Filing Liability Claims for Car Accidents Outside of Switzerland

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  • BenutzernameMoneyland User Questions
  • Status Member
  • Registriert seit1/27/17
  • Beiträge2142

Hi Moneyland,

How should I go about claiming liability for a car accident caused by a driver and vehicle in a different country?

I took a road trip to Greece this summer and while driving through Albania on the return leg of the journey my car was hit by a careless driver. Since I have not had much experience with driving in more than one country before now, I am not sure what I should do. I tried discussing the problem with the guilty driver and with the local police, but the language barrier was a problem. I have confirmation that the other driver was responsible. Do I have to file against his insurance in Albania? Do I file a claim with my Swiss insurance?

I am grateful for any advice you can offer.

  • BenutzernameMoneyguru von
  • OrtSchweiz
  • Status Expert
  • Registriert seit8/4/15
  • Beiträge4017

Hi there,

With the exception of Kosovo, all countries in Europe participate in the Green Card system.

How the Green Card car insurance system works:

When you have an accident in a participating country, you can file a claim to the Swiss National Bureau of Insurance (NBI). Your Swiss car insurance provider may handle this for you in some cases. The NBI fronts the benefit owed by the liable foreign driver's insurance company.

The NBI then forwards your claim to the national insurance bureau of the country in which the driver responsible for the accident is insured. The national insurance bureau of that country reimburses the benefit paid out by the NBI. It then collects the benefit from the local insurance provider to reimburse the outlay.

This system allows you to deal directly with a Swiss insurance authority and receive the benefit owed within a very short amount of time.

It is crucial that you provide proof of the other driver's identity and insurance coverage. This will generally be included in the police report covering the accident.

Important note:

Legal minimum liability car insurance requirements vary between countries. In some countries, liability insurance benefits can be low, meaning you may not receive the same benefits which you would receive if you were involved in the same accident in Switzerland.

Some Swiss insurance providers include a "foreign insurance" rider in some policies or offer it as an optional rider. This insurance pays out a benefit equal to the difference between the benefit paid by the foreign insurance company, and a (higher) sum insured. Allianz, Elvia and Sympany offer this rider, and if you have a policy from one of these insurers, consider taking the time to review it to find out if you are insured for more than what you can claim from the Albanian insurance company via the Swiss NBI.

Best regards from Moneyguru

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