No matter where you live, your standard car insurance policy will normally cover you in all 50 states and Canada. Your policy will not cover international travel outside Canada. Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state. State minimums and types of coverage vary, but nearly every state that requires insurance requires liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury.
The only exception is Florida, which only requires liability coverage for property damage in addition to PIP coverage. The main reason why car insurance is mandatory in almost every state is because of your personal liability (liability) if you cause an accident. By requiring liability insurance, specifically for victims of an accident caused by you, they can receive financial help for injuries and property damage without seriously affecting their own financial well-being. That's why it's also important to know how much car insurance you need, so as not to jeopardize your personal assets in the event of an accident.
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However, if you cross international borders or move to another state, you must inform your car insurance company. Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money. Is my insurance covered when I travel out of state? When doesn't auto insurance cover me out of state? How to check your car insurance policy Auto insurance is an essential protection that covers you if you're at fault in a car accident.
You can also pay for damage to your own vehicle, for injuries suffered by you or your passengers, and even pay for repairs if your car is subject to vandalism or damage from hail or other extreme weather conditions. Your car insurance policy is specific to you and your current address; in fact, your insurance premium is calculated, in part, based on where your car is parked, that is, where it spends most of its time. But that doesn't mean that your insurance coverage is limited to the state in which you live. Your car insurance will cover you in every state, no matter where in the U.S.
However, if you've permanently moved to another state or are going to drive to Mexico or Canada, the answer might be different. Your car insurance coverage extends across the U.S. To that end, meeting the minimum insurance coverage in another state doesn't matter, as long as you have the minimum in your home state. Car insurance companies often refer to the possibility of increasing limits as an extenuating clause.
This clause also takes into account your additional coverage needs if you drive to a no-fault state that requires personal injury protection (PIP). If you don't have this protection and you have an accident in a state where PIP is required (commonly called a no-fault state), your insurance company will normally extend your coverage to pay for the injuries you suffer in an accident due to this particular incident. If you're moving to a new state, your current insurance may cover you in the short term while you drive to your next destination. However, you will have to update your current policy or purchase a new insurance policy in your new state of residence to meet the insurance requirements there.
You should start preparing for this as soon as you know when and where you will be moving. If your current insurance company also issues policies in your new state, you can contact them and let them know that you are moving. Ask them how much a new policy would cost at their updated address and remember that you can purchase a policy in advance and set it up to take effect on the date you want it to start. However, sticking with your current provider may not be the best option.
If they don't offer policies in your new state, you'll have to compare prices anyway, and even if they sell insurance where you're moving, they may not have the best rates. Work with an independent broker or do your own research to find out who can offer you the best coverage for your money in your new state of residence. If you're planning a road trip from the U.S. In Mexico, your car insurance probably won't cover you, and even if your car insurance company offers limited coverage, it may not be recognized by Mexico's requirements.
You will need to purchase a special type of temporary insurance to drive in Mexico. Many of the major auto insurance companies partner with Mexican insurance companies to offer special coverage to tourists who drive their cars south of the border, so you can even buy this type of coverage long before your trip. Even if your car insurance offers you limited coverage in Mexico, the country requires drivers to have a minimum amount of car insurance through a Mexican provider, so you'll still have to purchase special car insurance for your trip. However, most insurance companies do cover you if you drive north of the border into Canada.
If you have time before you hit the road for an interstate road trip, it's a good idea to check your car insurance policy or call your insurance agent to make sure that your policy has an extension clause or that it covers where you plan to drive and your particular situation. In person at a physical branch of your car insurance company. You can find out if you have a valid insurance policy by calling your auto insurance company or by contacting the DMV to help you find car insurance. You may be asked to provide information such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), registration number, and your license number.
You may be able to stay with the same insurance company when you move to another state, you just have to update your address and manage any changes to your policy. Check with an insurance agent before changing states to see if they will cover you when you move. Senior Managing Writer & Auto Insurance Expert Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert Stephanie Nieves was an editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. His work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale and The Muse.
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The insurance policy quotes or premium ranges shown are not binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the insurance company upon application. If you are using a screen reader and are having problems using this website, call 1-855-695-2255 for assistance. New Hampshire is one of the few states that doesn't require car insurance.
However, Granite State drivers must show that they have the financial resources to cover damages if they are involved in an accident. If you have a serious car accident but have low insurance limits, another driver, pedestrian, or homeowner can use your savings accounts, future earnings, and other assets to recover the damages. Together, these basic coverages are what is considered the state minimum, which is often the most affordable option possible for car insurance. However, drivers who choose not to purchase auto insurance must show that they have sufficient funds to meet the state's financial responsibility requirements (PDF) in the event that they cause an accident.
Every state has minimum car insurance requirements, the amount of coverage you need to be legally insured and, in general, you must have this coverage to drive your car. Stephanie Nieves was an editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Full coverage auto insurance is minimal car insurance plus collision, comprehensive, and PIP coverage (if your state doesn't require it). .