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Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Spending March Break in the USA?

Spring break season is upon us and the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is offering tips to drivers crossing the border into United States of America to ensure a safe and secure trip.

Whether you are in a rental car or operating your own vehicle there are certain steps you must take to be considered a legal driver in the U.S.

All passengers of the vehicle must have a valid Passport or WHTI-compliant identification such as an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or NEXUS card. Since June 2009, Canadians traveling to the U.S. by land or sea are required to present an approved document that shows identity and citizenship.

As a driver of the vehicle, make sure to carry your valid Driver’s Licence and proof of insurance. An up-to-date pink insurance liability slip includes important telephone numbers and proves you have insurance.

“If you are considering renting a vehicle, it is a good idea to extend coverage from your own Ontario automobile policy to the rental vehicle,” said IBAO CEO Randy Carroll. “Talk to your broker before departure about your policy and to see if buying extra insurance from the rental company is necessary.”

If renting a vehicle in Canada and driving into the U.S., ensure that bringing the vehicle across the border is noted on your rental agreement as many rental car agencies specify use within Canada.

When entering the rental car, take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the vehicle and the location of certain controls. As controls vary from car to car, you want to make sure you know where the windshield wiper, car radio volume and headlight controls rest before departure. You could find yourself in a dangerous position if you attempt to locate them right when you need them and are unsuccessful.

As a strong reminder, like Ontario’s hands-free law, many states ban the use of cell phones while driving. “Be safe and smart and avoid electronic distractions while behind the wheel,” concluded Carroll.

If you are involved in an accident while traveling call the police immediately and then your broker for advice to get you through the claim process. You can reach us toll free if need be 1.800.461.4694

Travel Tips from the Ontario Brokers Association

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