News & Resources

Does Your Car Insurance Cover You When Travelling Out-of-Province?

May 14, 2021
3 mins
A male driver sits smiling with a female passenger on a bright day

After being cooped up at home for more than a year, the continuing rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations may soon offer Canadians a reprieve: an opportunity to take an out-of-province road trip.

That means summertime road trips may be on the minds of many Canadians. Whether it’s possible to do so a few months from now or not remains to be seen. Nevertheless, if you are planning to take a road trip outside of your home province, there is more to consider than what route to take and where to stay.

Whether you choose to rough it in the woods or visit a cottage, be prepared to make your road trip a safe and enjoyable experience. That might mean bringing a few useful gadgets along with you for both convenience and safety. It also means making sure your vehicle is in good condition and ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage.

The good news is your car insurance policy covers you in other provinces and the U.S. should you venture stateside once the border reopens. But there's a caveat. Your policy might not be enough to take care of costs that arise if you injure someone in the states.

Car insurance is valid for travel in Canada and the U.S.

In general, your car insurance follows you in Canada and to the U.S. If you are hurt in an accident in the U.S., your auto policy’s mandatory accident benefits coverage will cover some medical costs. You, therefore, have some protection for yourself and your passengers, even when driving outside of your province. Ontario and Quebec have no-fault insurance schemes, which means you deal with your insurer regardless of who is responsible for the accident.

car mascot.png

Don't waste time calling around for auto insurance

Use RATESDOTCA to shop around, and compare multiple quotes at the same time.

Consider additional protection for U.S. trips

Things are more complicated if passengers in another car suffer injuries. In some U.S. states, like New Hampshire and Virginia, automobile insurance coverage is not mandatory, and there's the risk that drivers are on the road without insurance. In the event of an accident, if there's no insurance, you may end up footing part of the bill.

Standard Canadian auto insurance policies have some provisions for handling this scenario. You are required to have uninsured motorist coverage, which applies if the other driver is uninsured. You also have to have some third-party liability coverage, which may cover injuries and vehicle damage to the other vehicles involved in the crash.

However, third-party liability coverage may not be enough. In Quebec, the minimum you must carry is $50,000; in Alberta and Ontario, it's $200,000. That may sound like a lot, but if you are involved in even a minor accident, the costs could add up quickly. For instance, the Alberta Motor Association recommends carrying at least $1 million in coverage for this reason.

Steps to take before hitting the road

Before you leave, it's a good idea to know what insurance you already have.

Travel to the U.S. and other countries is still currently off-limits. However, when it is safe to do so, if your plans include travelling to the U.S. or another Canadian province, look into purchasing travel insurance before you go. Your home province’s health insurance plan may not cover you for everything it does when injured or ill in other jurisdictions. Review your existing policies, including coverage that may be provided by your credit card company.

Talk to your car insurance provider to get the full details on your existing coverage. You may also want to ask about options to increase the protections in your policy, so you won't be out-of-pocket in case you have an unplanned mishap on the road.

Liam Lahey

Liam Lahey is a versatile marketer with experience as a staff and freelance writer for many business and technology publications and newspapers. He previously worked as the editor and media spokesperson for RATESDOTCA, handling home, auto, and travel insurance topics.

Latest life insurance articles

10 Myths About Life Insurance Busted – Some May Surprise You
You may be young with no kids and no mortgage. Life insurance is for someone older, who has dependents right? Wrong. Let’s debunk life insurance myths and learn why everyone needs some form of coverage.
Learn More
6 mins read
Will a Life Insurance Policy Cover Death Due to COVID-19?
Demand for life insurance may be on the rise during the pandemic as more Canadians consider buying a policy or reviewing ones they already have. If you’re thinking of applying for a policy, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Learn More
4 mins read
How Does Vaping and e-Cigarettes Affect Life Insurance?
Many insurers may classify vaping in the same way they do smoking. If you smoke or vape, you can still qualify for a life insurance premium, but in all likelihood, you will pay a higher rate than someone who does not.
Learn More
4 mins read