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Is American auto insurance valid in Canada?

Some US car insurance policies remain valid when driving into Canada. You may need to present certain documentation at the border — beyond your insurance card. Let’s assess some of the best companies providing Canadian car insurance and what documentation you'll need to stay covered up north.

Which companies provide Canadian car insurance?

Note: many companies have unique policy tiers that apply to international coverage. Before traveling, verify with a customer service representative that you'll be covered once you cross the border. 

The above are some of the most popular companies offering Canada- and America-compatible car insurance policies. Many other private insurers in the US provide coverage in Canada for temporary durations of 30 to 90 days, depending on the insurance provider. It's also worth confirming that all your coverage transfers to Canada: liabilitycollision, and comprehensive (if you have it).

If your visit to Canada will extend beyond 90 days — or if you're moving to Canada — you should purchase a Canadian car insurance policy.

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Rental car insurance in Canada

Although your car insurance policy will cover your personal vehicle, it may not extend to cover a foreign rental car. International coverage for rental vehicles is policy-specific and difficult to generalize. Your best bet is to contact your insurance company and ask if they can provide insurance coverage for renting a vehicle in Canada.

If you’re renting a vehicle in the US to drive into Canada, you might have coverage. Many companies in America will extend coverage to any rented vehicles. However, this is up to your insurance provider and your policy.

Your car insurance policy covers your personal vehicle, but it may not cover a foreign rental car.

What documentation is required to drive into Canada?

Driving into Canada with only your driver’s license is not going to cut it. Although your coverage does transfer to Canada, you will need more documentation. Below are the items you may need in order to drive into Canada:

  1. Driver’s license
  2. Passport, birth certificate, NEXUS, or FAST card
  3. Vehicle registration
  4. Proof of insurance

Proof of insurance can vary. You should be clear to drive with your insurance card but having proof of coverage limits is recommended. Our best recommendation is to bring your entire policy declaration page and information in case the border patrol officer you encounter requests it. Occasionally, they will want to see where it states in your policy your insurance will cover you when you’re driving in Canada. In this case, your insurance company can be a good resource.

For peace of mind, contact your current provider to double-check they will extend coverage into Canada. Most of the time, you should be all set. If you don’t already have an insurance policy in the US, enter your ZIP code below to receive personalized quotes in minutes.

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Need car insurance for your trip to Canada?

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Need long term rental car insurance

You basically have two options. First, you can buy the insurance offered by the rental dealership, which can be somewhat expensive depending on the company and policy.
May 28, 2018 Las Vegas, NV

Hit and run in a rental car?

Refusing to exchange insurance isn't really an option in the event of an accident as it's required by law. I would alert your insurance company and give them all the information available.
Jan 10, 2018 Washington DC

Do I need rental car insurance for driving someone else's car?

You would not need rental car coverage. However, whether or not you have coverage would depend.
Jan 26, 2018 Lakeville, MN

What happens if you total a rental car?

The answer depends on your insurance coverage. If you do not have insurance you will likely be responsible for the cost of the vehicle.
Dec 16, 2018 Tampa, FL

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.