International Car Insurance Coverage (2024)

Recommended coverages when driving in any foreign country

Auto coverage requirements vary by country (for instance, theft protection is mandatory in Italy), but you'll want to make sure you're covered for the following no matter where you're driving:

  • If renting, physical damage coverage so you aren't held liable to the rental company
  • Coverage for injuries to you and other passengers in case of an accident
  • Coverage for injuries and damages to other drivers and their property if you're at fault in the accident

With so many unknowns associated with driving overseas, consider getting the highest liability coverage you can afford, particularly if the rules of the road and driving behaviors are drastically different than what you're used to in the U.S. Learn more about car insurance coverages in the U.S.

Car insurance for visitors to Mexico

Mexico has strict insurance and driving laws, and the consequences of breaking those laws can be serious. Plan by getting the appropriate coverage and knowing what to do if the unexpected happens:

Car insurance for visitors to Canada

Your U.S. policy automatically covers you in Canada, whether you're driving a rental car or your own car. Your policy covers you for as long as you're driving there, and there's no need to notify your insurance company. Learn more about driving in Canada.

Overseas car insurance: Europe and other countries

Whether you're driving in Ireland, Spain, or elsewhere, regulations and requirements vary for temporary international auto insurance in foreign countries. That's why it's best to get an overseas car insurance policy that's specific to the country or countries you're visiting.

How to get insurance when driving in Europe or another country

Driving your car

Look for an insurance company that specializes in car insurance for the specific country you're visiting or moving to. Requirements can vary widely for each country, and a specialized company can help you purchase the proper international auto insurance coverages.

International rental car insurance

If you're vacationing in another country for a short time, it's typically easiest to get international car rental insurance coverage through the car rental agency. Research any countries you plan to visit to find out the specific rental car insurance requirements of each. For example, international car insurance in Italy requires foreign car renters to purchase the "collision damage waiver" offered by the car rental company. Each country's U.S. embassy is a good starting point for your research.

You may also be able to get insurance through your credit card company when using your card to pay for a rental. Some companies may even offer insurance at no extra charge, but keep in mind that international auto insurance coverage offered through credit cards won't meet some countries' insurance requirements. Call your credit card company to:

  • Find out if you can get rental car insurance through them
  • Make sure the country you're visiting is covered
  • Check that the policy will meet that country's requirements

Of course, you'll need to provide evidence that you're a legal driver before being allowed to cruise off an overseas rental lot. Most European nations, and many other countries outside North America, accept an International Driving Permit (IDP), which is an official translation of your valid U.S. license. The U.S. State Department recommends getting an IDP from one of two qualified organizations: the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). Both allow you to apply via mail, while AAA also offers in-person service at local branch offices.

International Car Insurance Coverage (2024)


Does your car insurance cover you internationally? ›

Most U.S. auto insurers won't cover you while driving abroad, except for driving in Canada and driving in Mexico. Unless you have a credit card offering rental car insurance, you'll probably need to purchase your insurance from the rental company. Learn more about international car insurance and rental car insurance.

What does international coverage mean? ›

International health insurance is medical coverage that covers expatriates living abroad for a long period of time. It's for those that have packed up and taken residence overseas. With this insurance, you can protect yourself in case of any health issues while living there.

Does Geico car insurance cover international? ›

Overseas insurance is insurance for your car, motorcycle, and personal property that's available while you are living outside of the United States. GEICO has provided overseas insurance through its affiliate, GEICO Financial Services GmbH since 1960.

Does Allstate operate internationally? ›

Allstate Corporation owns and operates over 19 companies around the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and India.

Does my US auto insurance cover me in Europe? ›

No, your U.S. car insurance doesn't protect you while driving in Europe. Your rental car fee should include any liability insurance required by the country you're visiting.

Does US auto insurance cover you in Europe? ›

International Auto Insurance

In general, your U.S. car insurance will not cover you while you are abroad (but, some policies may cover you if you are traveling to Canada or Mexico). Even if your insurance is valid, it may not meet that country's minimum requirements.

How do I know if I have international coverage? ›

First and foremost, make sure to contact your health insurance provider to find out if the plan you're on would cover an emergency during a trip overseas. If not, familiarize yourself with your credit card benefits guide and determine whether any included coverage is enough for you.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover worldwide? ›

Blue Cross Blue Shield members have access to medical assistance services, doctors and hospitals in most countries around the world. To learn more about your international coverage visit BCBS Global® Core or contact your local BCBS company.

Why do I need international insurance? ›

By Rick Steves. Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die. What are the chances you'll need it?

Can I drive my car overseas? ›

When you take a car overseas, you can drive it for a limited amount of time with your US license plates, but your US insurance doesn't apply. You'll need to carry local coverage during your stay. Of course, if you're moving permanently, you'll need to register and insure your car in the new country.

Can I use US insurance abroad? ›

U.S. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover medical costs overseas. Private U.S. insurance policies also might not cover any or all expenses. Check with your insurance before traveling to see if it provides coverage overseas. More information is also available on the CDC insurance page.

Can I use my insurance abroad? ›

Remember, many health insurance policies are only valid in network and within the United States. If you're traveling to a foreign country, or even traveling within the United States but out of your provider's network, another health system may not accept your insurance.

Do I need extra insurance when renting a car in Europe? ›

Whichever car hire company you go with, they will provide you with basic insurance – but you'll need to check the small print to see what this covers. Some hire companies will provide you with a damage waiver, which is included in the cost of the car hire.

What car insurance coverage do I need in Mexico? ›

To have coverage while driving in Mexico, you need to buy a separate Mexico tourist auto policy. Mexico car insurance is competitively priced and offers customizable short-term or extended coverage options, including physical damage, liability, vandalism, partial theft, medical payments, roadside assistance, and more.

What countries does Allstate operate in? ›

The Allstate brand's growing network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. Esurance is expanding geographically and in its proprietary product lines to serve self-directed, brand-sensitive customers.

Do I need insurance for international travel? ›

Travel insurance generally provides “invaluable peace of mind,” Puri said. For instance, travel insurance can be a smart investment if you're traveling internationally and purchased a high-cost, nonrefundable trip.

Should you get insurance when traveling abroad? ›

Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling: accidents, illness, missed flights, canceled tours, lost baggage, theft, terrorism, travel-company bankruptcies, emergency evacuation, and getting your body home if you die.

Do you need insurance when traveling abroad? ›

For the most part, your U.S.-based medical insurance provider will not cover your medical treatment when you're abroad. If you want peace of mind while you're on a trip away from your home country, a travel medical insurance plan is your best bet.

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