Planning a road trip with the family? Embracing the snowbird lifestyle? Before driving across the Canadian border, take some time to review your car insurance. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re covered across the border.
Does your car insurance cover you across the border?
Most insurance policies will cover you when you drive across the border to the U.S. But, it’s always a good idea to review your policy before you leave. Sometimes you’re limited by how many days you’re covered abroad. There could even be restrictions to specific coverages. It’s also good to know the insurance requirements of the state that you’re crossing into. These things will help you find and plan for any gaps in your coverage.
Do you need extra coverage?
If you often make trips across the border, there are a couple things we recommend:
- Increase your
liability coveragelimit. The U.S. is known for having much higher insurance payouts. So, if you’re responsible for an accident south of the border, you could find yourself paying a lot of money out of pocket. Increasing your liability limit will lower the amount you’ll have to cover.
- Add Family Protection coverage. Also known as “Endorsement 44”. In the U.S., coverage requirements are often much lower than in Canada. If you’re injured in an accident the other person may not have enough liability coverage to fully compensate you. This extra coverage would match the limit of your own policy to cover your injuries.
How do you file a claim when you’re across the border?
The good news is that
- Unique state regulations
- Limitations to your policy while abroad
- Coverage of the other parties involved
No matter what, your claims professional will be there to help explain everything to you.
What about rental car insurance?
Planning to take a rental car across the border or grab one once you’re there? Be sure to check that your policy will cover you. If it does, make sure that all of your coverages will apply.
If your policy doesn’t currently cover rental vehicles, you have a few options:
- Update your policy to cover rental vehicles. This will cover you, and anyone else on your policy, any time you rent a vehicle – at home or abroad for damage and liability. Plus, if you have other coverage like
accident benefits, you’ll be covered for personal injury.
- Purchase coverage through the rental company. This is a good idea if the value of your rental vehicle exceeds the limits of your own policy. You can often purchase both damage and liability coverage options if you’re not already covered by your own policy.
- Get coverage using your credit card. Most credit cards offer coverage for theft or damage to the rental car, up to a limit. But, they won’t provide liability coverage. To get this coverage, you need to use the card to reserve and pay for the rental vehicle.
Reviewing your policy is the first step to making sure you’re prepared to drive across the border. It’s also a good idea to brush up on some