How Brexit May Impact Your Personal & Commercial Insurance.

The impacts of Brexit on your insurance.

Brexit has arrived and there will be various changes happening from the 1st January 2021 which could impact your personal and commercial insurance. Our expert personal and commercial teams are here to help with any queries you may have on your existing or new policy.

Personal Travel Insurance - European Health Insurance Card.

Given the current travel restrictions, whilst travelling abroad may seem like a wishful thought, if you are planning to travel in the EU on or after the 1st January 2021, you may no longer have access to free emergency medical insurance within the EU. The European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid and you will be required to purchase travel insurance when visiting the EU to cover your healthcare should you fall ill or have an accident. Without travel Insurance you could be charged for your healthcare needs, which will be particularly important for anyone with pre-existing medical conditions. Our travel insurance experts will make sure you are  suitably protected giving you complete peace of mind during these challenging times so you can enjoy your time away.

Are there exceptions to using a European Health Insurance Card?

There are some exceptions for continuing to use the EHIC cards, for example if you are a UK state pensioner living in the EU or if you are a UK student already living in the EU. However if you do fall into these exceptions you will still need to apply for a new EHIC card. It is more likely that without the EHIC card the cost of travel insurance will increase. Our travel experts will spend the time getting to know you and your travel needs to make sure you are not over paying for anything you don’t need.

Can I travel to Ireland with less than 6 months on my passport?

If you have a passport with less than 6 months left  until the expiry date, you will still be able to travel to Ireland and won’t need to renew as long as  the passport is valid for the whole of your stay. Ireland is  within the Common Travel Area where British and Irish citizens can travel freely or where they reside in either jurisdiction, including the right to work and study.

Find out more about common travel areas through the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/common-travel-area-guidance

Can I travel to the EU with less than 6 months on my passport?

As the UK has left the EU, you will no longer be able to travel to the EU with less than 6 months left on your passport. If you are planning to travel to the EU after the 1st January 2021 your passport will be required to be under 10 years old and have more than 6 months left  until expiry.

When will I require a Visa?

If you’re travelling to the EU after the 1st of January 2021, you will be able to travel to most EU countries without a visa for up to 90 days in a rolling 180 day period, but only as a tourist. This includes  Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It’s important to note that some areas won’t affect the 90 day allowance; these currently include Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. Should you wish to travel longer than 90 days in the EU other than  as a tourist, for either work, study or business, you may need to apply for a visa or permit.

Find out more about visas through the link below.

 https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Advice for travelling.

When travelling abroad, please make sure you have your emergency travel insurance claims telephone number. Also remember to write your policy number down in a few places where you can access it – perhaps on your smartphone notes app, in your wallet and in your hand luggage – just in case one of these is lost or stolen.

Contact us in advance of your travel date.

Contact us in advance of your travel date by contacting your local branch using our branch finder where we will be happy to discuss any queries you may have on your travel needs.

https://www.higos.co.uk/contact-us/ 

Full and current details on such changes can also be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance

Motor insurance - Will I need a green card to travel by car in the EU?

As of the 1st of January 2021 the requirements for driving in the EU will also be changing. If your planning to drive your vehicle overseas on or after this date you may need a green card to show you’re covered for some countries. Driving without a Green Card could lead to your vehicle being seized and you facing a fine and/or the risk of prosecution. Our motor experts are here to help guide you through these new changes and make sure you are properly insured. Contact us in advance of your travel date if you are looking to drive your car overseas on or after 1st January 2021.

Driving abroad checklist.

  • Put a GB sticker on the back of your vehicle if it's registered in the UK, even if your number plate already shows GB with a Euro symbol. You could get a fine if you do not have a GB sticker  displayed when driving in European countries

  • You need to take your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence with you so check yours is still valid and renew your driving licence online if it has expired or is about to expire.

  • If you are taking your own vehicle you will need to take log book (V5C) and your insurance certificate.

  • If you are taking a vehicle abroad that you have hired or leased in the UK, you will need a VE103 certificate.

  • Check the overseas driving rules - Make sure you follow overseas driving rules, including local speed limits and drink driving laws. You may be breaking the law and would receive a fine if you contravene local driving laws.

Will I need a separate green card to tow my trailer or caravan after Brexit?

If you are travelling with your trailer or caravan in the EU, you will need to register your trailer or caravan for a separate green card before you can take it abroad. You should then have a green card for the vehicle that tows the caravan or trailer and an additional green card for the trailer or caravan. Our motor team will discuss your individual needs to make sure you are not over paying for anything you don’t need.

Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP) ? 

From 1st January 2021 you may need an International driving permit (IDP) in some EU countries and Norway. Especially if you have a paper driving license or a driving license issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. IDP’s have been put into 3 categories for travel, if  you are planning on driving through more than one country, you might need more than one IDP. We can help check before you drive in the EU as you could be fined or your vehicle could be seized if you drive without the correct documents.

For more information on IDP’s visit https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit

Business Insurance – Will Brexit create changes for my business?

Whatever the sector that you operate in, Brexit is likely to have an impact on your business,  particularly if you are importing or exporting goods, or regularly working in the EU. The new rules will take place after the 1st January 2021 and all businesses should be prepared for the changes about to come. The Brexit Checker below will help give a personalised list of actions to follow for your business.

Brexit checker

https://www.gov.uk/transition?utm_campaign=transition_p3g&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=seg&utm_content=ala_act0&gclid=CPDAyvOo1-0CFQunGwodsGwK4w

Our business team is staffed by experienced commercial brokers who are ready to support you with bespoke specialist business insurance cover to match your precise business insurance needs. With the changes taking place shortly, it’s more important than ever to have the correct insurance and support in place,  whether you are a seasoned business or embarking on a new venture.

Will Brexit affect importing goods form the EU?

There will be important changes for your business if you are importing goods from the EU. You will need an EORI number that begins with GB and an additional entry declaration form to declare goods. This will also mean the goods will be subject to import tax when entering the UK. To help with the administrative process you may need to use a UK based Freight forwarder or customs agent going forward as some goods may need an export license or certificate to get through customs overseas.

For more information on importing goods https://www.gov.uk/prepare-to-import-to-great-britain-from-january-2021

Will Brexit affect exporting goods from GB to the EU?

As we have left the EU, one of the biggest changes for businesses will be exporting goods from GB to the EU. As of the 1st January you will need to make customs declarations for the goods being exported. You may need to use a UK based Freight forwarder or customs agent going forward as some goods may need an export license or certificate. For more information on exporting goods visit https://www.gov.uk/prepare-to-export-from-great-britain-from-january-2021

Are there changes impacting travelling for business?

If you are travelling for business in the EU there will be some extra requirements on top of the actions all travellers will need to make as above. Here is our Business travel checklist:

Business travel checklist:

  • You may need to tell HMRC if you’re working in the EU or pay social security contributions.

  • Check your business travel entry requirements and if your qualifications will be recognised in the EU.

  • If your employees are going to work in the EU you may need to extend your public and employers liability cover for outside the UK.

With the changes happening in January we feel it’s more important than ever to have a broker you can depend on and should you need to claim, our in house claims team will provide you with a prompt, personal service with dedicated claims handler.

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