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  Ohio Michigan 
Bodily Injury — Per Person $25,000 $20,000
Bodily Injury — Per Event $50,000 $40,000
Property Damage $25,000 $10,000
Personal Injury Protection None Unlimited
Personal Protection Insurance None $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 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. For additional insight, check out our pages on non-owner car insurancetemporary car insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage.


Want permissive use? Enter your ZIP code to see rates

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Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as 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.