Back in December, the UK government finally ratified a Withdrawal Agreement to leave the European Union. So, now that Brexit has finally happened, what does this mean for your life, car, travel and pet insurance?
On 31 January 2020, the UK finally left the EU. On 1 February 2020, the two parties entered an implementation period during which the UK is set to negotiate its future relationship with the EU on a wide range of issues. This implementation period is set to run until 31 December 2020.
During this implementation period, EU laws will continue to apply in the UK. In addition, any new EU laws passed in 2020 will also apply to the UK.
So, until the implementation period is over, little will change regarding your insurance. Consumer rights and protections that are enshrined in EU law will continue to apply.
If you bought your life insurance or Critical Illness cover in the UK, and you will continue to live in the UK after Brexit, you should see little or no change to your policy.
If you bought life insurance or Critical Illness cover and subsequently moved to an EU or EEA country, your plan may be affected in the future.
This will depend on any changes that your country of residence makes to their own legal framework. It will also depend on the approach taken by EU regulators during negotiations with the UK.
Car insurance prices have already started to rise (by an average of 5% in 2019). The Daily Express reports that this has been partly blamed on the threat of increases tariffs on imports and exports after Brexit. Prices are expected to rise further in 2020.
Currently, your UK car insurance automatically covers you when you drive in the EEA. After Brexit, you will have to obtain a green card from your insurer as proof of cover if you plan to drive in Europe.
After the UK leaves the EU, you may also need an international driving permit depending on the country you intend to visit, and how long you plan to visit for. If your visit is likely to be for a short period of time, you are unlikely to need such a permit, although countries including France and Italy will require a permit for visits of any length.
If you have European breakdown cover, this should still work as normal as long as you are carrying your green card.
A survey carried out by the Chartered Insurance Institute found that 76% of insurance professionals expect the cost of travel insurance to rise after Brexit.
Kevin Hancock, chair of the CII’s Society of Insurance Broking, says: “The Brexit withdrawal agreement means that unaltered transitional arrangements stay in place until at least December 31, 2020 and, following that, it depends what is negotiated in terms of reciprocal medical arrangements between the UK and the EU member states.
“The general consensus though is the cost of European travel insurance will eventually increase.”
During the implementation period (until 31 December 2020) you can travel with your pet to the EU using your current pet passport.
After the UK leaves the UK your pet is likely to be covered abroad in the same way it is now. However, you may need some additional vet checks and documentation to travel with your pet.