What are the laws regarding motor vehicle insurance in Portugal?
Portuguese Law is little different to the road traffic laws in other countries throughout member states of the European Union. All vehicles using the roads must be insured for third party liability risks. All Abbeygate Motor policies fully comply with the Regulations of all EU territories. EU Regulations stipulate that vehicles must be insured by an Insurer licensed to operate in their country of registration. Abbeygate have products that are able to insure both UK and Portuguese registered vehicles owned by expatriates in Portugal. The Underwritters are allowed under the EU "Freedom of Services" Directive to cross border service from the UK and Gibraltar and thus can legally insure UK registered cars driven in Portugal.
Do I need to produce an MOT Certificate before I can obtain insurance for my UK registered vehicle?
At Abbeygate our Insurers do not insist on an MOT. It is now becoming common in Portugal for UK vehicles to be tested at the local ITV (MOT equivalent) centre. But remember the ITV certificate will only be valid in Portugal, so if you travel back to the UK and don´t have a valid MOT certificate it could lead to problems with the Police there. One of the policy conditions stipulates that your vehicle must be kept well maintained and in a roadworthy condition at all times. Any breach of this could invalidate cover.
I have heard that most Portuguese insurance companies will not provide Comprehensive cover for vehicles more than Ten years old. Is this true?
The market does not allow for cars over 10 years old to have comprehensive cover. Abbeygate do however provide Comprehensive cover for vehicles a lot older. We want our customers to have Comprehensive benefits wherever possible.
Is it true that I must carry all my vehicle documentation in the vehicle at all times? And what happens if the vehicle is stolen?
Yes it is! Whilst driving your car on the road in Portugal you MUST have the following documents with you:
- Driving licence
- The car´s Ficha Tecnica (showing the technical details of the car) or Log Book if UK registered
- All your insurance documents - receipt, certificate of insurance (for UK vehicles) and Green Card
If your vehicle is stolen and the documents have gone with it the situation can become problematical. So, although slightly inconvenient, we recommend that whenever you leave your vehicle unattended that you take the documents with you. However if you don't you will have to arrange to replace them before your claim can be settled. The procedures involved to get replacement documents are as:
- Attend the Police Station and make a statement.
- Apply for a new Ficha Tecnica at your local ITV centre - probably takes around a week and you need to take the Denuncia with you.
- Once you have the Instancia and a new Ficha Tecnica you then apply for duplicate papers at your Trafico Office.
For UK registered vehicles you will need to write to the DLVA and apply for a replacement Registration document.
What if I want to take my vehicle outside of Portugal?
If you are travelling abroad especially to the UK for a period longer than a month please tell your Insurance Adviser how long you are travelling for.
Your policy provides free foreign cover for Temporary visits to:
- Any country that is a member of the European Union
- The Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands
- The Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland
If you are intending to visit any country not listed above you must contact us prior to departure.
Am I insured under my own policy if I drive someone else´s vehicle?
No. You must ensure that if you are driving a vehicle that does not belong to you that the owner of that vehicle has arranged for you to drive under the terms of their Insurance policy.
What do I need to do if I change my vehicle?
If you change your vehicle, please tell us immediately and return the following documents to them - Certificate of Insurance/Receipt/Green Card. Provide us with the details of your new car so that we can issue cover.
What happens if I cancel my motor policy after a few months?
Most insurance policies are designed to run for 12 months and the premium you pay is for a full year. Therefore if you cancel mid-term and do not take out another policy, strictly speaking you are breaking your agreement to insure for the full year. If you do cancel there are still a number of costs that have to be paid for, such as administration, documentation and commission to the agent that arranged it. These costs have to be covered no matter how long the policy runs. Therefore if you cancel within 12 months you will be charged on a short period, rather than a pro-rata, basis and the refund you will receive may be quite small.