Will My Auto Insurance Cover International Rentals?

Does auto insurance cover international rentals? You should know that most U.S. auto insurance doesn't cover rentals outside of the United States or Canada. When traveling abroad, rental insurance that's valid in the destination(s) you're visiting, more general travel insurance, and certain credit cards can all provide you with auto coverage. Be sure to compare international car insurance costs before your trip to save time and money.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

Full Bio →

Written by

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 25, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Can't-Miss Facts

  • U.S. auto insurance coverage generally doesn’t protect drivers in most countries outside of the United States
  • Most U.S. auto insurance will cover drivers in Canada
  • Rental insurance that’s valid in the destination(s) you’re visiting, more general travel insurance, and certain credit cards can all provide you with auto coverage when traveling abroad

Are you planning to travel somewhere outside of the U.S. and want to rent a car while you’re there? If so, you’re probably wondering, “Does auto insurance cover international rentals?”

And if your insurer doesn’t cover international rentals, then you should at least know what you need to obtain coverage painlessly while traveling abroad.

With this guide, we’ll help you find out if your existing insurance plan provides international rental car insurance. We’ll also look at alternative auto insurance coverage options for rentals outside of the United States.

Read on to  look at the options available for temporary international auto insurance. Then enter your ZIP code in our free online tool to compare rates and find an auto insurance plan that works for you.

Does my U.S. auto insurance cover me if I rent a vehicle while traveling internationally?

The most likely answer is no. According to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. auto insurance coverage generally doesn’t protect drivers outside of the United States or Canada (more on that below).

If you plan to rent a car while traveling abroad, consider buying rental car insurance from a provider in the destination country. But note that the law may require you to buy auto liability insurance from a company based in the country you’re visiting before you can rent a vehicle.

Does U.S. auto insurance cover rentals in Mexico and Canada?

Generally speaking, U.S. auto insurance will cover rentals in Canada but won’t cover rentals in Mexico due to insurance laws in each country.

Here’s how some of the largest auto insurers in the United States handle coverage for U.S. drivers in Canada and Mexico:

CompanyCanadaMexico
State FarmSame coverage as in U.S. You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company
GEICOSame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company (GEICO can get you in touch with a partner insurer)
ProgressiveSame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company
AllstateSame coverage as in U.S.Ask your local agent about your policy and alternative coverage
USAASame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company (USAA may cover loss or damage within a certain distance of the U.S.-Mexico border)
Liberty MutualSame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company (Liberty Mutual can get you in touch with a partner insurer)
FarmersSame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company (Farmers may cover loss or damage within a certain distance of the U.S.-Mexico border)
NationwideSame coverage as in U.S.You should purchase insurance from a Mexico-based company
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

Regardless of your insurance policy, if you’re taking a trip south of the border, you’ll need to purchase liability insurance. This is because Mexico requires all drivers to have liability coverage from a Mexican insurance company.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Where can I find temporary international auto insurance?

There are a few options for insuring your rental car when traveling internationally. Keep in mind that you may need to have two or more of the coverage options listed below to be adequately protected.

  • Car rental insurance purchased at the rental location is typically more expensive than alternatives, but it’s still much better than driving uninsured
  • Auto insurance purchased in advance can save you a significant amount of money and time. You can even buy rental insurance online
  • Many credit cards offer coverage for rentals outside of the United States. According to the Insurance Information Institute, credit card coverage is usually secondary, so don’t expect this to replace standard rental insurance outright. Contact your credit card issuer to find out if your card offers rental coverage and what’s covered
  • Some comprehensive travel insurance policies include collision coverage for rental cars

What does rental insurance cover?

“Rental insurance” from the rental car company actually consists of a few different types of coverage that are frequently purchased together. It may make sense to only purchase some or even none of these when renting a car for international travel. That depends on the coverage you already have.

Type of CoverageWhat It DoesHow Much is It?
Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)Renter will not be responsible for damage to or theft of the vehicle$9 to $30/day
SLP (Supplemental Liability Coverage)Provides up to $1 million in liability coverage$7 to $15/day
PAI (Personal Accident Insurance)Provides medical and accidental death benefits if you are injured or people are killed in the accident$1 to $7/day
PEC (Personal Effects Coverage)Reimburses renter for the value of property stolen from the rental vehicle$1 to $5/day
RAP (Roadside Assistance Protection)Renter is not financially responsible for chargeable roadside incidentsVaries
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Compare RatesStart Now →

It’s worth noting that loss damage waivers are sometimes called collision damage waivers (CDW). In some places, CDWs and LDWs are purchased separately. The former covers collisions and the latter covers theft.

It’s also important to know that the rental car coverage on your policy has nothing to do with coverage for a rental car. It’s better known as rental reimbursement, and pays for a rental car while yours is being repaired due to a claim.

Does my car insurance cover rental cars in Europe?

You should compare auto insurance before going on your trip, as you could save a lot of money. If nothing else, knowing the insurance options at your destination will make it easier to decide what you need to purchase at the car rental.

It can be particularly helpful to plan ahead if you’re renting a car in Europe. This is because you’ll want to make sure that any auto coverage you purchase in Europe is valid in every country you plan to visit.

What to Consider Before Purchasing Auto Insurance for International Rentals

To recap, here are a few things to consider before you decide to buy temporary international auto insurance:

  • Does my U.S. auto insurance cover me in the country I’m visiting?
  • Can my U.S. auto insurance provider help me find an insurer in the country I’m visiting?
  • Does my credit card cover rentals outside of the United States?
  • Can I buy car rental insurance before my trip to save time and money?
  • Can I choose not to purchase some or all of the insurance options the car rental company is offering based on other forms of coverage I have?

Before you get back to planning your next vacation, try our free online quote tool to compare rates and find an affordable estimate for your international auto insurance.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption