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Car Insurance help required

Car Insurance help required

Old Nov 28th 2005, 11:03 pm
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Default Car Insurance help required

I'm sure this is something that has been asked and answered here before but I scrolled through a lot of threads and couldn't see the answer...so here goes.

I have recently moved to NY (have visa etc so becoming a resident) and am awaiting my SSN (told it would be 3 months by the office). I need to get a car but it appears I cannot register a car without a ton of paperwork and cannot get insurance without a US licecnce. To get a licence you have to get a learner permit that needs a SSN!!

I believe I can drive in the US on my UK licence until resident in NY - but am I not that already? Even without a SSN?

Therefore seem a bit stuck in a catch 22. Does anyone know of an insurance company that will insure me while still on my Uk licence pending getting a NY licecence. I have spoken to several who said no. Also when my wife joins me in Jan she will be in the same position but will need to drive ASAP.

Anyone been through this and have any thoughts or help?
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Fanghorn
Does anyone know of an insurance company that will insure me while still on my Uk licence pending getting a NY licecence.
Progressive
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 11:45 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Progressive once you've sold a kidney to afford the first 3 months premiums!

Do AIG still have the deal where you pay them $500 and get an unsecured credit card and cheap car insurance? I saw it mentioned here a couple of years ago and worked out that it would have saved me money over Progressive's deal, but never followed up on it.

... still, Fatbrit's right that Progressive will insure you if you can lay down the cold, hard cash. About $3000 for 6 months in my case, if I remember right!
:scared:
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Old Nov 28th 2005, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by dbj1000
Progressive once you've sold a kidney to afford the first 3 months premiums!

Do AIG still have the deal where you pay them $500 and get an unsecured credit card and cheap car insurance? I saw it mentioned here a couple of years ago and worked out that it would have saved me money over Progressive's deal, but never followed up on it.

... still, Fatbrit's right that Progressive will insure you if you can lay down the cold, hard cash. About $3000 for 6 months in my case, if I remember right!
:scared:
Thanks for the info. Just tried Progressive and their website says that due to state law they cannot provide insurance for someone without a state licence.

Have a feeling this means I am shafted in NY state without a licence.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Fanghorn
Thanks for the info. Just tried Progressive and their website says that due to state law they cannot provide insurance for someone without a state licence.

Have a feeling this means I am shafted in NY state without a licence.
There was plenty of info in a recent thread where someone had been told that it would take months to get a SSN. I seem to remember that there was good advice given about how to get the SSN sooner.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Use the Search function on BE to look for previous threads that cover the topic of how to get car insurance in NY state.



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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:18 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Fanghorn
I'm sure this is something that has been asked and answered here before but I scrolled through a lot of threads and couldn't see the answer...so here goes.

I have recently moved to NY (have visa etc so becoming a resident) and am awaiting my SSN (told it would be 3 months by the office). I need to get a car but it appears I cannot register a car without a ton of paperwork and cannot get insurance without a US licecnce. To get a licence you have to get a learner permit that needs a SSN!!

I believe I can drive in the US on my UK licence until resident in NY - but am I not that already? Even without a SSN?

Therefore seem a bit stuck in a catch 22. Does anyone know of an insurance company that will insure me while still on my Uk licence pending getting a NY licecence. I have spoken to several who said no. Also when my wife joins me in Jan she will be in the same position but will need to drive ASAP.

Anyone been through this and have any thoughts or help?
Check out the thread about work permits SSN info there.Not that long ago.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Fanghorn
I'm sure this is something that has been asked and answered here before but I scrolled through a lot of threads and couldn't see the answer...so here goes. .................
Anyone been through this and have any thoughts or help?
If you have proof that you have applied for your SSN, and have proof of legal status, it's possible to get a driver's licence in most states. You'll have to take the test, but that's dead easy.

I wasn't even eligible for a SSN. Had to get a letter from the SSA saying I wasn't eligible. Took a while sorting it out with DMV staff - most of whom are ignorant about immigration matters.

We were able to get insurance the day we obtained our learner's permits.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by dbj1000
There was plenty of info in a recent thread where someone had been told that it would take months to get a SSN. I seem to remember that there was good advice given about how to get the SSN sooner.
Yep - think that was Roadster's thread - I posted on it. Should be stuff on there that will help you with the SSN.
As for the license you should not need a learner's permit. Driving here is a doddle so you'll need to borrow someone's car and proof of insurance. This is proof that the car is insured, not you. Then hit the DMV with your new SSN, passport, proof of address, blah, blah, blah. Do the test then and there and bob's your uncle.
Unfortunately you'll still get stroked on the insurance, but at least its a start.
If you're new here and you intend to buy a car it might be an issue getting finance. If you intend to pay in cash that's fine (though you'll get a lot of funny looks), otherwise you'll need a credit histroy to avoid paying 57% on your loan. Getting someone to co-sign for you would be your solution there.

Back to the SSN - check out that old thread and get down to the nearest social security office asap. If you play your cards right you could have it by Xmas and then all being well your license by the New Year.

Good luck
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:37 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

You can use your UK license for around 30 days, usually, but depends on the state, have to check your dmv/bmv site for that info...and getting insurance, well it'll be expensive until you get a local license, and still be expensive because you wouldn't have 3 years driving history here...

I got my insurance through Concorde Group, which was pretty cheap, well relatively for full comp...there new england based, so might not be much use for you in NY, but worth having a peak all the same...

And you don't need a license or insurance to buy a car, you just need insurance to get the car registered, and then with the registration, get the car inspected and plates...
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 12:40 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by BigDavyG
As for the license you should not need a learner's permit. Driving here is a doddle so you'll need to borrow someone's car and proof of insurance. This is proof that the car is insured, not you. Then hit the DMV with your new SSN, passport, proof of address, blah, blah, blah. Do the test then and there and bob's your uncle.
Unfortunately you'll still get stroked on the insurance, but at least its a start.
If you're new here and you intend to buy a car it might be an issue getting finance. If you intend to pay in cash that's fine (though you'll get a lot of funny looks), otherwise you'll need a credit histroy to avoid paying 57% on your loan. Getting someone to co-sign for you would be your solution there.
Pay cash for a chunk of the car, but it's a good idea to get finance for at least some of it as it gets you on the road to US credit history...

As for driving someone else's motor, have to check to see if someone without a license would be covered, could void the persons insurance otherwise...

and drivers permit, would have to get that to be able to take the test, and depends on state and persons age as to whether they would be allowed to take test straight away, or have to have the permit for a length of time first, and also depends on state if they allow someone with an international drivers license to drive on own with a learners permit...
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:36 am
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Lightbulb Re: Car Insurance help required

It might be worth sending an e-mail to or phoning GEICO; they have overseas locations so should have some sort of experience with expats (although their UK locations seem to be mostly at RAF bases with a US contingent LOL!):

http://www.geico.com/auto/overseas/Locations.htm

We live in New Jersey (New York metro area) and had problems when we first arrived in getting car insurance; they seem to have no knowledge of what a 'no claims discount' is... . However, we did find an insurance broker called 'Personal Lines' in Warren, NJ and they offered us car insurance through Chubb, and PL definitely had experience in dealing with newly arrived expats and that Chubb (which is an international company) does insure expats. I understand that Personal Lines has just been taken over and is now called 'Hub International'. Chubb isn't the cheapest (but they're good) but it could be an option to explore and then after 6-12 months once you have built up some history you can then change to another insurance company (we've just switched to Geico as our son has just passed his test and the premiums have shot up....).

http://www.chubb.com/findagent/findagent_form.html

You will need to stress in all communications with insurance brokers that you need to liaise with someone who has experience in dealing with expatriates/new arrivals legally resident in the US.

Your first port of call is the DMV website for New York State as it clearly states what you and your wife will need to produce:

http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/

(See: Applying for Your First Driver License and scroll down to 'Drivers from Other Nations') It's a bit alarming where it says that the road test examiner retains one's foreign licence during the test, the DMV keeps it and *destroys it* after 60 days!!! (You can ask the driving test examiner not to have it destroyed though....what a bloody cheek, how dare they even choose to destroy a licence issued by another country...grrrr).

If you don't have a Green Card (I'm assuming you are on a non-immigrant visa eg. L1 or H1 and didn't win the diversity lottery for a GC) then you could perhaps try this company if you're really struggling to get insurance - you wouldn't be touring but it seems to be open to someone in your category....might be worth sending them an e-mail enquiry:

http://www.sunriseworldwide.com/autoins.asp

Hope it helps!

Last edited by Englishmum; Nov 29th 2005 at 1:38 am.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Bob
Pay cash for a chunk of the car, but it's a good idea to get finance for at least some of it as it gets you on the road to US credit history...

As for driving someone else's motor, have to check to see if someone without a license would be covered, could void the persons insurance otherwise...

and drivers permit, would have to get that to be able to take the test, and depends on state and persons age as to whether they would be allowed to take test straight away, or have to have the permit for a length of time first, and also depends on state if they allow someone with an international drivers license to drive on own with a learners permit...
I just got my Illinois license 2 weeks ago and did not get a permit, nor was I told that I needed one. I am 100% certain that you do not need to get a learner's permit. When I took my test no-one asked to see a learner's permit or even mentioned it (and I took different parts of my test at 2 different DMV's).
Most insurance policies will cover any driver who has the owner's permission as long as they have a valid licnese which could include an international one for the initial 2/3 month period (technically I had no license when I took my test as I'd been here for 4 months and my UK license would have no longer been acceptable, but lets face it, how are the insurance firm going to find out when you got here if the worst happened).
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by Englishmum
(See: Applying for Your First Driver License and scroll down to 'Drivers from Other Nations') It's a bit alarming where it says that the road test examiner retains one's foreign licence during the test, the DMV keeps it and *destroys it* after 60 days!!! (You can ask the driving test examiner not to have it destroyed though....what a bloody cheek, how dare they even choose to destroy a licence issued by another country...grrrr).

Hope it helps!
This point about them taking your "foreign" license has been discussed on here before and its generally considered to b complete nonsense.
I showed my UK license repeatedly at the DMV as proof of ID and not one person asked to keep it. Another girl who posts on here who took her test in Ca asked about this at the DMV and apparently they will take your license if you come from certain countries, but in order to avoid offending people they just put that blanket statement on their website.
Anyway, your license is your personal property so even if they say that they do take them they don't really have a leg to stand on if they tried to enforce it.
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Old Nov 29th 2005, 1:51 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance help required

Originally Posted by BigDavyG
I just got my Illinois license 2 weeks ago and did not get a permit, nor was I told that I needed one. I am 100% certain that you do not need to get a learner's permit. When I took my test no-one asked to see a learner's permit or even mentioned it (and I took different parts of my test at 2 different DMV's).
Most insurance policies will cover any driver who has the owner's permission as long as they have a valid licnese which could include an international one for the initial 2/3 month period (technically I had no license when I took my test as I'd been here for 4 months and my UK license would have no longer been acceptable, but lets face it, how are the insurance firm going to find out when you got here if the worst happened).
Excellent news! Can I apply Illinois law next time I don't like the Texas laws too?

By the way, I was 100% certain (on this very board) that nobody really needed to have an SSN to get a drivers license, until Ray or Pulaski pointed out in their oh-so-charming way that I was a total feckwit for thinking all states have the same rules.
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