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US Car Insurance for non-resident?

US Car Insurance for non-resident?

Old Nov 17th 2002, 3:37 am
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Default US Car Insurance for non-resident?

I own a holiday home in the US, and spend several months each year there. Although I don't currently have/need a car there, I'm trying to find out what the options are if I do, and what others have done.

As I'm only a visitor (and have no interest at all in immigrating), I can't get a US driving license (or, at best, can get a new one each time valid for the length of stay given on the visa, which is rather impractical).

So, it seems the only insurance available (in Arizona) are limited policies available from a few companies for those with foreign licenses. Quotes for this range (well) upwards of $90/month, the largest part of which is liabilty coverage. The type/age of the car makes little difference. (my UK/EU policy is more like 230GBP/yr).

Has anybody tried anything else, such as extending their UK policy to cover the US, a company owned car, or something else? I don't have a relative in the US I could share the insurance of.

At current prices, it works out best for me to rent a car for the limited times I need it (the CDW, but not liability, is covered by my US credit card). But if there's a way to get insurance to own a car at a more sensible price it would be nice.

Rob
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Old Nov 19th 2002, 3:40 am
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Hey there...

First of all, I want to correct you on the fact about you not being able to get a drivers license in the U.S. That's wrong, you are fully entitled to get a drivers license in the U.S, and the process is now so much more simpler than before June 1st, 2002. Before you had to go to an INS office and show them your I-94W card in order for them to issue you a pass so that you did not have to provide a social security number to get a driver's license here....., but now you can just go into any DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and get a drivers license, depending on what state you're in, they will either issue you a license for 5 years, or, for the time that is shown on your VISA. Like, if you have 60 days left on your I-94W then your drivers license will be valid for 60 days.....and when u come back in, you have to re-apply for a new one, that is for example, in Florida.

You are also allowed to have car insurance if you like, you can use GEICO for example, and all you need is your drivers license ID number which starts with a D, and an adress in the US, and you're all set !!

Last edited by NiceGuy82; Nov 19th 2002 at 3:48 am.
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Old Nov 19th 2002, 5:13 am
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Originally posted by NiceGuy82
and get a drivers license, depending on what state you're in, they will either issue you a license for 5 years, or, for the time that is shown on your VISA.
Yes, as I said, I can get a US licence valid for as long as each entry (in this state, Arizona), but that is rather impractical - running around getting the license, then arranging fresh insurance, etc each time I arrive.

And presumably leaving the car totally uninsured when gone, which limits it to something I can afford to have stolen.

It is an option, and I was considering it, but seems messy. It makes it hard to build up much of an insurance history (thus defeating the purpose of having a US license!).

The SSN doesn't come into it, I have one (from years ago). It's the permitted duration of stay in the country they go on.

Rental cars seem to win on price still at the moment (given I would need one for a few days at the start of each trip anyway to arrange the license/insurance!). Any other options?

Rob
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Old Nov 19th 2002, 6:51 am
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Well, just remember rental car insurance does not cover you as much as regular insurance....actually I guess you're pretty much screwed if Arizona regulates your license like that, meaning, you only get it valid every 3 months.....

You can go to California and get a drivers license there, they'll issue you one for 5 years....and you won't have a problem...

But you have 2 options actually with your Arizona drivers license, you can either like you said, keep renting cars at weekly rates (hopefully with unlimited mileage) or what you can actually do is ask an american friend to sign up for an insurance policy putting him as the primary driver, and I know that what insurance companies do is that for example Geico or Progressive give the same amount of insurace coverage if either a friend, a relative of the primary driver totals the car, as long as you can prove that you're only a tourist, meaning, as long as you don't receive your mail on the primary driver's adress, you'll be covered....

My girlfriend is 25 and we have Progressive car insurance, it's $470 every 6 months and I drive the car as a "tourist" since that is what I am classified as, even though I come to the US a lot to spend time with her.....

Good Luck...
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Old Nov 19th 2002, 7:22 am
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Originally posted by NiceGuy82
My girlfriend is 25 and we have Progressive car insurance, it's $470 every 6 months and I drive the car as a "tourist" since that is what I am classified as, even though I come to the US a lot to spend time with her.....
Doesn't sound a great deal different from what I'm quoted as a non-resident ($78 rather than 90 or so/month), but that's possibly because CA is more expensive than AZ.

I don't need a car all the time here so these types of overheads are a bit much. I usually just grab a car for a weekend or a week every month or so, but even that I'm doing less nowadays - unusually for America I live in a place where nearly everything is walking distance (even a general aviation airport so it might be easier to get a plane than a car...:-)

I think I'll stick to my un-American lifestyle - no car and no TV (but I do have a cable modem...) :-)

Rob
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Old Nov 22nd 2002, 6:11 am
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California only issues licenses for the duration of your I-94. I just got mine in the mail. It is also a violation of Federal law to hold a drivers license for more than one state. California will take any others away or deface them before issuing one of theirs.
 
Old Nov 26th 2002, 2:44 am
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Default Re: I don't know what you read?

Originally posted by boomer2
California only issues licenses for the duration of your I-94. I just got mine in the mail. It is also a violation of Federal law to hold a drivers license for more than one state. California will take any others away or deface them before issuing one of theirs.
Well that's states, not countries. They didn't touch my UK license.
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Old Dec 16th 2002, 3:41 am
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NYC makes you take the written & Driving test. Even though you take a test they will ask you for your UK license & confiscate it "Unless you don't have one "Of Course". The driving test was sadly pathetic "Fifty times less difficult then in UK" Eye test a blind person could pass it. Through the tunnel in NJ they do not make you take the driving test, they just swap your UK license. Every state in USA is like a different country. 15 years still getting the hang of it.

Re, driving a non rental car in NY or probably 50 states, ie a relatives car etc. You cannot drive with a non USA (Possibly Canadian) driving License. I called my company, "Any driver with current license" means USA, not foreign.
I have had 3 Insurance companies, always same answer.
If you live in a state for more then 30 days as a resident, ie. work/telephone/ apartment etc. You have to get a new license, they usually exchange them one for one within 50 State & Canada. Sometimes written test & a drive around the mall car park.

I JUST RENEWED MY LICENSE, THEY NOW REQUIRE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. Post 9/11

Reg. Frank R.
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Old Dec 16th 2002, 12:50 pm
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Ref, my message above.
As my now American converted son would say "Do Over".
I just spoke to my newest insurance company Geico. And yes a visitor from another country or another State "Not perminently living with me" can drive my car. I need send Geico a copy of their driving license. If there is an accident whilst this person is driving, it will reflect on my insurance as a "Lending Loss".
Reg. Frank R.
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