Does Your Car Insurance Extend to Other Countries?

Traveling to another country can be a life-changing experience. Meeting new people, trying new foods and having new experiences are all part of immersing yourself in a new culture.

Many people like to rent a car to visit nearby cities and explore other terrains. But, driving a car other than your own, in a country you aren’t a citizen of, can be tricky.  Will your current auto insurance cover you in another country? Do you need to buy supplemental insurance to increase your coverage like the rental company claims?

Know the facts before you hit the road:

1. Contact your current auto insurance company and see if your coverage extends to where you plan to travel to.  If it doesn’t, you have some other options to consider before you opt for the pricey insurance the car rental company will undoubtedly push you to purchase.

2. Some credit card companies like Mastercard and American Express offer you coverage if you pay for your rental with your credit card. They may even offer a discount if you rent through a preferred rental car company. Call them in advance to find out the terms of liability and bodily injury coverage they provide.

3. Travel insurance is also another option because it may include a provision on rental car coverage. Ask your travel agent the costs associated with adding car rental coverage to your package if it doesn’t already include it. In this case, you’ll want to also call the car rental company, tell them where you’re traveling and find out what the additional insurance will cost from them so that you can compare prices. Keep in mind that you may also incur a fee from your credit card company since the car rental charge will be done with international funds.

4. Finally, if you’re visiting family or friends in the country, see if you can borrow their car and what their insurance covers. Certain auto insurance policies cover all drivers who operate the vehicle. Your own insurance may also cover you for an additional, one-time fee. Or, you may already be covered and don’t have to worry about any extra coverage at all.

If your current car insurance doesn’t include international coverage, check out other auto insurance quotes and see who does—you may find it’s not much extra to switch companies for better coverage.

And, remember to do your research before you say bon voyage—so you can spend your trip enjoying the scenery instead of haggling for better auto insurance coverage.