Car Accident while in the U.S.?

Whether you’re taking a quick weekend getaway or you’re planning on staying in the States all winter, you should know that your car insurance policy probably has you covered if you get into a collision while you’re there. But if you do happen to get into a collision in the U.S., you may be wondering how you can make a claim and what you should expect if you have to get your vehicle repaired outside of Canada. We’ve got the answers to your questions.

How do I make a car insurance claim from outside of Canada?

If you get into a collision while in the States, you’ll have to make your claim the same way as you would if you were in Canada: by calling your car insurance broker or contacting your insurance company’s emergency claims line if it’s outside of business hours. When you make your claim, you’ll be expected to provide some important information about the incident to your insurance company.

Are you an Economical customer? When you need to make a claim, your first step should always be to contact your broker. But if it’s after hours, you can call our 24-hour service line.

Can I get my vehicle repaired in the States?

The short answer is yes, you can have your vehicle repaired in the States if you need to — but if the repairs can wait until you get home to Canada, it may be in your best interest to hold off. Here’s why: If you need to have your vehicle repaired in the U.S., you probably won’t be able to go to one of your insurance company’s preferred vendors, which means your insurer won’t guarantee the work done. Plus, if you have your vehicle repaired down south and then you head home after the snow melts, it could be tough to get back to the same repair facility if you run into an issue with the repair.

With all of that said, some types of repairs shouldn’t wait until you return home — if a safety-related part is damaged or your vehicle is un-drivable, for example, you won’t be able to drive again until it has been fixed. The good news is, your insurance will likely still cover the damage, just like it would if you were in Canada.

What should I expect if I have to get my vehicle repaired in the States?

If you have to get your vehicle repaired while you’re down south, the rental vehicle coverage in your policy will likely still apply, so you won’t be left without a vehicle while repairs are completed. You can also pay your deductible directly to the repair shop, just like you would in Canada. However, some shops won’t let you take your vehicle home if they’re still waiting for a cheque from your insurance company — especially if it’s a Canadian company they aren’t familiar with. If this is the case, you may have to pay the shop yourself and get reimbursed by your insurer.

Will my insurer pay to tow my vehicle back to Canada to be repaired?

,p>If you get into a collision in the States and your vehicle is no longer drivable, your insurer will likely pay for you to have it towed to the nearest repair shop — and it’s your responsibility to get back there to pick your vehicle up once it has been repaired. It is highly unlikely that your insurance company will pay to have your vehicle towed back from the U.S. to Canada.

Every insurance company is unique and has its own policies when it comes to processing claims. If you have questions about your own coverage or a specific claim, reach out to your licensed car insurance broker or the representative working on your claim.

- Pamela Coquet

Making your finances easy, stress-free and, yes, simple. or (403) 452-7951