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How long can I stay in the United States with my car?

The United States offers Canadians great choices for a winter escape or a summer road trip. Canadians vacation across the border each year many of them choosing to drive. But does your car insurance cover you while you’re in the US? How long can you stay in the US with your car? We’ll answer these questions in this article.

Are you covered by your car insurance in the US?

Generally you will have some coverage from your car insurance in the US. However it’s important to remember that:

  • You may be required to inform your insurance company before you go.
  • Your coverage may be limited once you cross the border.
  • You may only have protection for a certain period of time.
  • You may need to get a special US extension if you’re planning to stay for longer than a few weeks.
  • Some insurance companies do not offer coverage in the US.

Always talk to your broker before your trip to understand if you’re covered and for how long.

How long can you stay in the US with your car?

The length of time you can stay in your US will depend on a few factors:

  • The number of days outlined in your car insurance policy that you will be covered for trips to the US
  • If you’ve purchased an extension to your car insurance for US travel
  • US laws which normally restrict you to 6 months in a rolling year

Other Insurance Considerations

We recommend having a $2 million limit for your third party liability car insurance if you plan on driving in the US. This is because the cost of injuries and lawsuits can be much higher in the US.

Another major expense is healthcare. If you’re travelling in the US we recommend having travel medical insurance. Your provincial health care may not cover you or may offer only very limited coverage. Travel medical insurance will ensure you’re covered if you get unexpectedly ill or injured.

Talk to your broker if you plan on going to the US. They’ll be able to answer your questions and ensure you have the right insurance.