If you are a US citizen planning to visit or tour Canada, it’s important to understand if your US auto insurance will be accepted in Canada and if there are any coverage limitations. Too many Canadian visitors find out after an accident if their auto insurance coverage is acceptable in Canada.
It’s certainly your responsibility as a driver to know BEFORE you drive across the border.
Am I covered by my U.S. policy in Canada?
Most US auto policies cover you driving in Canada as long as you are only visiting and not planning to stay permanently. To be certain, check with your agent and ask for a temporary Canadian auto insurance card.
What about rental car coverage?
If you intend to rent a vehicle while visiting Canada, your US coverage generally transfers to the rental car. You may however, want to purchase the additional coverage that most car rental companies offer in order to fill any gaps in coverage.
For example, although your US insurance will cover for damages to the rental vehicle resulting from an at-fault accident, you will still be responsible for the deductible and in most cases, your US auto insurance will not cover for “loss of use” charges by the car rental company. Once again, get some advice from your US insurance representative.
Must Have documents while driving in Canada
Since your US drivers license is valid while visiting Canada, this is a no-brainer. You should also have your passport for returning to the US. Children and other family members must have Passports or birth certificates and, if you have non-related minors with you, be certain to have an emergency medical affidavit as well.
If you’re in an accident in Canada
Typically, reporting an accident while driving in Canada is no different than reporting one in the US. Call the claims department as soon as possible. Canadian officials will provide an accident report very similar to a US report and advise when and where you can obtain a copy for your insurance company. In Ontario, you will have 24 hours to drive to an accident reporting center, where your car will be inspected for damage and an accident report completed.