• International Car Insurance: How it Works for You

    If you are planning to drive in a foreign country you need to research international car insurance. There are two situations that differ in this situation; are you driving your car into a foreign country or are you planning to borrow or rent a vehicle while visiting a foreign county.

    When thinking of visiting a foreign county, it is best to purchase the insurance before you leave for the trip. There are many domestic insurance companies that offer international insurance policies or are affiliated with international providers to give you the coverage you need along with the knowledge of the laws and documentation needed to operate a vehicle in the country you will be visiting.

    Using Your Car in a Foreign Country

    The cost of insurance varies in situation and location. A country with a history of safe driving and lower crime will have lower premium rates then a country with a bad history. For instance Canada is known as a country with lower crime and good driving standards. Mexico has a bad history of both crime and car accidents. Because of this, it is cheaper to buy insurance coverage to drive your car to Canada than in Mexico.

    Depending on your length of stay, you can buy insurance for a day, a week or even months. If the trip is a spur of the moment decision, usually near the border crossing, there are places you can purchase an insurance policy to the country your about to enter. Be careful, some of these places sell honest insurance from a reputable company and some are just scams. It is best to contact your insurance provider and check your coverage with your current policy. If you are not covered, most companies will have some type of insurance you can purchase from them.

    Obtaining International Insurance for use Abroad

    If you are planning to travel abroad and plan to rent or borrow a vehicle, many times your insurance will cover you. This type of coverage are usually limited to only 30 days at a time and 90 days total per year and for personal use only. If this is not suitable for your needs, you will need to obtain a policy to cover you.

    It is advisable before you purchase any insurance coverage, to research the laws and restrictions to be able to operate a vehicle in the country you are planning to visit. Many countries accept a foreign driver’s license for a limited period of time, usually 90 days. Some countries require an international driver’s license. Obtaining an international driver’s license may take some time, so plan ahead.

    Some international insurance companies do not offer insurance coverage for all countries. If this is the case, you might need to purchase insurance in that country. If you are renting a vehicle in that country, most of these rental companies will offer insurance with the rental. If you will be borrowing a vehicle, you need to find out what documentation you will need to purchase insurance in that country. Visiting that countries embassy or consulate website or contact them by phone or in person. You need to make sure any insurance policy you purchase will cover you, your occupants and the vehicle for all circumstances including crimes, disaster and local disturbances. Also make sure the insurance covers costs for legal assistance in case there is an accident.