Everything you need to know about car insurance in Croatia: Guide for 2023
Like most countries, Croatia requires that all car owners have at least a basic level of car insurance. If you plan to import a car to Croatia or buy one after you’ve arrived, you’ll need to include insurance in your roadmap. CAR PUN!
The Croatian mandatory car insurance covers damages in Croatia and the Green Insurance Card System member states. However, it only covers the costs of traffic accidents to third parties – not the party at fault.
You may purchase additional insurance, called „kasko“, to cover various events, including you and your vehicle. Kasko compensates for costs associated with theft, bad weather, and when you cause an accident. Other voluntary car insurance can vary by the insurance company.
We immersed ourselves in the laws and news to summarize the latest information on Croatia’s mandatory and additional car insurance.
In this post, we cover:
- Mandatory traffic insurance
- Validity of mandatory car insurance
- Mandatory car insurance
- Towing vehicles and trailers
- Foreign vehicles entering Croatia
- Cars without mandatory insurance
- Losing rights from insurance
- Costs of mandatory car insurance
- How to get mandatory car insurance
- What is kasko insurance
- Additional car insurance
The facts are these…
How to insure a car in Croatia
Compulsory traffic insurance in Croatia is defined by the Zakon o obveznim osiguranjima u prometu (Law on compulsory insurance in traffic). This act is available here.
Mandatory traffic insurance may cover:
- Passengers in public transport from accident consequences
- Vehicle owner or user against liability for damages caused to third parties
- Air carrier/aircraft operator against liability for damages caused to third parties and passengers
- Owner/user of a motor boat or yacht against liability for injuries caused to third parties
In this article, we will pay attention to mandatory vehicle insurance, more precisely, mandatory car insurance.
If you are a driver, you must have proof of insurance while driving. You must show it to an authorized official at their request. In a traffic accident, you must give your data and insurance information to accident participants, who have the right to submit compensation claims.
The mandatory Croatian car insurance covers accidents in Croatia and member states of the Sustav zelene karte osiguranja (Green Insurance Card System) unless otherwise agreed.
What is Zelena karta osiguranja?
Zelena karta osiguranja (Green Insurance Card) is an international document issued by the national insurance office as proof that the vehicle is covered by mandatory car insurance. It is valid in member states of the Green Insurance Card System. A list of members is available here.
If you are insured in Croatia and plan to drive abroad, you need to tell your insurance company so that they can give you an additional document to keep on your card.
Mandatory car insurance in Croatia is tied to a vehicle and not the owner or a driver. This means that a car is insured and not a person. The mandatory insurance does not cover cases when someone else drives your vehicle and participates in an accident. In this case, you must have an additional insurance policy.
The car owner must conclude an insurance contract before driving and renew it as long as the vehicle participates in traffic. Insurance companies conclude contracts according to the Law on compulsory insurance in traffic, the conditions for insurance, and the price lists of insurance premiums.
The rights and obligations begin 24 hours after the day defined in the contract and end 24 hours after the expiration day unless otherwise agreed. If you don’t notify the company you don’t want to extend the insurance 3 days before the expiration, the rights and obligations are valid 30 days after the expiry. This period is called počekni rok, and it applies to insurance concluded for one or more years.
If an insured event occurs within počekni rok, you must pay the insurance for the following year. You can get insurance at a new insurance company within počekni rok. However, the old company has the right to the premium until the day when you conclude a contract with a new one. It is paid in proportion to the period of their coverage.
Obligations of the vehicle owner
You, as the owner of a car or another vehicle, must enter a mandatory insurance contract for damage caused to other third parties, i.e., traffic participants due to death, physical injury, impairment of health, destruction, or damage to the belongings. It also covers damages to passengers in the vehicle that caused the damage.
A third person who uses a vehicle and is not responsible for an accident that happened to them from the vehicle of the same leasing provider can also be a user. The risks covered by the contract may be caused by registered vehicles with a valid traffic license called prometna dozvola.
Car insurance does not cover damage to transported things that were in the vehicle that caused the damage or the damage on the vehicle that caused the damage.
Obligations of the insurance company
The obligation of the insurance company is the insured amount valid on the day of the accident or a higher amount if agreed in the contract.
If more than one person is injured and the damage is greater than the defined amounts, the rights of the injured towards the company are proportionally reduced. Injured people have priority in compensation. If the company did not know more people were injured and paid the injured a greater amount, they have obligations to others up to defined amounts.
Suppose the damage was caused in the Green Insurance Card System member states. In that case, the insurance company must compensate for the damage higher than the defined amount up to the amount determined by the regulations on compulsory insurance of the country where the damage occurred.
Mandatory car insurance also covers damages caused by towing vehicles and trailers. If the damage occurs when vehicles are connected or the towing vehicle is separated in driving, both owners are liable for the damage to third parties. The injured person can submit a compensation claim request to the insurer of the towing or trailer vehicle.
A company that compensates the injured has the right to compensation for the amount paid, interests, and costs from the towing or trailer vehicle owner if there is a liability of the insured for the damage.
If your vehicle has a foreign country registration and you enter Croatia, you must have a valid international document on automobile liability insurance valid in the EU/EEA or another proof of such insurance.
International proofs are:
- Official license plates from EU/EEA signatories of the Multilateral Agreement on the insurance
- Green Insurance Card for a vehicle from an EU/EEA country that is not a signatory to the Multilateral Agreement on the insurance
- Other documents approved by the Croatian Insurance Office
International documents and evidence imply the guarantee of the Croatian Insurance Office for the obligations regarding the defined insurance amount. If a higher amount is agreed upon in the insurance contract, the Croatian Insurance Office guarantees up to that amount.
Do not ever risk driving a car that is not insured or whose mandatory insurance has expired. If you get caught, the police may fine you, and penalties are high. If your vehicle’s registration is expired or a vehicle is technically defective, the fine will be even higher. If you cause an accident with a car without insurance, fines may rise higher than 6.600 euros.
For damages caused by vehicles without mandatory car insurance, the injured can submit a claim for damages to the Hrvatski ured za osiguranje (Croatian Insurance Office).
If the damage is caused by an unregistered and uninsured vehicle taken over in another EU/EU member state to which Croatia is a destination, the injured may submit a claim for compensation to the Croatian Insurance Office within 30 days after the delivery of the vehicle.
The Croatian Insurance Office guarantees obligations up to the maximum defined amount. The office has the right to compensate the debt, interest, and costs from the person responsible for the debt.
The following groups do not have the right to damage compensation:
- Driver of the vehicle that caused the accident and their relatives and other natural or legal persons regarding the accident due to the death or physical injury of the driver
- Owner, co-owner, or joint owner and every other user of the vehicle that caused the damage (for the compensation of the property damage)
- Companion who voluntarily entered the vehicle driven by an authorized driver that caused the injury if the insurer proves they were aware of this circumstance
- Companion who voluntarily entered an unregistered vehicle without license plates on the vehicle if the insurer proves they were aware of this circumstance
- Companion who voluntarily entered an uninsured vehicle that caused the injury if the Croatian Insurance Office proves they were aware of this circumstance
- Injured person to whom the injury occurred due to:
- Use of the vehicle at sports events held on a road closed to traffic for other drivers, whose goal is to achieve the highest or highest average speed, and during practice sessions for these events
- Action of nuclear energy during the transport of radioactive material
- War operations, rebellions, or acts of terrorism, where the insurance company must prove the damage was caused by such an event
The insured person loses the rights from insurance if:
- Driver did not use the vehicle for its intended purpose
- Driver did not have a valid driver’s license of the appropriate type or category unless the vehicle was driven during the driving lessons
- Driver’s license has been revoked, the driver has been excluded from traffic, or the driver has been issued a protective measure prohibiting driving a vehicle, terminating the validity of a driver’s license, or prohibiting the use of a foreign driver’s license in Croatia
- Driver was driving under the influence of alcohol above the agreed limit, drugs, psychoactive medicines, or other psychoactive substances
- Driver caused the damage on purpose
- Accident was caused because the vehicle was technically defective, and the driver was aware
- Damage was caused by the criminal offense of impaired driving in road traffic, for which a final court verdict was brought
For those driving on foreign licenses
EU/EEA driver’s licenses are valid until they expire when driving in Croatia. Non-EU/EEA driver’s licenses must be exchanged for a Croatian ones within 1 year of entering Croatia. If you drive with a non-EU/EEA license for more than a year, it will not be valid in Croatia, even if valid in your home country. In plain terms, your insurance won’t be valid either, which is equivalent to driving without insurance.
The cost of car insurance in Croatia is defined according to the car’s technical and driver characteristics. So, the costs vary depending on the vehicle, the person, and the insurance company.
The engine power in kilowatts (KW) is observed for cars, the engine volume in cubic centimeters (ccm) for motors, and the maximum permissible mass (NDM) for trucks. The year of manufacture and the vehicle’s model is also important. The costs are higher for new sports luxury cars than for used middle-class family cars.
Some companies also consider car safety. They reduce the cost for cars with collision warning systems, car alarms, and security cameras. The price may also be lower for bigger cars with a good safety rating.
The place of registration also has an impact on costs. You may pay more in Zagreb and less in smaller cities. Foreign registrations depend on the country of registration. There is more traffic abroad, so it is estimated that accidents are more often and the price higher.
The cost will rise if you drive more than the average number of kilometers per year. The more you drive, the more chances there are for an accident.
Previous damages to the vehicle also affect the cost. You can get a bonus if you were not involved in car accidents in previous years and the car is not damaged.
Regarding the characteristics of a driver, their age is important. Drivers younger than 25 pay higher costs because they are more likely to be involved in an accident. People older than 70 could also pay more.
If you add another driver to your insurance policy, the final insurance cost will rise since the risk of traffic accidents is double.
Below is a step-by-step guide for obtaining mandatory car insurance in Croatia.
#1 Collect the documentation
To get the mandatory insurance, provide:
- Vehicle invoice OR traffic license OR vehicle booklet
- Data on the owner or user of the vehicle
- Proof of having a bonus
- Previous insurance policy
- Sales contract in case the vehicle was previously sold
- Notice of withdrawal
#2 Inform about the price
Before buying car insurance, check prices at various insurance companies in Croatia. Car insurance costs may significantly vary depending on the company. Some insurance companies offer discounts for cash payments.
You can calculate approximate prices for mandatory car insurance via this calculator.
Get a quote from our vetted insurance agent here.
#3 Get car insurance
Once you decide on the insurance company, buy the insurance from them. You can usually pay the insurance all at once or in installments, depending on the insurance company. Some offer to pay in 6, 10, or even 12 installments.
You can buy the insurance in person or do it online if possible.
#4 Drive safe
Always be patient and polite while driving. View our guide on driving in Croatia available here to reduce stress. It has plenty of tips on highways, tolls, gas stations, car washes, and parking across Croatia.
Kasko is additional car insurance covering the costs that occurred when you caused an accident and some other costs depending on the insurance company and their offer.
Kasko insurance may cover:
- Vechicle destruction or damage in traffic accidents
- Damages due to falling or hitting an object
- Lightning strikes
- Vehicle towing
- Vechicle replacement
However, you have to cover the damages, such as belt breaks and certain engine failures from your pocket. Kasko also doesn’t cover damages that occur under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or narcotics, caused without a driver’s license, and are caused by the vehicle’s breakdown, breakage, and wear and tear.
You can buy puno (full) or djelomično (partial) kasko insurance. Full kasko covers all the risks of vehicle damage, destruction, or disappearance. Partial kasko covers other risks as an addition to full kasko or mandatory car insurance.
Kasko’s cost can be 3 times higher than mandatory car insurance cost. It primarily depends on the new purchase value of the car (NNV). Other factors are the driver’s age, vehicle’s brand, vehicle age, vehicle’s power, and acquired bonus. You get a bonus after the first year and, which rises yearly but can’t be higher than 50%.
Some cars may be too old to be covered by kasko.
Calculating the kasko insurance price is complex, so price lists are unavailable online. Contact the insurance company directly to find out the price. Certain companies offer discounts according to the vehicle’s age and for drivers without reported damages.
Kasko is valid in Croatia and other member states of the Green Card System.
Additional car insurance policies called dobrovoljno or dodatno osiguranje can be bought in addition to the mandatory or kasko car insurance. The offer depends on the insurance company.
Additional insurance may cover:
- Driver insurance
- Passenger insurance
- Travel assistance
- Insurance against glass breakage
- Insurance against wild animal attack
- Free repair of a personal vehicle in case of a technical malfunction of the vehicle
- Use of replacement rental car in case of traffic accident
- Roadside assistance in case of vehicle breakdown or traffic accident
- Compensation for the costs of legal protection as a result of the use of the vehicle
- Protection of the acquired bonus under the mandatory auto insurance policy
- Hospital treatment costs
- Compensation for damages you suffered due to body injuries that occurred when you caused the traffic accident
View our other driving posts
- Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Croatia
- How HAK (Croatian Auto Club) helps drivers in Croatia
- How to buy a car in Croatia
- How to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Croatian
- How to get a driver’s license in Croatia
- How to import your car and belongings to Croatia
- How to register a vehicle and get an annual inspection in Croatia
- Vehicle and driver’s license categories in Croatia
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.