Important Tips on Car Insurance For Foreign Visitors in USA
If you are a foreign visitor to the United States, have a valid visa, and want to drive a car while in the United States, then the first thing you should do before thinking about getting into the vehicle’s driving seat is to get a car insurance in USA, that is right for you.
U.S. traffic law requires that every driver of an automobile be covered under an insurance policy that can cover any damage caused to property of others or third parties. Therefore, tourists who plan to cross into the U.S. and drive car should consider purchasing coverage that meets all the requirements that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) dictates.
Insurance companies in the United States have several offers on auto insurance policies for both residents and people visiting the country with a valid visa. Note that there are specific conditions and guidelines in some states, so searching for local information about these requirements is indispensable.
Why auto insurance is must to drive in the U.S.?
In addition to being a regulation dictated by the traffic police and the DMV, the compensation system for those affected by car accidents in the USA is based on the slogan “who collides, pays”.
That means that the driver who has caused damage with his vehicle should be responsible for paying for the expenses caused, and the insurance of cars with third-party coverage (liability) serves for that. If another driver causes damage to your property or your person, he will be responsible for covering your expenses, or at least his insurance will.
Consequences of driving without insurance in USA?
You can go unnoticed without car insurance in USA in two scenarios:
- If the traffic police don’t stop you (something not very common for tourists with foreign license plates).
- You may also go unnoticed if you are lucky enough not to be involved in a car accident.
On the other hand, if you are unlucky and get caught after causing damage to another vehicle, property or person with your car, and you don’t have insurance… you will be in serious legal trouble and could even be arrested depending on the state you are in.
How to get auto insurance as a tourist in USA?
There are many ways. Remember that auto insurance is purchased through private companies and you can contact one of these or look for a good deal on the Internet. Auto insurance policies usually cover a period of 30 days, but some companies sell auto insurance for as little as one day.
Make sure your insurance has coverage throughout the U.S. (generally, all auto insurance offers this coverage), that your insurance covers the limits required by the law of the state you visit, and that your auto insurance is legitimate (you can find out if an auto insurance company is legitimate or not in your state’s DMV).
Here are some suggestions you can follow to get auto insurance during your stay in the United States:
Obtain an international driver’s license from your country of residence. Without this, you are not allowed to drive or get the necessary auto insurance in any country you visit. Take this license with you, as you will have to show it before you can get coverage.
Learn seriously the rules and regulations of traffic, driving and parking in the United States. You can get this information from the Department of Motor Vehicles in any city.
Browse and search the Internet for all of the insurance companies that specialize in providing auto insurance coverage to foreigners. Select companies who will assist you and give you the advice whenever needed.
However it is always advisable to take seriously the search for information and compare yourself among all the existing options to decide for the one that best suits our needs.
Once you have selected the company to buy car insurance from, get advice from one of its agents and inquire about all the coverage alternatives that you as a foreigner can access. For example, ask if you are entitled to a comprehensive or broad protection policy that covers and protects your vehicle more fully. While it is required by U.S. law to have a basic auto insurance policy that provides you with liability coverage, at a minimum, for occupant injuries and third party damage to your persons and/or property, being able to extend the limits of coverage is always a good decision.
Also see if you can be added to the policy of a family member or friend residing in the United States. This may be a more viable way to get not only your auto insurance, but also perhaps a better rate.
(1) You can purchase your auto insurance policy through a credit card. Check if your credit card can provide the auto insurance coverage you need through the insurance agents of your choice.
(2) Be sure to clearly inform the insurance company regarding the type of visa you hold. The temporarily of your visa may be an important factor to consider when generating the right insurance plan for you.
(3) Finally, if you buy auto insurance in your home country and your agent assures you that the coverage is valid in the U.S., make sure the policy covers all the details specified above.