Path cleared to fast-track Irish motor insurance for fleeing Ukrainians

Online broker says agreement reached with ‘a couple’ of insurers

Ukrainians arriving in Ireland can now secure insurance cover to enable them to drive on Irish roads without the need to access onerous paperwork, according to online broker

The broker said “some clarity has now been provided” in the insurance industry on the matter following “weeks of uncertainty”.

Up until now, it was difficult for Ukrainian motorists to secure insurance in Ireland as most insurers would not accept a Ukrainian driving licence.

In normal circumstances, all drivers arriving from overseas would have to provide written proof of their driving experience, which would usually come from their previous insurers. However, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accessing this documentation is problematic.

READ MORE managing director Jonathan Hehir said some insurers are demonstrating "great flexibility for refugees from Ukraine", waiving some of the requirements so as to allow people to get on the road as soon as possible, if they have access to a vehicle.

“This should enable more to enter the workforce sooner than they might otherwise have done so,” he said.

“Also, although it’s obvious that very few people will have taken a car with them to Ireland from the Ukraine, where once there would have been an issue insuring a left-hand drive car, this should also not be a barrier to securing insurance cover from certain insurers.”

Mr Hehir said the online broker was now in a position to arrange insurance for drivers holding Ukrainian driving licences, although it has only reached agreement with “a couple of insurers”.

“There are ongoing developments within the industry and while we have agreement with a couple of insurers, we are expecting more to follow suit,” he said.

“Over the last few weeks, we have been working with insurers to ascertain how we could secure motor insurance cover for those travelling here from the Ukraine.

“Developments over recent days mean that we can now secure new car policies on the basis that Ukrainian driver’s licences will effectively be treated the same as EU licences, so the route to securing cover is pretty straightforward.

“When it comes to driving experience, such as whether a person has previous crashes or claims, the word of the driver will be deemed sufficient, rather than them insisting on paperwork from their previous insurer, as would normally be the case.

“This is a unique situation, and we applaud the flexibility shown by some insurers who, in some cases, are agreeing to effectively take on more risk without additional premium.”

Coverinaclick is reporting that, in certain cases, a Ukrainian driver aged above 25, with a full clean Ukrainian driving licence, can be added to certain existing Irish car insurance policies temporarily for up to 30 days at no additional cost.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter