Auto Insurance
6 min read

Getting Car Insurance After Moving to The U.S.

Published on
September 6, 2022

How do you go about getting car insurance after moving to the U.S.? You’ll need to know the answer to this important question to become a safe and legal driver. When you’re ready to look for a new American car insurance when moving to the U.S., you’ll need to consider a long list of criteria, like policy options, licensing, and immigration.  

Whether you’re becoming a permanent U.S. citizen or in the country on a temporary basis, If you are planning on becoming a driver in the U.S., you’ll need to make sure you meet the legal requirement for car insurance.

In this article, you can learn more about:

  • What you need to know about car insurance when moving to the USA
  • Getting insurance as a new American
  • How long a new American car insurance policy lasts
  • And the different types of new American car insurance

What You Need to Know About Car Insurance When Moving to the USA

In many parts of the United States, driving is a necessary part of daily life. Whether commuting for work or carrying out other tasks, the vast majority of Americans find themselves driving a car every day. If you want to join the over 238 million Americans on the road today, you’ll need to make sure you have appropriate car insurance.

What Is Car Insurance and Why Do You Need It

Car insurance is a monthly premium or fee that you pay to an insurance company that ‘insures’ your ability to cover the cost of damages you might cause the property of others as a result of an accident. You can also insure your own vehicle to help pay for repairs if it should become damaged.

While this may sound like a luxury, car insurance is actually a major legal requirement to drive a car. In all 50 states, you must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. If you are in an accident or even just found at a traffic stop to be driving without insurance, you can be given a citation and a fine.

What Insurance Do You Need in the U.S.?

So, what insurance do you need to get when you move to the U.S.? Some of the specifics about policy requirements depend on which state you will live in. While all states require drivers to be insured, some states require higher levels of insurance coverages than other states.

If you have trouble looking into your state’s insurance requirements yourself, many insurance companies will be able to help explain the minimum coverage requirements you’ll need.

Having a U.S. Driver’s License

Another factor to consider before getting new car insurance in the U.S. is your driver license. A driver’s license from another country will not be valid in the U.S. This means you won’t be able to get the car insurance you need without a valid U.S. license.

If you are a legal immigrant who has become a U.S. citizen, you will need to obtain a state driver’s license. If you are a non-immigrant, or someone who is visiting the country on a temporary or visa basis, you will most likely need to obtain an international driver’s permit (ideally you’ll have this before you arrive).How quickly will you be able to get on the road after moving to the U.S.? Once again, that will depend on the state you move to. Some states allow you to exchange your driver’s license from your country of origin for a state license. Others will require a written exam or a driving exam for a state license. These factors will determine how quickly you will be able to get a license, get insurance, and get behind the wheel.

New American Car Insurance Approvals Depend On How Long You’ll Stay

Getting new American car insurance when moving to the U.S. isn’t quite the same as applying for insurance as a lifelong resident. Unfortunately, you will not have a driving record or a credit record as a new citizen, even if you drove or opened credit in your country of origin. In the U.S., you will be seen as a brand new driver. This can often come with higher premiums and less coverage options.

If you are becoming a legal citizen and moving to the U.S. permanently, getting a state driver’s license and applying for car insurance won’t be too much of a hassle. If you are moving to the U.S. temporarily or with a visa, it can be a bit more tricky. Some insurance companies will only issue policies to those with a state driver’s license, so you may have to search around for a carrier that honors international driver’s permits.

How Long Does a New American Car Insurance Policy Last?

The length of your new American car insurance policy will depend on the specific policy you chose and the insurance company you partnered with for your coverage. Typically, an insurance policy will be a contract for a specified period of time. At the end of that period, the policy will either auto-renew for the next period or you will need to contact your insurance company to renew your policy manually. Most car insurance policies are set for either a six-month or a year-long period before it must be renewed.

Different Types of New American Car Insurance

There are different requirements for different cars and situations when applying for coverage. If you own a car, you can get the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state. If you have a financed vehicle, your loan company may ask you to get additional insurance, like collision insurance and comprehensive insurance.

If you have an older vehicle, your insurance options and priorities might change. Some insurance policies get a bit more expensive with an older vehicle because replacement costs for older parts may be difficult to find. While it's recommended to get collision and comprehensive insurance for a newer vehicle, it might make more sense financially to get the minimum insurance required when a vehicle gets older.

Another consideration when choosing a car insurance policy is who it will need to cover. Policies and premiums are dependent on how many family members are on a policy and who those family members are. For example, teenagers or new drivers are more expensive to insure than adults with clean driving records.

Ride With LOOP to Get Your New American Car Insurance

Getting car insurance when moving to the U.S. can be a confusing and difficult process, but LOOP can take some of the hassle and guesswork out of getting on the road legally. Reach out to our team today to find an easier and cheaper insurance option today!

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