It doesn’t matter what part of the globe you’re from: Insurance is an important safety net to have for all facets of your life. Auto insurance is no exception. However, what do you do to protect yourself on the road in the U.S. as a visitor from overseas? You may get a quick policy if you’re staying for a week or so, but if you’re a student coming from the UK to do a semester abroad at a university, you may need something more. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
A look at a UK driver’s license in the U.S.
Just like in any country, a valid driver’s license is needed to drive anywhere across the United States. Short-term visitors, like students, may be required to apply for an international driving permit through authorities in the United Kingdom if they plan on renting a vehicle. It’s more of a car rental law than it is a driving law. It’s perfectly legal for a foreign national planning a visit for a semester to drive on their license from their country of origin as long as it’s dictated in English.
The rules are different if you’re driving in the U.S. as a resident and non-citizen. If you are looking to transfer your license from the UK to the U.S., you’ll need to satisfy that state’s residency requirements. It’s the primary reason why some people wait to get a domestic license and must find car insurance with their international privilege.
How can I find insurance coverage?
When you’re looking for the best car insurance for UK students in the US, it’s important to explore quotes for auto insurance coverage just as you would back home. Every insurance company sets its own unique underwriting guidelines. Before you can get a policy through an insurer, you’ll have to meet eligibility requirements laid out by these companies. Just like with domestic drivers, insurance companies prefer to work with low-risk drivers. They may only allow a driver to sign on for coverage if their driver’s license is U.S.-issued, or if there’s a certain amount of experience behind the wheel.
Some auto insurance companies may turn you away if you have a foreign driver’s license. Many car insurance companies want vehicle owners to have a valid address in the United States before issuing an insurance policy. This is mainly for billing purposes, ensuring they are receiving the monthly premium for insurance coverage. Someone on a student visa from the UK may use their school’s dormitory as the address for a car insurance policy. Those insurers that do welcome foreign drivers on board often charge policyholders a higher rate because they aren’t given credit for their experience.
Can I qualify for the same discounts as American drivers?
It’s important when searching through car insurance quotes to make sure that you have the best understanding of the basics: premium, terms and conditions, and exclusions. You don’t want to be caught off guard in a car accident where you’d have protections on your policy in the UK but not in the U.S. Some car insurance providers will do what they can to work with you on finding the right insurance coverage for your needs.
Claims-free discounts might be available in certain circumstances for safe drivers, and students may be able to capitalize on discounts through some insurers for good grades. Figure out if you need a car on a daily basis. This will help you stray from higher rates for infrequent driving. Although you want to make sure you meet your state minimum requirements, you might want to add additional coverages. Proper auto insurance coverage is just a few clicks away.