How to Insure Your Car Overseas

So, you’re looking forward to your annual holiday for 2013. You’ve decided on your dream destination, you’ve dusted off the suitcase from the garage, you’ve sorted the sun cream and you’ve bought your travel insurance.

But as your planning what to do on your holiday, you’ve decided that you want to do something a little different from the standard hotel holiday – you want to explore. And, so you’ve decided to try something a little different; you’re going to take your car on holiday with you…

There are a great many benefits to taking your car overseas.  As well as saving yourself the potential nightmare of foreign car rental, it can also save you an absolute fortune on train and air tickets if you’re prepared to put the driving hours in.  However, you’ll need to ensure that your beloved four-wheeler is properly insured in every country you’re planning to drive through.  So to help you, we’ve put together to help and make your drive run as smooth as possible:

Don’t spend the money if you don’t need to.  Though you might not be aware of it, it’s entirely possible that your current insurance already covers you when in foreign countries, as many policies do.  Check in detail whether yours does: if so, you don’t have to worry.  Check and double check it, though.

Ask for an extension.  Even if your current policy doesn’t cover foreign travel, ask your company if you’re able to add an extension to it.  Most extensions will cover a maximum period of thirty days, but if you’re only heading for a week’s holiday in mainland Europe then this will be perfect for you, and will save you undergoing any hassle.

If you regularly travel, then consider a more in-depth plan.  There are a variety of separate car insurance policies that will offer you a higher level of protection over longer periods if you feel you need it.  This type of policy is largely referred to as ‘expatriates’ insurance’ as it is largely used by ex-pats who are frequently travelling between a large number of different countries. If you also travel regularly as a family, it’s worth taking a look to see what discount you can get by buying all of your annual travel insurance in one go, rather than opting for a single trip policy. Some insurers even offer package policies that could see save hundreds on budget content’s insurance, car insurance and even health insurance, if you take out multiple policies with them.

Go comprehensive.  Whilst many people sensibly save money in their home country by using cheaper policies such as third party only, or third party, fire and theft, this isn’t recommended when you go abroad.  Making claims in a foreign country can be tricky enough as it is, so you want to ensure that any potential loopholes are largely minimised.  Double check that your foreign policy covers all the major areas like accidental damage, collision, criminal damage, general damage, liability, theft, severe weather, windscreen damage and audio equipment.

Check the specific requirements.  Whilst you might have your policy covered at this end, you should check whether or not the country you’re travelling to has any of their own specific requirements.  Some countries, for example, may have a law that makes it mandatory for your policy to be arranged through a local company.  If this is the case, you don’t want to spend a fortune on a premium in your home country if you don’t need to!  Fortunately, this kind of thing can be easily checked by contacting the foreign office.

Shop around.  This almost goes without saying in the modern climate, but ensure that once you’ve established the specifics of where you’re travelling, you should take the time to get the cheapest possible price on your policy.  If possible, play the different firms against each other, but if you don’t fancy doing so then take advantage of the huge amount of price comparison sites scattered across the web.  Many of them will be just as happy to provide you with policy prices for overseas, so make the most of the tools available.

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