Buffer

What You Need To Know About International Auto Insurance?

Looking into international auto insurance is probably the last thing on your To Do Listalong with checking out the traffic laws in the country you are planning to visit.

If you’re traveling with a tour group, hopefully your guide will warn you about the idiosyncrasies of the traffic laws in the country you are about to visit.

If you take a cab in Korea and are involved in a wreck, are you covered by the cab company?

Probably not.

Korea, among a host of other countries, does not require their cabbies to include liability insurance for their passengers.

Chances are, you will be travelling as a passenger and/or driver and you may or may not be taking your car.

Here’s an overview of what you’ll be facing…

International Auto Insurance Condition #1

As a passenger –Smart Choice!

If this is your first visit and you’re like most of us…you just want to get away for a week or so and don’t have time to fool with rules and regulations of the country you’re about to visit…

What You Need To Know About International Auto Insurance?

This is for you. You’ll get to miss out on the risks of driving and scaring yourself half to death. You’ll have a nice visit sitting on the back of the cab and seeing all the sights. Hopefully your cab driver is a safe and insured driver…

“Huh?”

Yes, as we saw above, many countries are lax on requiring their cab drivers’ insurance requirements.

What to do?

You can do a couple of things…

1. Purchase temporary international auto insurance to cover you for the week or so you are in the country–if it’s available. The UK offers it. Insurance in Europe provides little quirks, such as temporary insurance, that insurance in the States is unable to offer. The laws regulating insurance vary from country to country.

2. Or… make sure international auto insurance is a part of your Travelers or International insurance policy. Ask specifically for coverage while you are in public transportation –like cabs, liveries, buses, rickshaws, camels, etc.

What happens in the States if you are involved in an accident and the taxi doesn’t have insurance?

You’d sue!

What do you think would happen if you tried to sue in most of the other countries outside the U.S.?

You could wait a long time and end up going bankrupt trying to work your way through another country’s legal system.

So I should just get the insurance and keep quiet…right?

Right!

What You Need To Know About International Auto Insurance?

International Auto Insurance Condition #2-

What if you plan to drive…and not take your car?

You may need an international driver’s license. You can check with the State Department for the country you’re planning to visit. You will learn about Driver Registration as well as the current political conditions.

Make sure you are carrying the required coverage – in many countries, like Mexico, it is considered a felony to not carry the required amount and type of insurance. It’s also a felony to be found guilty in a traffic accident.

Pretty rough!

You need to be aware of the laws, signs, and driving conditions when you are travelling. Many countries have signs that are misplaced, non-existent, or poorly communicate (at least to me).

…Driving at night could be especially hazardous due to poor road conditions, very limited lighting; and obstacles like animals, drunks, and debris that haven’t been cleared away.

International Auto Insurance Condition #3

Taking and driving your own car – If you take and drive your own car, you are more than likely a seasoned traveller, an expatriate, or visiting someone you know.

All of the above apply here –with another or additional caveat: if your auto is leased or financed…check what your lease says about driving outside the U.S. Many leases and notes have restrictions on travel outside the U.S. If something happens to their car while abroad, you could be subject to financial and legal penalties.

Don’t mean to scare you with all these potential hazards. Just want you to visit, have a great time, and come back!