The United States may be our neighbors, but they’re still an independent country. They have their own laws and regulations. When Canadian drivers are driving in the United States they have to respect the laws of that country. The onus is on them to be aware of their legal responsibilities. For those that travel regularly across the border for work or pleasure, it’s important to have proper coverage. You don’t need separate car insurance coverage – you just need to make sure that your policy is recognized in the US.
Occasional US Drivers
If you only travel to the US on the odd occasion for day trips you really don’t have too much to worry about. Your existing insurance policy will cover you in the US and provide you with the protection you need. It’s still a good idea to check with your agent to ensure that you have the right kind of coverage. When driving in the US be sure to comply with their laws. If you do you should be just fine.
Daily US Commuters
The situation is much different for commuters making daily trips back-and-forth to the US. As long as your primary residence remains in Canada and you return to Canada every day your normal insurance will cover you in the US. Again, you need to check with your insurance agent as every policy may be a little bit different.
Extended Vacations in the US
Many retired Canadians spend their winters in warmer US states such as Florida. If this describes you probably have some questions about the effectiveness of your Canadian auto insurance coverage while there. As long as you spend at least six months or more in Canada every year and retain your Canadian citizenship you can continue to insure your vehicle in Canada. Your Canadian insurance and license will work just fine in Florida for the duration of your time there.
What Happens If I Rent a Car in the US?
If you decide to rent a car while travelling in the US you’ll have to be a little more diligent to make sure that you’re covered. In most cases your Canadian insurance will cover you for normal liability issues. It may not cover you for comprehensive collision and you don’t want to be on the hook for replacing the rental car. Always make sure to check with your insurance company on what type of coverage you have for your rental car. If you need to don’t hesitate to talk to the rental car company about getting extended coverage to protect yourself.
You’re Covered in the US
You should always talk to your insurance agent directly about your coverage for clarification. The simple answer to the question are you covered by your Canadian insurance in the US is yes. You don’t have to buy separate insurance coverage when driving in the US. A Canadian policy will work just fine in just about every circumstance.