So you're planning to travel abroad and you realize you need to rent a car to get around? After you sort out the car rental details, the next step is to ensure you're insured. Domestically, your auto insurance most likely covers state-to-state travel; however, traveling abroad is a different story. Wherever your travels lead you, familiarizing yourself with their driving laws and regulations is your ticket to successful driving.
Depending on your destination, you will need to obtain an international driving permit. A small fee and a quick visit to your local AAA office will make certain you're equipped with a driving permit, making it easier to drive in foreign countries. The permit includes your name, photo and driver's license information.
Once you've figured out what's required of you to drive internationally, the next step is making certain you're covered in case of an accident. Call your current auto insurance provider and see what type of coverage you have with your current policy. It may cover you internationally, but never assume it does. Most likely, the international policy you set up will be short-term and will differ depending on what country you're visiting.
Shop around. Just because you're everyday auto insurance policy is with Company A doesn't mean you have to insure your international vehicle with the same company. Insurance companies offer competitive pricing and an array of coverage; additionally, not all insurance companies offer international policies, so it's prudent for you to do your research and shop around for various car insurance quotes. In most countries, liability, comprehensive and collision coverage is available. Typically, they will cover you up to a certain dollar amount. But again, shop around, as many options are afforded international drivers.
Even though many insurance companies have offices set up in multiple countries, you want to sign up for an international policy before taking leave to travel. This will save you time, possible heartache while you're abroad, and the possibility of not finding insurance or paying more than necessary. Many policies are inclusive, meaning they will offer you personal property insurance, medical insurance and care insurance; however, this may cost you more out-of-pocket and give you unnecessary coverage. Before leaving the tarmac, carefully evaluate the coverage you need. Oftentimes, you just need auto insurance, minus the medical and personal item coverage. This can keep your costs low and eliminate unnecessary policies.
When traveling abroad, make sure you're prepared. Visit your local AAA office and apply for an international driving permit; call your current insurance provider and see what type of international coverage your current car insurance policy offers, if any; and most importantly, shop around for the best price on international car insurance rates.