Is Car Insurance Different South of the Border?

Is Car Insurance Different South of the Border?

When living in Toronto, we might drive passed Niagara Falls and into the States regularly. International driving has implications that we must take into account when purchasing car insurance. Insurance is something that we hope that we never have to use, but we always have to have. We must be ready to prove our insurance is current and covers us for the location that we are in, and the purpose of our journey.

The cost of car insurance depends on the car we drive, our average mileage, purposes for our car journeys, and our driving history. These things are all taken for granted. It could also depend on where we live, where we drive, and who is in the car.

Driving around Toronto is a daunting task. There are more cars in the city than anywhere else in Ontario, so the chance for small crashes increases. Driving on the expressway or doing a quick commute to and from work, insurance is the thing that protects us, our passengers and our car.

There are so many options when choosing car insurance and a lot of companies competing for our business. With a trusted broker working for us, choosing the best car insurance can be a lot simpler.

Some Changes In Insurance South of the Border
American and Canadian Insurance Law requires that the driver is insured and can pay for damages. The driver should carry their insurance card with them at all times and produce it when asked. In the US and Canada, some States have a “No-Fault” policy, which means that drivers can not sue other drivers in cases of negligence.
There are liability limits in both countries. In the States, the amount varies by state, but in Canada, the Government sets the limit, so there is no difference when driving long distances. We need insurance to pay for damages. Without comprehensive insurance, the damage to our car will not be paid for

What Are the Big Differences to Be Aware Of?
One of the biggest differences is in Quebec. Here the government pays damages and not the insurance company. Our Pink Card in Canada is different from that in the States, but we must carry it at all times.

In Canada, if a car is registered, it is considered to be insured, but if the insurance lapses or payments stop, the car is no longer registered. This is not the case in the USA. Driving an unregistered car is illegal and punishable.

Some cars in Canada can be over-insured with the need for extra liability coverage. In the USA, this is not the case unless the car is partly owned by a Lender and not owned by the driver. This extra liability can help to resolve insurance claims faster.

Important things that we must do before heading south of the Border?
Firstly we need to ensure that we have insurance for the full duration of our trip south. If insurance expires during the journey, it can have some serious repercussions.

We need to protect our family as the most important people in our lives. Getting family protect endorsement and increasing our liability coverage will give extra support in case of an accident. Some drivers in the US do not have enough coverage to pay for injuries to passengers, so it is always best to cover our families first.

Do not drive to Mexico. Firstly, it is a long journey, and so much can happen on long journeys, and secondly, Canadian cars are generally not covered for insurance in Mexico.

Moving to the US will mean that we need a new car insurance policy. Canadian insurers only cover Canadian residents. Finally, if driving into the US is a regular journey, it could affect premiums and costs. This is something that we must discuss with brokers before signing the agreement.

Final Thoughts
When we drive long distances, we always check the weather. We also need to check our insurance policy, making sure that it is valid and will not expire during the journey.

Make sure that our insurance covers our car, our passengers, and ourselves. Be organized with the policy and be prepared to show evidence of insurance and other documentation at the border, or when stopped by police. Have a document pouch available and in easy reach at all times containing insurance details and licenses.

The weather will be warmer, but the reception for uninsured drivers is colder. Being prepared at all times will make the trip enjoyable and safe.

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