The Green Card system is composed of the Green Card Bureaux of 47 countries
List of Member Countries
The functions of the Green Card Bureaux
A National Insurers’ Bureau - or Green Card Bureau - is installed in each participating country to guarantees that a victim suffering damages from a road traffic accident caused by a foreign vehicle (from another participating country) will be compensated in the country of accident. The Bureau of the country of accident can, subsequently, recover all compensations paid from the Bureau of the country from which the liable vehicle originates.
A Green Card Bureau has two functions:
1. As a "Bureau of the country of the accident" or “Handling Bureau”, it has responsibility in accordance with national legal provisions for Compulsory Motor Third Party Liability Insurance for the handling and settlement of claims arising from accidents caused by visiting motorists.
2. As a "Guaranteeing Bureau" it guarantees certificates of Motor Insurance - Green Cards - which are issued by its member insurance companies to their policyholders.
National Bureaux cooperate on the basis of the Internal Regulations signed bilaterally between each of them and operate with the recognition and approval of their Governments.
The Green Card system is primarily but not exclusively a European system. It presently includes most European Countries: all Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) – i.e. the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) – plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Several countries in the Middle East and bordering the Mediterranean Sea also actively participate in the system.
For future Membership: The geographical scope of the Green Card system extends to the countries lying to the West of the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea as well as to the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This means that the COB Membership is still possible for the following countries:
- Countries situated to the west of the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea: Armenia,Georgia and Kazakhstan;
- Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and Syria.
The COB does not handle any individual claim!
In case of road traffic accident abroad (i.e. in one of 47 countries other than the one where the vehicle is registered) involving the liability of the driver of the insured vehicle, any victim (either resident of that country or not) has the right to address himself/herself to the national Bureau of the country where the accident occurred in order to have his claim handled and settled.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that for accidents occurring abroad in one of the Member States of the European Economic Area, the visiting victim could either address himself/herself to the Claims Representative or in some specific cases to the Compensation Body of his/her Member State of residence
Besides, there are cases - as stated on the Green Card - where the injured party shall not contact the national Bureau of the visited country, for instance:
- in case of damage to the insured vehicle,
- in case of personal injuries not covered by the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Law in force in the country of accident;
- in case of renewal of an expired Green Card. In those cases, the insurer should be contacted directly (unless otherwise instructed by him or her)