What is the NBI?
The National Bureau of Insurance (NBI) is in charge of handling the claims caused by foreign vehicles and trailers in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein. Its tasks are described in the Road Traffic Act.
Who finances the NBI?
The NBI is financed by a statutory levy paid by motor vehicle holders together with their motor insurance premium.
What is the International Motor Insurance Card?
The International Motor Insurance Card (former Green Card) confirms that the policyholder has sufficient insurance cover while abroad. The International Motor Insurance Card is subject to the statutory provisions applying in the visited country and to the national insurance cover required by law.
Why do I need an International Motor Insurance Card?
If you travel to any of the green countries on the map, you will have to ask your insurance company to send you an International Motor Insurance Card, unless you already have a still valid one. The International Motor Insurance Card confirms that you have sufficient insurance cover while you are abroad. If an accident occurs, all the damages caused by the vehicle concerned will therefore be covered in accordance with local legislation. As a general rule, motorists entering any of the countries marked in lime green on the map no longer need an International Motor Insurance Card, provided that their vehicle is registered in one of these countries.
Countries of the Green Card system...
How do I get an International Motor Insurance Card and how much does it cost?
The International Motor Insurance Card must be ordered at the insurance company where the vehicle has its liability insurance. The National Bureau of Insurance does not issue such cards. Generally, insurers issue the International Motor Insurance Card for free.
What should be done when planning a trip to a country whose code is crossed out on the International Motor Insurance Card?
First, check up with the insurance company where the vehicle, which you intend to travel with, has its liability insurance. It is possible that in the meantime the insurance company has issued new International Motor Insurance Cards on which the code of the country you intend to travel to, is no longer crossed out. It is also possible that the insurance company issues an International Motor Insurance Card with an individual request. If this is not the case, you may also contact the consular or diplomatic representation of the country you intend to travel to and ask about the possibility to make the said liability insurance before visiting the country. If this is not possible, a frontier insurance policy must be concluded when crossing the border. However this may be more expensive and moreover, there is no guarantee that the insurance can be concluded immediately (especially at off-peak hours).
Is my International Motor Insurance Card also valid for Kosovo?
The International Motor Insurance Card is not valid for Kosovo. To enter Kosovo with your vehicle, you will have to buy a frontier insurance policy. The same also applies to vehicles registered in Kosovo when travelling abroad. When they enter any of the countries of the Green Card System or the EU/EEA territory, they will also have to conclude a frontier insurance policy.
Do foreign vehicles entering Liechtenstein need a particular Motor Insurance Card?
No, they don't. Liechtenstein does not have its own insurance bureau. The corresponding tasks are fulfilled by the Swiss National Bureau of Insurance. In the scope of the Green Card System (system uniting the insurance bureaux which are members of the Council of Bureaux CoB) Switzerland and Liechtenstein are considered as constituting one single territory. This is the reason why International Motor Insurance Cards do not contain any FL country code. Insurance cards containing a CH country code which has not been crossed out are valid without any restrictions for Liechtenstein too.
How should I proceed if I get a fine abroad for not being able to present a valid International Motor Insurance Card?
You should check up the rights of appeal written on the fine. If you have a Legal Protection Insurance, you should inform them.
Before reaching the customs check point, a motorist notices that he has forgotten the International Motor Insurance Card. Does he have to turn back?
No. In the countries in which an International Motor Insurance Card is mandatory, he will have to conclude a frontier insurance policy. This will allow him to continue his trip. In order to avoid buying a frontier insurance policy, which generally is expensive, it is advisable to find out before setting off on a trip whether an International Motor Insurance Card is required, and if so, to ensure that you carry a valid card with you.
How can I be sure that the vehicle I intend to import is properly insured?
The competent road traffic authorities shall provide this information. The customs authorities can inform you as well.