Car insurance for international students

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Car insurance for international students. If you are not a United States citizen, there are special details and guides to take into consideration before purchasing a car. This guide provides a summary of everything you need to know about car insurance for international students. Before you are legally qualified to drive in U.S, you need a valid drivers license as well as proof of insurance.

How Can you Obtain a U.S Driver’s License

You cannot purchase auto insurance in U.S  if you do not have a driver’s licence. You need a driver’s license as well as an insurance policy before you can legally be allowed to drive. International students can either apply for a state-issued driver’s license or buy an international driver’s permit.

Any non-immigrant in lawful status can apply for a driver’s license in the U.S. However, the requirements and steps for doing so are different in each state. If you want to get a license as an international student, you should seek advice from someone in the international student affairs office at your school.

Requirements to obtain license for international students

The necessary requirements for obtaining a license are differ in every state. However, you generally need your passport, visa, and proof of legal residence – which may include a national ID, recent utility bill, recent bank statement, or rental payment statement. You will also need to fill out various forms. You will learn more about this at your international student affairs department.

Other requirements to obtain license for international students

Once you’ve gathered the required documents, the process for obtaining a driver’s license is the same as it is for any other U.S. citizen. This usually includes:

Written test: The specifics of this test differ in every state. Most states have online resources and/or study guides available at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Eye exam: You will be permitted to wear corrective lenses to complete the eye exam. However, if you do so, it will be noted on your license. Thus, you will be required to wear glasses or contacts whenever driving.

Driving test: The specifics of this test equally vary by state. However, you’re basically required to show you can follow basic traffic laws and perform regular driving actions like turning and parking.

International Driver’s Permit

An international driver’s permit functions just the same as a driver’s license. Thus, it can be used to purchase car insurance for international students. Before you can apply for one, you must have had a driver’s license in your home country for at least six months and international driver’s permit is only valid for one year and can be renewed. You can purchase an international driver’s permit from the American Automobile Association or American Automobile Touring Alliance.

Car Insurance Requirements For International Students

Access to a car and the ability to drive is a necessity for many residents in the United States. This is because public transportation between U.S cities are often poor or nonexistent.

All drivers need a car, valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. Insurance is very important due to the expenses associated with car accidents. Even a low-speed crash can generate damages amounting from $1,000 to $10,000 or even higher.

Car insurance for international students work in the same way as it does for everyone else in the U.S. However, purchasing a car insurance policy is not always simple. This is because there are different types of car insurance coverage. Most providers offer the following standard coverage:

Collision coverage

Collision covers repairs to your car in the event of a collision with another vehicle or object. This is so even when the accident was caused by you. Collision coverage will cover the cost of your own repairs 

Liability coverage

This coverage pays for other people’s injuries and property damage in an accident where you are at fault. It will not cover your own injuries and car damage.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

PIP covers your medical expenses that result from an accident. It may even reimburse lost wages if your injuries stopped you from working for sometime.

Medical payments (MedPay) 

This policy covers your medical expenses as well as those of your passengers.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)  

Auto insurance is legally required by most states. However, not every driver has insurance. UM/UIM covers the repair of your vehicle after an accident with an uninsured driver. It also covers repairs after a clash with a driver that cannot afford the full cost of damages.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive car insurance covers repairs to your vehicle after non-collision events. Such events include: theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

Minimum insurance requirements differ in every state. Therefore, you should ensure you check local laws. t’s not a good idea to purchase only the minimum required coverage. Many states only require liability insurance. This will not cover repairs for your own vehicle if you are at fault.

Car Insurance Alternatives

There are situations in which you can drive without purchasing standard car insurance policy as an international student in U.S. If you intend to buy a car, you will need a car insurance policy. However, if you only plan to drive for a short period of time, you could rent a car instead of buying one. insurance is typically included under the rental agreement when you rent a car.

You can also consider a short-term car insurance policy and non-owner insurance policy. These policies are generally cheaper than annual plans.  It is also a good option if you will only intend to drive for a short period of time. Non-owner insurance policy can be used if you don’t own a car but intend to regularly borrow a friend’s vehicle.

How To Find Car Insurance For International Students

Once you possess a driver’s license or an international driver’s permit, you will be able to purchase an insurance policy. Take note that many insurance companies will request a driving history record from your home country.

There are a lot of car insurance providers in the United States. The cost of coverage – premium – varies depending on a lot of factors. Such factors include:

  • Age
  • Driving record
  • The city you live in
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Credit score
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Profession

There is no one size fits all here. Therefore, it is important to compare car insurance quotes if you want to save money. Quite unfortunately, car insurance costs for international students tend to be expensive. Young drivers and drivers without a credit score or much driving experience are more likely to have higher premiums. However, there are companies that offer special discounts to students and safe drivers. Therefore, it is not impossible to find a good auto insurance rate.


In order to provide accurate and unbiased information to clients, expert review team collected data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories:

Coverage: This rating is determined based on the types of insurance available –  maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.

Availability: Availability by state is considered here as well as inclusion and exclusions for specific groups of drivers.

Cost and Discounts: In this category, companies with lower prices and many  insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.

Industry Standing: Rating in this category is determined by the companies’ strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices.

Customer Service: This rating is based on customer reviews and consumer feedback.

Technology: Auto insurers with advanced online services, telematics and mobile apps are more likely to meet consumer needs.

Best Car Insurance For International Students

It could be hard to find the best car insurance for international students. Below is a list of best insurance providers for international students. These companies have been carefully evaluated based on cost, discount, availability and reputation.

Geico Insurance:

Geico auto insurance is a well-known auto insurance company and that too for a good reason. This company has the cheapest auto insurance rates, a stable financial status and a high level of customer satisfaction.

Geico is a good choice for car insurance for international students. This is because it offers discounts for student drivers in good academic standing. The company has also partnered with the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) to offer special discounts to members. Geico also offers some of the lowest prices for non-owner insurance policy.

State Farm Insurance:

State Farm is well-known for handling claims quickly. Just like Geico, it offers discounts for student drivers with good grades. It also have a high level of customer satisfaction. The company is also known for its many discount opportunities and programs. Such programs include Steer ClearⓇ, a safe driving app for drivers under age 25. It also offers low prices on non-owner insurance policy. However, it should be noted that this company is not available in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

 Erie Insurance:

Erie auto insurance is a wonderful choice for new drivers looking for discounts for safe driving or reduced usage. The reduced usage discount could  be attractive if you plan to leave the U.S. between semesters.

Note however that Erie is a regional insurance provider. Thus, it is only available in the following locations: Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and District of Columbia

AAA (American Automobile Association) Insurance:

AAA car insurance is a good choice for younger drivers. This is primarily because the insurer offers a student discount. The quality of service however, seems to differ from state to state. In order to be able to purchase AAA insurance, you need to be a member of AAA’s roadside assistance program.

Auto-Owners Insurance:

Auto-Owners Insurance offers competitively priced policies and student driver discounts. You may be able to find some of the cheapest car insurance for international students. Like Erie, Auto-Owners is only available in select states: Wisconsin, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Arkansas and Alabama.


To compare car insurance quotes, simply enter your zip code in the quote tool to compare rates, and find the best car insurance policy for you. 

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