How Traveling Affects Your Policies and Coverage

Although it may not occur to everyone before they take off on a long anticipated vacation or other journey, insurance coverage is an important thing to consider when traveling.

Can I drive into another country?

Most personal auto policies provide coverage for driving in Canada. Mexican law requires that you purchase separate liability coverage prior to operating your vehicle in Mexico. Your personal auto policy may provide some limited coverage but this coverage must meet their insurance requirements.

We recommend that you check with us before taking your car across the border. Failure to purchase the proper Mexican liability insurance could result in a substantial fine if you are involved in an accident while driving in Mexico. It is best to be prepared so your travel plans do not turn into a travel nightmare.

Do I need insurance to rent a car?

If you have adequate insurance on your own car, including collision and comprehensive, this may be enough. We recommend that you strongly consider purchasing the additional insurance offered by the rental car company because their policies cover loss of use fees, which can sometimes add up rather fast depending how long a claim is processed.

Before you rent a car, contact us to find out how much coverage you have on your own car or to find out about non-owner auto liability policies if you do not already have insurance. In most cases, the coverage and deductibles you have on your policy would apply to a rental car. In addition, call your credit card company to find out what insurance your card provides because levels of coverage can vary.

Some rental car companies may check your credit and driving history and could deny coverage. Some rental car companies combine personal accident and personal effects coverage together as one type of insurance, while others sell it individually. Check with the rental car company to find out its policy.

If you are renting a car in another country, do your research first because there are at least 40 countries that require an International Driving Permit. An IDP is easy to obtain for a small fee and serves as proof that you hold a valid driver's license in your own country. It provides a translation into several languages, mainly so that police and other authorities in other countries can read your license in their own language.

Are my personal belongings covered when I travel?

Most homeowners policies include off-premises coverage. This means that your belongings are covered anywhere in the world, unless you have decided against off-premises coverage. Some companies limit off-premises coverage to 10% of the amount of insurance you have for your possessions through your homeowners policy.

Most companies provide coverage for 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. So if you have $100,000 worth of insurance on the structure of your home, you would have between $50,000 to $70,000 worth of coverage for your belongings.

If you have additional questions about traveling in regards to your insurance policies, please contact Mitchell Noel.

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