Hitting the Road: Will Your Auto Insurance Cover You Out of the Country?

If you are planning a trip to the United States, you may be wondering how your car insurance works when you drive your personal vehicle or a rental car over the border. Fortunately, while you are in the U.S., your insurance policy will cover you as outlined in your policy document.

What do you need to do before your trip?

If you’re leaving Canada for an extended period, let your insurance agent or broker know so they can make sure you have appropriate liability limits. Take precautions before leaving Canada on your trip. Consider adding a roadside assistance program if you don't already have one in place.

If you plan to take a rental car over the border, make sure you understand which coverage applies. While the rental firm will cover basic liability, check with your insurance professional to see if you have coverage for damage to a rental vehicle included in your personal auto policy.

You could be eligible for damage to a rental car if you use your credit card to pay the rental fees and your credit card offers that coverage. Make sure you understand the credit card company's policy, though. Call them to make sure their insurance covers the gaps with your primary insurer.

What if you are in an accident while driving outside of Canada?

If you are in a collision while driving in the United States, call your auto insurance company immediately. Even if the damage seems minimal, it's crucial to have your car checked by a mechanic, and your insurance company will help you find one you can trust.

If you must have your car repaired so it's safe to drive, the process works much like it would if you were at home. You may not be able to use a preferred vendor, so make sure you understand whether the insurance company will guarantee the work. If you have rental car coverage, it will apply while you are out of the country, as well. Your insurance company can walk you through the process of getting a vehicle so you have transportation until your car is road-worthy again.

Get travel insurance to help cover medical bills

If you are in a car accident while travelling out of the country, you may sustain injuries that require medical attention. Travel insurance can help cover those costs. If you need emergency medical attention, including ambulance trips, emergency room care, hospitalization, and prescription medications, travel insurance can help prevent hundreds or even thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket bills. It may also cover costs associated with getting you home if you prefer to complete treatment there.

Before leaving Canada, make sure you understand exactly what's covered under your auto insurance policy. The best way to do this is by contacting the company, directly. By shopping Canada's highly competitive auto insurance marketplace , you could get more coverage for a smaller premium.