Car Insurance for Driving Abroad

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Here's what you need to know...
  • If you plan to have an extended stay in another country, you may need to buy international car insurance
  • Consider everything you want coverage for as rental insurance can get extremely costly over time
  • Compare quotes before purchasing coverage from one company


If you plan on traveling out of the country, you may need to consider getting comprehensive car insurance for driving abroad. If you are simply going on vacation and renting a car, then you should be able to buy car insurance from the car rental company.

However, if you are planning on a long-term stay, then you may actually need to buy international car insurance or have some form of proof of financial responsibility, depending on the country’s requirements.

Every country has different legalities, so it is a good idea to investigate all of your options and necessities ahead of time so that you are fully prepared.

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What Comprehensive Car Insurance Covers

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Comprehensive car insurance covers a miscellaneous array of incidents that can occur to your car at any time.

Any incident involving an accident is covered either by collision insurance or by liability insurance, depending on who is at fault and what coverage you have. However, there are many other things that can happen to cause damage to your car that are not covered by collision insurance.

Some of these things include:

If you do not have comprehensive car insurance, then the damages to your car will not be covered by your policy and you will have to pay for the expenses out of your own pocket.

If you have comprehensive car insurance on your car in the United States, that does not necessarily carry over to another country.

It is a good idea to check with your insurance agent before you travel abroad and secure the necessary insurance in advance so that you are prepared before you travel.

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Depending on your situation, you may need rental car insurance or international car insurance.

Rental Car Insurance

Most rental car companies offer their own rental car insurance. If you do not have car insurance that carries over to rental cars, especially when you are abroad, then it is a good idea to consider buying the rental car insurance.

Check with your insurance agent to see what is covered and also contact your credit card company to see if they offer any insurance protection on rental cars that are secured with that credit card.

If you are traveling for business, another option to consider is if your company has corporate car insurance that will cover you while you are abroad. Check with your supervisor or human resource director for information regarding their policy.

The different types of car insurance that most rental car companies offer include Collision and Loss Damage, Supplemental Liability, Personal Accident, and Personal Effects Coverage.

Most types of coverage are sold separately, but sometimes they are bundled into different packages as well. The cost of all four types of coverage together could add up to approximately $30 per day above the cost of the actual rental itself.

When it comes to comprehensive car insurance, it is important to realize that the Collision Damage Waiver sold to you by the car rental company is not actually insurance.

There is no underwriting involved; rather this type of coverage is a waiver that will cover your financial responsibility in the event you are involved in a collision or comprehensive type of incident such as theft or vandalism. This type of coverage alone can cost up to $20 per day.

International Car Insurance

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In the event that you plan on an extended international stay you may need an international car insurance policy.

Not every insurance company offers an international policy, but some domestic companies have it as an option.

Although most international car insurance policies will cost more than your domestic policy, it is insurance that is worth the cost, especially if the car you are driving is rented or borrowed.

Several types of international car insurance are available for driving abroad.

In addition to liability for bodily injury and property damage, medical insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment, you can also buy collision and comprehensive insurance, rental reimbursement, and reimbursement for towing and labor.

To get comprehensive car insurance for driving abroad, start with domestic insurance companies that have well-known reputations.

It is very important to have confidence when you are driving overseas that, if there is an accident, your insurance company will be there for you.

Finding a company with 24-hour access is also beneficial since the time difference from overseas to the United States can be quite staggering. Because the insurance is more costly, it is also a good idea to get several quotes.

You can get rates from various companies now by entering your zip code below!

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