However, the conditions of foreign insurance policies can bring unpleasant surprises to Finnish motorists, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has even recommended to avoid traveling to Russia and Belarus altogether.
Motor insurance is mandatory throughout Europe, including in Russia and Belarus. However, insurance coverage and compensation vary considerably from country to country. In Finland, traffic insurance covers personal injuries for all accident victims without an upper limit. On the other hand, Russian motor insurance has a compensation ceiling of around 5,500 euros per person, and the property damage limit is even lower.
Janne JumppanenThe head of the Motor Insurance Center warns of differences in compensation levels and states that Finland has one of the best and most comprehensive motor insurance systems in the world. Finland’s high reward level is exceptional compared to the international level. For example, in Russia, traffic insurance does not cover personal injuries caused by the driver who caused the accident.
When the green card contracts expire, Finnish motorists traveling to Russia and Belarus must obtain traffic insurance from a local operator after crossing the border. These insurances cannot be purchased online, and Russian authorities have stated that the points of sale are located no more than half a kilometer from the border. However, the existence of such outlets near the border has not yet been confirmed.
When purchasing from a Russian company, damage events are processed locally and the compensation is paid in Russian rubles to a Russian bank account. The Motor Insurance Center does not handle traffic accidents that occur in Russia, even if a Finnish vehicle is involved.
The change in Green Card cooperation does not affect the safety of those involved in traffic accidents in Finland. The Motor Insurance Center can be contacted about damages caused in Finland by a vehicle from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), such as a Russian vehicle.
Russian and Belarusian vehicles in use in Finland and other European countries currently have traffic insurance based on the Green Card agreement. However, after the end of the international Green Card agreement on May 31, these insurances are no longer valid outside the countries’ borders. Owners of these vehicles must obtain border traffic insurance instead. The Transport Insurance Center emphasizes that in Finland the vehicle must have valid insurance, even if it is not driven.
Due to the rule change, thousands of vehicles are prohibited from driving overnight. Jumppanen urges Russians living in Finland to understand the seriousness of the matter and get insurance in good time. The police can remove license plates from uninsured vehicles and impose other sanctions in addition to retroactive insurance premiums.
Cross-border traffic insurance can be purchased in advance during May. Insurance can be obtained at border crossing points and the Transport Insurance Center in Helsinki. The price is the same everywhere and the insurance coverage of cross-border traffic insurance corresponds to Finnish traffic insurance. If an accident occurs in Finland, the personal injuries of the driver responsible for the accident will also be compensated.
The Green Card system is an international certificate of valid motor insurance that facilitates driving abroad. It eliminates the need for drivers to obtain separate local traffic insurance in participating countries.
In Finland, an electronic green card, which confirms the validity of the insurance, can be obtained free of charge from motor insurance. It usually comes as a black and white PDF file and should be printed and kept close at hand when travelling.
Motor insurance issued in Finland is automatically valid in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Requesting a green card from the insurer is therefore not mandatory when traveling to these countries. However, carrying a green card simplifies the process in the event of a traffic accident.
For countries outside the EEA participating in the Green Card system, it is important to keep the Green Card with you at all times while driving. When arriving in countries outside the Green Card system, the driver must obtain valid traffic insurance at the border to comply with local regulations and ensure coverage.
Source: The Nordic Page