Some car rental companies allow their vehicles to be driven in other countries, most US companies allow you to drive your vehicle into Canada with prior authorization.

Does this authorization mean that the rental company will provide liability coverage that's mandated by Canadian/US law?

(Assumptions, the renter declines the Supplemental Liability policy offered by rental car companies, the renter doesn't have automobile insurance in their home country, the renter doesn't have a non-owner policy in their name)

My question is specific to rentals between USA and Canada, I'd also be curious to know about how this is handled in other countries where this is sufficiently common like within the EU.

This is similar to another question that I've asked here.

  • 1
    The minimum coverage required by law is insufficient in most of the USA.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 1:39
  • @gerrit - the minimum coverage required by law IS sufficient to cover the legal requirements, which is what the question is about. It definitely is not enough to satisfy a lawyer, so lawsuits are not out of the question.
    – user13044
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 3:14
  • @pnuts thats insane - here in the UK your insurance coverage has no payout limits (people have been awarded £1million plus per year for the rest of their lives after accidents). Its insane to think that you could have life changing injuries requiring lifetime care and only get $15k.
    – user29788
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:45
  • 1
    @pnuts and that requires the culprit to have assets, and most people arent going to have assets covering a million dollars a year needed for specialist care.
    – user29788
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


To answer for the EU/EEA:

In all EU/EEA countries, third party liability insurance is mandatory, bound to the vehicle and must cover all other EU/EEA countries. Most insurance policies also cover the rest of Europe (non-EU/EEA countries) and often also countries in the Ex-USSR, Middle East or North Africa. Visiting countries, in which your liability insurance is not valid, you are mostly required to take out a short-term insurance policy for the time of your stay. In most (if not all?) EU/EEA countries, the vehicle owner is responsible for the liability insurance, so it is not possible to rent a car without the required coverage, since the rental company would otherwise violate their legal obligation.

You can read more about mutual international recognition and validity of vehicle insurances on the Wikipeda page about the International Motor Insurance Card System.


Disclaimer: This answer is based on exactly one USA to Canada experience.

Just two weeks ago we rented a car from Hertz in the USA and drove it to Canada where we also left it. We were asked to either pay for coverage or give our own policy which they recorded. Normally, we use insurance coverage provided by a credit card for car rentals but in this instance, it was specifically asked for us to provide info for civil liability coverage, which the credit card does not cover.

The answer to your question is that they can provide the required insurance but, if declined, they ask for the renter to provide it. Since this is based on a single experience, I cannot say if this is a policy of Hertz or mandated by laws in either country.

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