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Car Insurance Question

Car Insurance Question

Old Oct 14th 2011, 5:06 am
  #1  
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Default Car Insurance Question

Just after a bit of advice...

So my wife and I have been in Arizona for 8 weeks or so now having come over from the UK and are about to buy a brand new Hyundai Sonata. My wife is American, I am British and we both now have Arizona driving licenses.

We are both going to be driving the car, fairly equally. I have a full UK driving history and have brought written confirmation of 8 years no claims bonus from my UK insurers, dated July 2011. My wife hasn't driven regularly since 2007 when she left the US to come to the UK.

So.....does US insurance work in the same way as the UK whereby you nominate one main driver and have a second driver on the insurance? And if so, who are we better putting as the main driver? Obviously we want to keep the cost down. Does anyone else have any experience of this?

From looking at other posts, it seems I should check out Geico, State Farm, AIG/Travel Guard and Progressive....

Thanks,
James
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Old Oct 14th 2011, 5:19 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Our car insurance insured the car and named all the licensed drivers in the home, we have multiple vehicles and assigned each car a primary driver, but anyone can drive any vehicle.
We had allstate and now we have AAA we prefer AAA since we have the roadside assistance and can use the offices for other things, like maps, travel agency, DMV even. We ended up moving the house insurance to them too.
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Old Oct 14th 2011, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Here, everyone in the household who is eligible to drive is on the policy (except for my bike ) with State Farm. Quite good discounts if you put everything with them (car, bike, boat, house etc.).
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Old Oct 14th 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

When we leased my car, the lease was put in my husband's name as he had a SSN and I didn't at the time, but we are both on the policy to drive and we have never had any problems with me being the main driver - including when I got rear ended by an Escalade.

We switched to State Farm when we bought a house because, as mentioned above, you get discounts if you have multiple policies. We were with Progressive at the time of my accident, but they refused to insure our house as they said it was above their maximum....they must have a very low maximum!

Quite startlingly, our daughter who is 15 and a student driver, doesn't cost any extra at all on the policy. Apparently because she will be under constant supervision when driving. I am not complaining but I think student drivers, even though they are supervised must surely be at a greater risk of having an accident by virtue of their inexperience.
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Old Oct 14th 2011, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Completely different over here. It's all about household aged drivers, even if they aren't licensed in some states. More importantly it's about credit history.

Your UK driving history and credit history will mean shit all over here.

Getting household/renters insurance bundled will help reduce the rate.

Depending on the state, you might get reductions for doing an advanced drivers class, having off street parking, have covered parking, alarm/immoboliser, airbags, short commutes of less than 6K a year for instance.

It's all explained in the wiki somewhere, good luck!
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Old Oct 14th 2011, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Originally Posted by jamiedan View Post
We are both going to be driving the car, fairly equally. I have a full UK driving history and have brought written confirmation of 8 years no claims bonus from my UK insurers, dated July 2011. My wife hasn't driven regularly since 2007 when she left the US to come to the UK.
Your situation sounds very similar to ours when we arrived in late 2009. (I am the USC.) I signed up with Progressive online, and when it came time to renew I called them rather than use the site again (I forget why, I think I was trying to see if they could offer us a better deal).

I discovered that since the reason that I had not been insured in the US over the last few years was because I was living overseas, the person on the phone could flip some kind of switch and get me a much better rate - nearly half of what it had been previously.

So whichever company you go with, have your wife call them and explain the situation and see if they can get you a better rate than the automatic online one.
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Old Oct 16th 2011, 5:22 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Many thanks for all the replies.

Having surveyed Geico, Progressive & State Farm, Geico came in cheapest at $335 for a 6-month policy with high coverage on a brand new Hyundai Sonata.

We went with my USC wife as the main name and me on the policy as spouse. Apparently its half the cost of the average policy here in Arizona so I think we've done ok.

Going to pick it up from the dealer tomorrow! Just 4 miles on the clock!
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Old Oct 16th 2011, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Car Insurance Question

Welcome!

We've been in the US (Chandler, AZ) almost a year now.

We got our insurance arranged through AIG.

We had somebody reverse in to us back in June - it's still not resolved. Apparently this is normal...

I mention this as context for this option you may consider - no matter who you insure with... Opting for low or zero deductible might make things a little easier if you get involved in an incident... but your premium will be higher - enough to likely cover the deductible - and you'll be paying that every year - in financial terms you'll get your money's worth if you have a knock each year and claim... assuming your base premium doesn't go up!!

Going forward we'll simply keep $500 (our deductible) to one side in case there's an issue, and consider it written off - the alternative is to pay more each and every month - adds up to and then exceeds the deductible by the end of the first year...

The cover we got through AIG (21st Century) is about as comprehensive as we could sensibly make it - for a new leased VW Tiguan. We're paying around $89 a month all in.

Good luck!

Cheers

Harry
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