The Green Card is an international insurance document. It proves that your third-party liability insurance for your car provides sufficient coverage in the respective countries. The Green Card is mainly used in the event of a claim abroad and saves you a lot of trouble if the worst comes to the worst.
Incidentally, you should always have the original with you – a digital copy or a photo of the Green Card is not sufficient as proof.
The Green Card contains the most important information about your car and your car insurance: the vehicle’s registration number and brand and the contact details of your insurance company. It also indicates the period of validity and the responsible information centre.
In addition, the countries in which your insurance is valid are shown at the top of the Green Card. If the abbreviation for a country is not listed or is crossed out, your insurance does not apply in that country. This means that you must take out what is known as frontier insurance before entering the country in question.
Many countries in Europe have signed the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement, including all of Switzerland’s neighbours. Under this agreement, your registration number alone serves as proof that you are adequately insured in these countries. However, some European states have not signed the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement – and that is where you need the Green Card.
You can find everything you need to know about the Green Card and an overview of the countries in which it is compulsory on the website of the National Guarantee Fund.
Depending on the country you are travelling to, the Green Card may be compulsory. You will often be asked to show it on entry into the country or in the event of an accident. It also makes claims processing considerably easier in many countries.
We therefore recommend that you take your Green Card with you on all car journeys abroad – even if the country in question has signed the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement.
In principle, the Green Card is issued to your vehicle and not to you personally. However, different rules apply depending on the country: for example, you may not be allowed to enter the country in question with a foreign car. Find out in advance about the applicable regulations.
It is also advisable to have a written authorisation from the owner with you when you travel abroad in another person’s car. That way, you can prove that the car is not stolen if you get checked or have an accident abroad.
Incidentally, the Green Card must always be present in a rental car.