Car Insurance for Foreigners in California

Posted on: 15Jan,2016

Any individual who drives a vehicle and has shopped for car insurance knows what a challenging and tedious task this can be. But when you are not a US citizen and are visiting the US for temporary employment or as a student, this further complicates the issue for foreign individuals who have a driver’s license form their country and want to drive legally. You will need to spend some time researching several insurance companies and talking to one of their agents in order to purchase the proper coverage.

You can find relevant information regarding this issue by using one of the internet’s major search engines such as Bing, Google+, or Yahoo!. It’s much more convenient and easier than thumbing through your local area Yellow Pages. Plus, you will find all the information you need without having to talk with an agent initially. It is important that you compare at least 5 or 6 insurance companies because their policies where foreign drivers are concerned can vary considerably.

First of all, when you use the internet to search for car insurance for foreigners in California, you will typically find two types of companies. On one hand, there are a the major name insurance providers while on the other hand, there are independent agent and company websites that feature multiple insurance companies in a comparison format. Either type of website has its different merits but eventually, you will need to speak with a company agent or representative when making your decision.

Helpful Suggestions to Consider

If you are visiting the US on a Visa, the following suggestions will help you have an easier time of selecting the right insurance for your personal needs:

You must have a driver’s license from your country of origin – you cannot operate a vehicle or purchase insurance in the US without one. You will need to show this when purchasing insurance so it is important that you carry your license with you at all times.

Pick up a copy of the California DMV manual and study the rules for driving and parking in the state – you will quickly discover how these rules and regulations differ from your country.

Search the internet for insurance companies that specialize in insuring foreign visitors – most of the top name insurance providers will be listed on the first couple of results pages when using Bing, Google+, or Yahoo!.

Contact at least half and dozen companies and with an agent from each one – be sure to collect any and all information pertaining to your specific set of circumstances based on the types of coverage you may need.

Ask the different agents what coverage you may be eligible for – you should find out if they offer a comprehensive policy that covers the majority of the driving risks that many people face when driving in California.

Maybe a family member, friend, or co-worker will add you to their policy – if any of these individuals reside in the US, they may agree to include you on their current policies. This will make things considerably easier on you where your insurance needs are concerned.

If you rent a vehicle, ask them about insurance coverage – most car rental companies give you the option of insurance coverage for the period that you will be renting and driving a rental vehicle. For all intents and purposes, this may be your best option and the easiest way to obtain vehicle insurance. Just keep in mind that you should still discuss your needs with different agents while comparing the rates they quote you.

Additional Tips and Precautions

In addition to the above information, you might want to check with your credit card companies to see if they offer protection while visiting the US and other countries. If you have a travel insurance policy from your home country, they may be able to add coverage for driving in the US. International driver’s licenses are only valid for a period of 1 year. So you might want to consider getting a California learner’s permit and driver’s license if your Visa exceeds that length of time. Finally, your best option may be to rent a vehicle online as the rental insurance rates may be considerably cheaper that way.