Car Insurance while Traveling Abroad

The majority of drivers must purchase separate car insurance while traveling abroad. If your insurer doesn't cover rental cars, you may have to purchase short-term coverage through the rental agency.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you plan on driving while you travel abroad, you will need insurance coverage
  • In some cases, your current coverage may extend to the cars you rent in another country, but in many cases, you will need to purchase separate coverage
  • You can find car insurance coverage in many different ways

Whether you are going overseas for an extended period or just a short vacation, if you will be driving, you need to make sure that you will have the right type of car insurance coverage before you leave.

Having an accident is a stressful situation no matter where you are, but if you are in another country where the procedures and laws can be very different, the stress of an accident can be substantially increased.

Having the right type of car insurance can save you a lot of trouble when you’re traveling abroad.

Compare insurance rates from multiple companies today with just your zip code!

Most people like to consider more than just premium rates when choosing something as important as a car insurance provider. The opinions of other drivers are critical as well.

To see what other consumers think of potential car insurance providers in your area, just go to the websites like J.D. Power and Associates, A.M. Best, or the Better Business Bureau

Will my current car insurance policy cover me outside of the U.S.?

The majority of car insurance policies will not cover the driver if they are in an accident outside of the United States.

While some policies will extend to Mexico or Canada, the driver should not take the chance of driving in a foreign country without being sure they have adequate coverage.

Even if the driver’s car insurance policy does extend into another country, the policy will most likely cover for that country’s insurance minimum, which might not cover the cost of an accident.

Also, since the majority of people use rental cars when driving in other countries, the driver needs to know their insurance provider’s rental cars policy.

Most insurance companies do not cover rental cars, and the driver might have to get coverage through the car rental company.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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What should I look for when choosing an overseas car insurance provider?

When a driver knows they are going to be driving in another country, the first thing they should do is contact their current car insurance provider for information.

Their insurance agent should be able to explain what their current policy covers, if anything, and the agent should be able to offer the driver advice on what type of coverage they need and where they can get that coverage.

The most important thing someone should look for when choosing an overseas car insurance provider is a reputable company with a large international presence.

Geico Insurance is a car insurance provider that is very well known in the United States and also has a significant presence in other countries.

If the driver is in an accident abroad, dealing with a company with which they are familiar can be a big comfort.

Choosing a company that has a long history of international car insurance is the best choice since they will know more about the laws in those countries and the best way to handle an accident.

Geico currently offers international car insurance to people in the military, employees of the government, third-world country nationals, expatriates, and tourists.

Not only will a leading provider like this one know how to handle an accident in another country, but they will also be able to tell you exactly what type of coverage and how much of that coverage you will need before you ever leave.

Geico has experience with providing car insurance in more than two hundred countries and offers a 24-hour claim line, so the driver will always be able to contact them for help no matter where they are in the world.

Geico also settles all of its international claims in American currency and provides policies that Americans are familiar with, and that will always be in English.

Are there other ways to get international car insurance coverage?

If a driver will only be on vacation and will be using a rental car, they can look into getting insurance through the car rental agency. Most rental car providers offer an adequate amount of liability, collision, and comprehensive car insurance coverage to their renters.

If the driver is overseas for a short time, insurance through the rental agency might be the best choice.

Also, many people consider coverage through their credit card company. Many credit cards on the market today offer some travel insurance.

Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance rates from multiple providers!



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