History of the CoB

End of the 19th c.

Arrival of motor vehicles in Europe: an event for celebration!
But no total celebration since persons injured or damaged by those vehicles had no certain access to compensation.

1918-1940

  • Gradual introduction in European Countries of compulsory Third Party motor insurance. But remedy was incomplete: financial protection available only to victims of motorists resident in their countries and not for victims of visiting motorists from other countries.
  • Search for a solution entrusted to the Institute of Rome for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). No positive outcome and in any event studies interrupted by the Second World War.
  • In four Northern countries (DK, FIN, N, S) a system of mutual recognition of Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) insurance is introduced, that will later inspire the Green Card System and the 1st European Motor Insurance Directive.

1947

  • Problem taken up by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) of the United Nations -> question posed to Governments: "Could the legislation of your countries contemplate an agreement by which insurers or a Bureau of insurers in their countries undertake to reimburse an insurance company or Bureau of insurers in another country, amounts paid by the latter to victims of road accidents?" -> Positive replies!
  • Idea formulated by certain Governments, much assisted by advice and assistance from Insurance Experts, for a System of the International Certificate of Motor Insurance ("Green Card System") which took some account of arrangements existing in the Nordic countries.
  • Led to the issue, by the Sub-Committee on Road Transport of the ECE, of Recommendation No 5 - (E/ECE/TRANS/145 - E/EEC/TRANS SC1/C 39) - 25th January 1949

1949

International Conference of Motor Insurers convened in London by Motor Insurers’ Bureau United Kingdom at which:

  • the ECE. Recommendation was approved
  • the Council of Bureaux (CoB) was established
  • Guy F. Johnson (GB) appointed as first Chairman of the CoB.
  • Secretariat services were entrusted to Motor Insurers’ Bureau (GB) – the Secretariat later established, in 1991, as an independent entity.

1949

Members: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, The Netherlands, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland/Liechtenstein, United Kingdom.

1951

  • First official meeting of the CoB– Adoption of model for an Agreement between National Insurers’ Bureaux
  • Format of the Green Card settled
  • Adoption of a Declaration to the ECE that Insurance Markets were now ready for amendments by Governments to national legislation to provide for the introduction of the Green Card System

1951

New member: German Democratic Republic

1952

Resolution No.43 adopted by the Economic Commission for Europe formally approving the Green Card System, the form of the International Motor Insurance Card (“Green Card”)

1953

Implementation of the Green Card System on the 1st January 1953

1953

New member: Italy, Spain, Portugal

1954

New members: Austria, Serbia

1958

New member: Poland

1959

  • Introduction by the CoB, at the request of ECE, of a model form of Agreement between individual Bureaux, to facilitate the abolition of the presentation of Green Cards
  • Clifford W. Rivington (GB), Chairman of the CoB until 1967

1960

New member: Hungary

1964

New member: Turkey

1965

A decision to extend the territory of the Green Card System to certain countries outside Europe

1965

New member: Romania

1967

Stephen O. Masefield (GB), Chairman of the CoB until 1983

1968

New member: Israel

1969

New members: Morocco, Tunisia

1970

New member: Iceland

1971

New member: Bulgaria

1972

Adoption of the 1st Motor Insurance Directive: by this Directive, the control of Green Cards for vehicles normally based in a Member State of the European Union entering the territory of another Member State, was abolished.

1973

Supplementary Agreements between Western European Bureaux

1974

  • Supplementary Agreements between Western European Bureaux, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic and Hungary.
  • Alternative Green Card format proposed to and accepted by ECE

1976

New member: Iran

1982

Peter Morgan (GB), Secretary General of the CoB until 1998

1983

Peter J. Sherman (GB), Chairman of the CoB until 1991

1983

Adoption of the 2nd Motor Insurance Directive

1984

Consolidated Resolution of the Economic Commission for Europe on the Facilitation of Road Transport

1985

New member: Malta

1990

Adoption of the 3rd Motor Insurance Directive

1991

  • Constitution of the CoB adopted.
  • Secretariat of the CoB became an independent entity.
  • New text and signature of the Uniform Agreement.
  • Signature by 19 Bureaux of a Multilateral Guarantee Agreement, based on Directive of 1972 and subsequent Directives, which unified and replaced pre-existing bilateral Agreements supplemental to the Uniform Agreement – thereafter extended to include 4 other Bureaux. - Raffaele Deidda (I), President of the CoB until 1997

1992

New members:  Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Slovenia

1994

Protection of Visitors Agreement to provide assistance to visitors who are victim of an accident in the visited countries

1994

New member: F.Y.R.O.M

1996

New members: Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus

1997

  • Creation of Transitional Membership for all new Members accepted by the Council
  • Ulf D. Lemor (D), President of the CoB until 2005

1997

New members: Moldova, Ukraine

1998

Michael J. Nicholson (GB), Secretary General of the CoB until 2007

1998

New member: Latvia

1999

The CoB celebrates 50 years of its existence in Oxford, England

2000

Adoption of the 4th Motor Insurance Directive
For the EEA countries, the PoV agreement of 1994 is superseded by the directive

2003

New members: Belarus, Lithuania

2005

Adoption of the 5th Motor Insurance Directive

2005

Ulf Blomgren (S), President of the CoB until 2010

2006

Secretariat services of the CoB are transferred to new offices in Brussels

2007

Alain Pire (B), Secretary General of the CoB until 2012

2009

New member: Russia

2009

Adoption of the Codified Motor Insurance Directive

2010

Mariusz Wichtowski (PL), President of the CoB until 2015

2012

Greet Floré (B), Secretary General of the CoB

2012

New Protection of Visitors Agreement(completely reviewed)

2012

New member: Montenegro

2015

Jean Zenners (L), President of the CoB until 2020

2016

New member: Azerbaijan