Driving Out of State: Does Your Car Insurance Travel with You?

Find out if your car insurance goes with you out of state, the country, or even the continent.

Like license plates and recipes for that perfect BBQ, car insurance is different in every state. When you buy your policy, you must purchase at least the minimum coverage required in your area — and the protection you end up with can vary dramatically from the policies of friends or family who live elsewhere.

Now, we know what you might be asking: If auto coverage requirements vary across the nation, does this mean you‘re only safely insured when you drive in your state? It’s a natural concern and one many of our customers have voiced.

So let’s break out the road maps and trail mix, consult with our customer service reps, and give you a clear answer as to where, exactly, you can travel with your Esurance coverage.

Driving out of state

Where does my car insurance work?

If you were planning your big, cross-country road trip and starting to get nervous, relax! Esurance, like most car insurers, lets you drive and use your coverage in any U.S. state — even if we don’t offer policies there. (Bonus: you can also drive in Canada or Puerto Rico and still enjoy the peace of mind your policy brings.)

Generally, the only time your out-of-state car insurance would not work is if you were moving to a new state permanently. In that case, you’d have to purchase a policy from the new state so you could satisfy their coverage requirements.

Where does my car insurance NOT work?

If you’re cruising south of the border into Mexico, odds are your Esurance coverage won’t be valid. Instead, you’ll almost always need Mexican car insurance. Esurance doesn’t extend protection to other countries either (other than Canada). If you must drive on your voyage abroad, you can get insurance from the rental car shop where you pick up your wheels.

What if I have a car accident while driving out of state?

Again, Esurance has your back! If you have an accident in another state, your adjuster will compare your coverage limits with the minimum requirements in that state. And then you’ll be covered for whichever limit is higher.

Or, as another example, if your home state only makes you carry $10,000 in bodily injury coverage, but you cause an accident in a state that requires $15,000, we’d make up the $5,000 difference.

And if you have an accident in a state that requires a coverage for out-of-state drivers that your home state doesn’t offer, like personal injury protection (PIP), we’d provide you with that coverage just for the isolated incident (don’t worry, it wouldn’t be permanently added to your policy). On the flip side, if you carry PIP and have an accident in a state that doesn’t offer it, depending on the situation you could still have your PIP coverage for the claim.

Get coverage tips before you travel

For even more information on heading beyond your state’s borders, check out our helpful insights on driving abroad and Esurance coverage in Canada.

And spend a minute with our handy Coverage Counselor® to make sure you’ve got the best protection for your needs right now.

22 Responses to “Driving Out of State: Does Your Car Insurance Travel with You?”

  1. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    April 11, 2015 #

    my son is using my truck to do a college internship in florida for 3 months. the truck and insurance are in my name in minnesota. do i have to do anything additional to my policy or title status?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      April 22, 2015 #

      Hello Ken,

      If your son and the vehicle are only in Florida temporarily, you do not have to change the insurance. Since your son is a daily driver of the vehicle, you would want to ensure he is listed as a driver on your policy. Your son must maintain a permanent residence in Minnesota to do this.

      If your son is moving permanently to Florida and keeping the truck in Florida, he will want to register and insure the vehicle in Florida.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    July 14, 2015 #

    My daughter is an out of state student in Indiana. I live in California and she is a listed driver on my insurance. I need to get her a car to use in Indiana while she is studying. Here are my options:

    1. Buy/lease a car in California in my name and let her use it in Indiana as a listed driver. This will continue to have CA tags and list my address in CA as the primary address.
    2. Buy/lease a car in Indiana in my name and let her use it in Indiana as a listed driver.

    1. With option 2 will I be able to register my car in Indiana with a CA address?
    2. Which option is better from auto insurance perspective?

    Thanks in advance for your expertise.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      July 16, 2015 #

      Hello JS,

      In response to question 1, the vehicle registration usually needs to match the state it’s driven and insured.

      To answer your second question, if you are an Esurance customer, we would suggest calling in to speak to our licensed agent department at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) to get specific details regarding your policy.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    August 14, 2015 #

    my residence is in pa, temporarily staying in ny with family while our home is renovated (we dont have any friends and family in pa and the ceiling started falling in from this previous brutal winter so it was a spur of the moment thing) we have not updated our address because ny is not our permanent residence. I was just told by esurance that it doesn't matter if I'm just visiting they don't do temporary state changes and we would have to get a new york policy – new york state tags registration etc – but I have a vehicle that is being leased in pa and pa is a title holding state so I wouldn't be able to get a title to register it in ny. All of that seems unnecessary since new york is not my permanent residence. I mentioned that on their website it says they can do temporary state changes and they didnt care, told me to cancel or they'll cancel if I don't get a policy in new york. On this page it says esurance will have your back but thats a blatant lie

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      August 19, 2015 #

      Hello Tasha,

      We definitely understand your concern. The concern on these situations is that there is a lot of people who carry PA insurance because they know NY rates are expensive. Our requirements for situations like this may vary depending on the length of time you’re spending in NY. We suggest speaking to our calling in to speak to our licensed agent department at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) for more specifics.

  4. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    September 27, 2015 #

    Hi, i have a question regarding out of state car insurance for military personnel. My daughter is moving out to Washington from California with her CA registred car and insurance. It says military personnel temproray stationed in WA can continue use their home state drivers licence registration etc.But how about car insurance, and adress .Can she continue hold her CA California insurance with her CA parents home address. Or need to change adress on car insurance policy .What address she can use:, does her military base address or temprorary residency address in WA. How the insurance will be work.She will not change her CA car registration in WA.Can you please give some information regarding matters. Thank you

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      October 5, 2015 #

      Hi Jackie,

      Military personal can keep their home state insurance if they are not re-registering their vehicle. She would want to make sure her duty station mailing address is on file with her insurance company, but they should not have to re-write the policy.

      Thanks for reading.

  5. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    Gwen Dudine
    December 5, 2015 #

    Why is Geico telling me I have to have a separate policy for my son, who goes to Arkansas to school, but the car is titled in Texas and his permanent address is in Texas? They say the policy has to be written where the car is parked the majority of the year, which makes no sense to me. No other insurance companies do this. Why is Geico different?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      December 10, 2015 #

      Hello Gwen,

      We cannot speak for how other companies are approved to write polices. However, based on the information you provided, it would seem that the vehicle spends the majority of the time in Arkansas, which has different laws and requirements for insurance than the state of Texas. Due to differing laws and risks, we would also suggest that the vehicle be registered and insured for the state it’s driven for the majority of the year. This also ensures that your insurance company is rating correctly based on the different risks from each state.

      Thanks for reading.

  6. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    January 28, 2016 #

    I've been visiting in new mexico from california for about a month. We had insurance when we came to new mexico but my grandfather has removed me from insurance. So what I'm wondering is, am i able to get California insurance while visiting another state? Or do we now have to move here until we can afford to get license, registration, etc in new mexico?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      February 2, 2016 #

      Hello Andrew,

      If your permanent residence is in California and you are only visiting New Mexico temporarily (generally less than 3 months), then yes you should be able to purchase a California policy. If you have moved to New Mexico permanently, you should get a NM policy.

      Thanks for reading.

  7. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    February 5, 2016 #

    I am purchasing a vehicle for my daughter , i live in michigan,she will be using that vehicle at college in Virginia for 9-months, I have AAA ,Will she be covered out of state?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      February 10, 2016 #

      Hello Glen,

      This will vary depending on your policy contract. Some companies may have exceptions for students away at school. However, insurance rates do vary from state to state. It may be wise to have your daughter get a quote for VA insurance for the time she’s there. If it’s cheaper, you might be able to save some money while she’s away at school. However, you will want to speak to your direct insurance company to get an understanding of their underwriting guidelines.

      Thanks for reading.

  8. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    February 27, 2016 #

    I'm military, and have ordered a car to be delivered in California, where I would like for it to be registered. I have orders to be stationed in WA state for the foreseeable future. Will I be able to pick up and register my new car in CA with WA insurance? The car will be driven up to and kept in WA until I return to CA after my military service.

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      March 2, 2016 #

      Hello Jacob,

      There are many exceptions that are made for military members when it comes to insurance. We would suggest that you register and insure your car in the same state. That would reduce the possibility of having complications with the DMV.

      Thanks for reading.

  9. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 1, 2016 #

    My car insurance is stick on Michigan, but I am living in Califonia in the past few months. So, should I really need to change my insurance asap ? Thanks

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      March 2, 2016 #


      We always suggest that your vehicle is insured in the state where it’s driven for the majority of the year. You would want to speak to your local agent for more specific details.

      Thanks for reading.

  10. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 3, 2016 #

    I lease a car that my daughter drives. When my husband and I move out of state she will need her own insurance because she will remain in our current state. Since the car is leased by me, would I have my name on the registration along with her new address? I know the leasing company has her new address as required in the contract. This seems so tricky to me.
    Thank you for your advice.CC

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      March 9, 2016 #


      The best advice we can offer would be to make sure you’re listed on her policy since the lease is under your name. From there, you would want to ensure the address on all your forms match.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. Avatar for Alex Glenn
    March 31, 2016 #

    Will my Esurance policy apply when renting a vehicle for travel?

    • Avatar for Alex Glenn
      Rachael Heller
      April 8, 2016 #

      Hello Yoli,

      The rules on this may vary depending on the type of vehicle you’re rending and your policy state. Please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-378-7262 and ask to speak to our licensed agent customer service team for more information.

      Thanks for reading.

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