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All you need to know about Car Insurance for Foreign Drivers

  • Safety Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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Since the US has several global cities that are well-connected with the world. It receives millions of foreign visitors every year. Depending on the nature of their visit, they can stay long-term or just for a short trip. Regardless of how long they stay, most of them would like to have the convenience of driving themselves around rather than take a taxi, ride-share, or public transport. A common question most of them may have is whether car insurance for foreign drivers is a necessity in the US.  

It turns out it is! But there’s more to it than just a one-line answer. We’ve broken down everything you may need to know about car insurance for foreign drivers in the US.  

What is car insurance for foreign drivers? 

It is the same as standard car insurance for citizens, except that it is tailored for foreign nationals and might have different eligibility criteria. You need to have car insurance irrespective of whether you are a citizen, so this is a non-negotiable for all foreign visitors to the country. The type of car insurance for foreigners varies depending on the duration of their trip. 

Car insurance for foreign drivers

Is there temporary car insurance for foreign drivers?

For short-term visitors in the US for a vacation, family time, or a job visit, it doesn’t make sense to take a car insurance policy charged annually. Instead, the easiest way is to rent a car from a company that will provide you temporary car insurance for foreign drivers. Since it is their responsibility, the rental company will provide you with the legally mandated amount of coverage as required in your host state. You can purchase additional coverage for between $10-and $30 a day to safeguard yourself further. 

Is there long-term car insurance for foreign drivers?

Visitors who plan to stay for a long while in the country must buy a car insurance policy from a US-based insurer. This is legally mandated if you plan to purchase a car, brought a car from your home country, or plan to take a lease. However, it is also significantly harder to get since most companies will not provide you coverage without a US driver’s license.  

Progressive and Farmers are two companies that provide insurance to foreigners based on international licenses. Most other companies like Allstate, Esurance, and State Farm only insure those with valid US driver’s licenses. In certain states, you might even need a local driver’s license before legally driving a car (for example, Virginia).  

How much does car insurance for a foreign driver cost?

Since foreign drivers have no valid driving history in the country, there is a significant risk involved. Hence, car insurance for foreign drivers will cost more than standard insurance for citizens. 

Car insurance for foreign drivers

What types of car insurance should foreign drivers have? 

It’s good to have the following coverages as a foreigner: 

  • Liability Coverage  
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 

Some states might need even more protection such as collision and comprehensive coverage. So make sure to research the driving rules of your host state before proceeding. 

How do I find the best car insurance for foreign drivers 

It’s important to do your research thoroughly before choosing car insurance for foreign nationals. The easiest way to do that is by comparing car insurance quotes from various insurance providers online. You can start your research on car insurance rates by getting free insurance quotes on Way.com. 

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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