Car Insurance for Road Trips

Do you need a special policy to stay insured when driving across state lines?

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How does car insurance work when traveling cross-country?

Your car insurance will follow you into another US state. If you’re taking a cross-country road trip and are worried about your insurance coverage reaching from Texas to California, rest assured — your policy will cover your interstate travel. Read on to learn more about additional considerations, including how shared driving responsibilities should be handled and some potential coverage limitations. Need coverage for an upcoming trip?  Enter your ZIP code above to receive customized quotes in under 5 minutes and find the best car insurance for you.


Car insurance for road trips

There is no specific road trip car insurance policy. If you’re planning to share driving responsibilities with someone not covered by your insurance policy, you should check to confirm your policy includes permissive use.

The permissive use clause in car insurance extends coverage to someone unlisted on the policy who uses the vehicle infrequently — fewer than 12 times per year. Permissive use allows you to share driving responsibilities during a road trip.

Most popular car insurance companies offer a permissive use option. Some smaller insurance companies offer permissive use with certain restrictions. Check your policy information before your interstate journey!


Auto insurance for traveling to different states: state minimum coverage levels

Car insurance is regulated at the state level, so every state writes and administers its own insurance requirements. For example, below are the minimum required insurance levels in Ohio and Michigan

Coverage Requirement OhioMichigan 
Bodily Injury — Per Person$25,000$20,000
Bodily Injury — Per Event$50,000$40,000
Property Damage$25,000$10,000
Personal Injury ProtectionNoneUnlimited
Personal Protection InsuranceNone$1,000,000

Luckily, if you travel into a state with higher required insurance minimums than yours, your limits will automatically increase to meet the requirements. For example, your Michigan limits would increase to $25K/$50K/$25K if you were to travel to Ohio.

Your liability insurance will not decrease if you travel to another state with lower limits.



Additional resources and considerations

There is not to consider when planning a cross-country road trip in terms of your car insurance. If you’re worried about your vehicle’s capabilities on the open road, consider adding roadside assistance coverage. If someone not listed on the policy will be driving, add permissive use to your policy.

Additional resources


Want permissive use? Enter your ZIP code to see rates

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Ava Lynch
Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.