If you’ve moved to the U.S. from another country in order to go to school, you’ve had a lot of adjustments to make. Driving on U.S. roads may be one of them. It can be overwhelming when it comes to the paperwork for getting a license and registering a car. And, understanding all the rules of the road can be a challenge.
The one thing that can be easy is finding the best car insurance as an international student. This article will give you a few pointers to head you in the right direction.
How to Find Car Insurance as an International Student
Most larger colleges and universities offer some help for their international students when it comes to auto insurance. These programs can offer tips for saving money and finding insurance companies that cater to international students and sometimes even give better rates for those who have driving experience in their own country. Some companies do not do this and require international drivers to have three years of experience driving in the United States.
Types of Car Insurance
This is by no means a comprehensive explanation of the different types of car insurance, but it’s good to have a general understanding as you begin the process of shopping for car insurance. Some types are required, while others are optional. Here are the major types:
Liability – This type of coverage is required in all U.S. states It covers the medical bills repair costs if you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property. Liability insurance covers you if you are someone else’s car. The medical bills portion is known as Bodily Injury coverage.
Collision – Collision coverage is what is used to repair your own car after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. Collison requires a deductible amount, which is the amount you have to pay before the insurance will start covering your bills. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium. Collision coverage is optional.
Comprehensive – This type of coverage is used to repair damage to your car what wasn’t caused by a car accident. Things like hail damage, flood damage or vandalism are covered under comprehensive insurance. This also requires a deductible. This is also an optional coverage.
Collision and Comprehensive are required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.
Car Insurance Rates
As a student, you should expect to see fairly high rates. Due to your inexperience with driving and being in a foreign country, insurance companies see you to be a higher risk. But there are some things you can do to save some money on your auto insurance premiums.
Keep a good driving record – avoiding tickets and accidents is the surest way to keep your rates as low as possible
Choose higher deductibles – choosing a higher deductible automatically lowers your rates, but just be sure you can afford to pay it if you have an accident.
Find discounts – insurers have many ways for you to save due to your unique circumstances. Be sure to take advantage of student discounts, paperless discounts and even discounts for belonging to certain groups.
Keep a good credit rating – with a good credit rating, insurers will see you as less of a risk and offer a lower rate.
Remember it is a legal requirement to have auto insurance if you drive a car in the United States. If you are an international student, it’s important that you shop around to find car insurance companies that will consider driving experience in your own country, if you have it. InsuranceWins can help. Just use our fast and easy form to receive quotes from major carriers, including those with affordable rates for international students.