So four years of negotiations and uncertainty have finally ended, and we have a Brexit deal in place. However, it’s vitally important for hauliers travelling between the UK and EU to keep up to date on how things will be different.
Among these is insurance requirements. By now most haulage firms should be aware that for each vehicle they have travelling into the EU, every one will need its own individual Green Card.
While Green Cards should in most cases be free, and easily acquired from the insurance provider, the stakes can be high if you don’t have one. Even if valid cover has been purchased, failure to show a Green Card when asked while driving in an EU state means the driver can be treated as driving without insurance, and subject to prosecution, a fine, and potentially having their vehicle seized.
Similarly, haulage firms should be up to date on the latest travel insurance requirements. While European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid, this is only up until their expiry. Beyond that, drivers must get the new Global Health Insurance Card, which only provides ‘necessary healthcare’ in EU countries where state-provided healthcare is available.
The UK Government advises that for travel into certain other countries (including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) steps should be taken to ensure appropriate travel insurance covering any pre-existing medical conditions previously covered by the EHIC.
However, there are other important considerations that haulage firms should actively be checking and discussing with their insurance providers.
This includes whether cargo and goods in transit policies are likely to pay out on border delays resulting in losses on frozen and fresh food deliveries. Most goods in transit policies only pay out for spoilage of the load following a specific incident that is covered by the policy ( an accident for example). General delays and delays caused at borders by customs officials tend to be excluded, unless specifically written in to the policy.
There has been much coverage of the losses faced by the UK seafood industry due to the border delays and the government has made some encouraging noises about offering some assistance to those worst affected.
However, in the longer term, better solutions are required and both the food and haulage industries will need to work together with authorities to find a solution to this problem and reduce the levels of red tape and delays that have so far defined the early stages of the new Brexit deal.
Once a solution has been found, the insurance industry will undoubtedly be able to be able to provide cover, but until the current situation improves then for many firms, cover for losses arising purely from border delays is likely to be prohibitively expensive and hard to come by.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Working with a professional broker will help you obtain the widest coverage from the market and obtain the best price.
At RHA Insurance Services we have access to the whole UK market including Lloyds via our in house Lloyds broker. We are on hand to offer members advice on information on how you can manage your Goods In transit risk or any aspect of your insurance needs.
Call Benn Houghton on 01277 844360 or email enquiries@RHAIS .co.uk to start a discussion.