Does My Car Insurance Cover Me if I Cross the U.S. Border?

Car insurance will cover you if you cross the border only in certain places, such as Canada, whereas you must buy extra coverage for most others.
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Traveling abroad can be a source of great joy and even the realization of lifelong dreams. Or, maybe you live close to the Canadian or Mexican border and are just taking a quick drive to a nearby attraction. No matter how you plan to spend your time when you cross the border, it is important to know whether your car insurance still covers you and what sort of coverage you have. In this article, Part 1 covers the details of crossing the border with your current insurance and Part 2 gives tips on how to stay informed of the rules.

Part 1 of 2: Crossing the border with your car insurance plan

Staying covered under your car insurance plan when you cross the border largely depends on where you are traveling. With many policies, you can travel to Canada and even Puerto Rico without worrying about losing your coverage.
On the other hand, travel to Mexico is generally not covered by car insurance and requires a special purchase on your part.
When you’re planning to travel to another country, research your coverage before travelling. This will prevent a crisis when you are already in an accident and do not know the language of the country you are in.
Furthermore, you do not want to enter into a legal and financial nightmare if you are violating foreign laws and have to pay a hefty fee as a result.
The best course of action is to contact your insurance agent and ask about what sort of travel and to what places is covered under your policy. If your plan does not cover you in your anticipated travel location, then ask about purchasing extra coverage. If you will be frequently traveling to locations that your car insurance does not cover under your current policy, it may be worth switching policies.
You can talk to an agent about this - consider shopping around for prices for this sort of plan as well.

Part 2 of 2: Keep informed of your options

If switching or updating your car insurance coverage is not a possibility for you, then you are not out of luck. There are other ways to get coverage when you cross the border so that your travelling can proceed without a hitch.
As one of your options, consider purchasing insurance through a foreign company. They may have temporary plans for travelers that cover you while in the country. Be sure to investigate the details of any plan you intend to buy very carefully. You may be only getting the bare minimum, which might not suffice if you are worried about theft in unknown locations or covering your car.
Secondly, consider getting insurance through your rental car company. This would take a lot of the hassle out of the process for you, especially if the trip is a vacation and not permanent.
Again, you should examine the plan to make certain that you are paying for the coverage you actually want. You don’t want to be left on the hook for the rental car even if you cover the other driver’s vehicle.
At the end of the day, what your car insurance coverage will be in a foreign coverage depends on the place you are traveling, how you are traveling, and your individual insurance plan. If you are in any doubt, speak to an agent who can help you sort through the policy and determine what the best plan is for you.
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