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Auto insurance abroad


Auto insurance rules and regulations can differ greatly across the world. Do not assume that your domestic policy will cover you in other countries.

Here’s how local laws might affect your coverage when traveling internationally in North America or Europe.

Crossing the border—insurance in Mexico

Mexico has no federal laws that require motorists to have liability insurance (though some jurisdictions may have their own rules). It’s estimated that more than half of all vehicles on the road in Mexico are uninsured. There, you are only required to demonstrate proof of your ability to pay for damages caused by negligence.

While it may not be required, it’s strongly recommended that you have insurance when driving in Mexico. Serious accidents there can land you in custody, during which officials will determine fault and confirm your ability to pay for damages. As soon as it’s confirmed that you have valid insurance coverage, you’ll be free to go.

Crossing the border—insurance in Canada

Canada’s insurance laws align more closely with those in the U.S. All drivers must have liability insurance in the minimum amount of $200,000 (except in Quebec, where just $50,000 is required). A U.S. driver’s license is accepted in Canada, and most (but not all) U.S. insurance policies will cover you while visiting our neighbors to the north.

Crossing the pond—insurance in Europe

Your domestic insurance policy will most likely will not cover you in Europe. To find out if it does, you should contact your agent or read through your policy to identify any exclusions for driving outside of the country.

In the European Union, every country abides by the First Directive of Motor Insurance. Like when you travel between states in the U.S., coverage you buy in one E.U. country will also apply in the others.

In countries outside the European Union, you should check with your car rental company about local regulations. Regulations may vary, and you want to make sure you are protected with at least the minimum required coverage.

In case of an accident

If you are ever involved in an accident, the best thing to do is call the claim number on the back of your insurance card. They will walk you through the steps of the claim process, and clarify any questions you have about what to do.

Find the coverage that’s right for you

John B. Wright Insurance Company’s knowledgeable agents can help ensure your coverage matches your needs. Request a quote to get started.

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