foreign insurer.
If your car is involved in an accident abroad for which the driver is being held responsible, the victim can pursue a claim for injury or damage through the Green Card System.
At the scene:
If you have an accident, collect as much information as possible about the other vehicle’s owner, operator and driver
Fill in the European Accident Statement or an equivalent form from your insurance company. The other party may ask you to fill in a European Accident Statement. It is perfectly safe for you to complete and sign this document, if you keep a duplicate of the document with the other party’s signature. It is simply a way of ensuring that the parties to an accident exchange the relevant information and, if possible, agree on how the accident occurred.
If you do not have a European Accident Statement or insurance form, ideally write down the following information:
- Date, place and country of the accident
- Name and contact details of the other party (owner/keeper/driver/operator of the other vehicle)
- Name and contact details of the other party’s motor third party liability (MTPL) insurer
- Registration number of the other party’s vehicle (If it is a lorry or a tractor towing a (semi-)trailer, note the registration numbers of the towing vehicle and of the trailer, as the registration plates may differ.)
- Country of registration of the other party’s vehicle
- Make and type of the other party’s vehicle
- Names and contact details of any witnesses
- Information (eg address and reference) about the police authorities to which the accident has been reported
- The circumstances of the accident. If both parties agree on these, it is recommended that both parties sign a statement.
- Contact the local police. In some countries the police may only go to the accident scene and compile a report if one of the parties has been injured or if multiple vehicles are involved. You should keep any documentation that the police give you in case you need it to pursue your claim.
- If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and the damaged vehicles (including the registration numbers).
- When you get home you can submit your claim in your country of residence, in your own language, to a claims representative of the other party’s motor insurer.
- Your insurer (motor or legal expenses insurer), may be able to assist you.
To find the representative’s contact details, contact the information centre in your country of residence. If you know the name of the insurer, the information centre can provide you with the claims representative’s contact details. If not, they will trace the other party’s insurer and its claims representative from the vehicle registration number, make and model of the vehicle and any other details you provide them with.
If the foreign insurer has not appointed a representative in your country of residence, you can send your claim to the national compensation body. This body also intervenes when the other party’s vehicle is uninsured or the insurer could not be identified, if the accident occurred in an EEA country.
Points to remember
The time limit to submit your claim may be different from the one in your country of residence. It is therefore important that you submit your claim as soon as possible.
You may receive a different amount of compensation to that you would receive in your country of residence, because the applicable law of the country of the accident may allow for different types and amounts of compensation.
National contact points:
AustriaVerband der Versicherungsunternehmen Österreichs
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgBelgiumBelgian Motor Insurance Information Center
E-mail: email@example.comBulgariaInformation Centre at Guarantee Fund
E-mail: mailto:IC@insfund-bg.orgCroatiaHrvatski ured za osiguranje
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgCyprusDirector of the Road Transport Dept, Cyprus Information Center
E-mail: email@example.comCzech Republic
Česká kancelář pojistitelů
DenmarkDansk Forening for International Motorkoretojsforsikring
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgEstoniaEesti Liikluskindlustuse Fond
Istituto per la vigilanza sulle assicurazioni private e di interesse collettivo (ISVAP)
LatviaLatvijas Transportlīdzekļu apdrošinātāju birojs (Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Latvia)
LithuaniaLietuvos Respublikos transporto priemonių draudikų biuras
Where can I get the European Accident Statement?
Contact your insurer to receive copies of the Statement.
What do I have to write down if I do not have a European Accident Statement at hand when having an accident?
Date, place and country of the accident
Name and contact details of the other party (owner/keeper/driver/operator of the other vehicle)
Name and contact details of the other party’s motor third party liability (MTPL) insurer
The policy number or green card number from any insurance documents presented at the scene
Registration number of the other party’s vehicle (if it is a lorry or a tractor towing a (semi-)trailer, note the registration numbers of the towing vehicle and of the trailer, as the registration plates may differ)
Country of registration of the other party’s vehicle
Make and type of the other party’s vehicle
Names and contact details of any witnesses
Information (eg address and reference) about the police authorities to which the accident has been reported
The circumstances of the accident: if both parties agree on these, it is recommended that both parties sign a statement
Do I have to take photographs of the damage?
Yes, you should take photopraphs of the damaged vehicles, including the registration plates and the accident scene.
Do I have to submit the claim in the country in which the accident occurred?
No, you can submit the claim in your home country and your own language to a claims representative of the other party’s motor insurer. Your insurer (motor or legal expenses insurer), may be able to assist you.
Where can I find the claims representative’s contact details?
You can find a list with claims representatives and national compensation bodies on the Council of Bureaux website.