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.

Car insurance 101 | For your car


about Alex

As copywriter for Esurance, Alex had professional experience in everything from film to literature to (thanklessly!) correcting the grammar in friends' emails. As a fervent Minnesota sports fan, he spends most of his non-writing time gently weeping into cereal bowls.