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Does US car insurance work in Canada or not

Does US car insurance work in Canada or not?

There are many people who ask this particular question: “does U.S. car insurance work in Canada?” The simple answer is: Yes. Many car insurance companies in the US offer policies that are also valid in Canada. In this article, we will provide you a detailed account as to how you can get advantage of the US car insurance policy, if you are traveling to Canada.

According to the US State Department, for the US citizens traveling to Canada, the US car insurance policy remains valid, if they are a tourist there, and have no intentions to stay in the country for a longer period of time.

Remember, it’s not easy to travel to Canada anymore. You need a valid passport or at least your birth certificate. You must have your vehicle registration papers, a valid driver’s license and a valid car insurance policy. And you are almost ready to cross the border. Just to mention some little more details: you must also declare about any of the items you carry in your car, like any tobacco, alcohol, firearms (firearms are very controlled in Canada) and food.

The special car insurance card

Having US car insurance coverage is not enough. The insurance company must provide you with a special card called Canada inter-province card. This card is also called a Motor Vehicle Liability Card. If you don’t have this card, a Canadian police officer will charge you with a fine. You will have to get another insurance policy from a Canadian insurance company, and pay for it.

Problems with getting this card

In case, if the US insurance company fails to provide you with this card, do not worry, you will still be covered. This means that the company does not possess a Canadian proof of insurance card. If you find yourself in such a situation, you must:

  • Have a copy of your declaration page. This page contains all the details about the policy coverage for your vehicle
  • Have proof of car insurance
  • If there is any doubt, then get your insurance agent to make out a letter, on the company’s letterhead, clearly stating your insurance policy covers you in Canada too. The agent must sign the letter.

Checking out your policy

Before you travel to Canada, you must know exactly what insurance support you will get there. You must also inquire from the agent if the insurance policy is valid in Canada or not? You must also ask the agent as to what additional protections are you entitled for, in Canada, if you hold a US insurance policy?

What is Canadian liability insurance levels?

Liability insurance is mandatory in the U.S.A. This also holds true for Canada.

In Canada, a driver’s liability coverage amounts to CAN$ 200,000. And in Quebec itself, it’s CAN$ $500,000. You must get all the information beforehand. Only by getting the details will you know for sure you are well protected, if by any chance you damage property or injure someone in Canada.

In the U.S. you may get $100,000 coverage for injuring a person, or up to $200,000 for injuring more than one person and $500,000 for damaging a property. It depends on which policy you have signed up for. Get the details, as the above figures could be different and not cover multi-individual injuries.

Other insurance coverage your insurance should have

Does U.S. car insurance work in Canada? It does. But what does the insurance cover? Just having coverage is not enough. Just having liability coverage that will satisfy Canadian standards is also not enough. It also depends if you can afford it or not.

The following insurance policy coverages will also apply in Canada:

Personal injury coverage

In the United States, every driver should opt for this coverage. It is also called Med Pay. It covers any kind of bodily injuries caused by an accident regardless whose fault it is. If the at-fault driver has an active liability policy, you will be entitled to get coverage for medical treatment and medication.

Being an American citizen, if you travel to Canada, and are involved in a no-fault accident, you are entitled to get compensation. You can file an insurance claim, or negotiate a settlement with the insurance agent of the at-fault driver. In most cases, the provisions of personal injury insurance policies are similar in both countries.

Having collision coverage

A collision insurance policy covers damages to your car in case of an accident. It covers car repair bills, or the cost you would have to pay to replace your car. In Ontario, if you are involved in a collision that resulted in car damage, then you are entitled to get compensation under the ‘direct compensation property damage’ policy that is included in your car insurance policy.

Comprehensive protection

Besides any collision, with comprehensive insurance coverage, you can get your car repaired – if your car is damaged by fire, deadfall (that damages the windshield), hailstorm, theft, collision with animals, (collision coverage does not cover this type of collision) vandalism, or any means, other than an accident.

Does U.S. car insurance work in Canada? Yes, and besides these coverages there are roadside assistance services and rental coverage policies are also available, just like in the United States.


Any other policy coverage you get in the US will also be valid in Canada. We hope that you got the answer to your question, Does U.S. car insurance work in Canada? Do read your insurance policy in full, and if there is any confusion then consult your insurance company at the earliest.  Bon, voyage!

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