Auto Insurance for Foreigners

Auto insurance for foreigners is required to drive in the U.S. You can purchase car rental insurance in the U.S.A. for foreigners through rental car companies, and some car insurance companies accept an international license. Car Insurance for non-U.S. citizens may have rates 20% higher because of lack of driving record.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2020

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Foreign Driver Summary Statistics
Things to KnowSource
No matter where you're from, you'll need to have a valid driver's license in order to legally drive in the U.S.USA.gov
In some states, foreign driver's will also be required to have an international driving permitUSA.gov
The U.S. does not provide International Driving Permits to foreign visitors, so you'll need to obtain one prior to your trip to the U.S.USA.gov
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You decide to take a trip to the U.S. for vacation, business, etc. As you’re planning your trip, you decide you’d like to obtain a vehicle and drive yourself, rather than use a taxi, rideshare, or public transportation.  You know you’ll probably need some documentation to be able to drive. This may include auto insurance for foreigners, a specific driver’s license, and more.

So is car insurance required for foreign drivers? What about a driver’s license? Can you purchase temporary car insurance without a license in the U.S.? Read this article to find out what you need to legally drive in the U.S. as a foreign driver.

Before you go, use the ZIP code of the area you’ll be visiting to get a free quote on car insurance for foreign drivers so you’ll be prepared to drive during your visit.

Auto Insurance and Foreign Drivers

So can a foreigner get car insurance in the USA? Is it necessary? Does foreign car insurance meet U.S. coverage requirements? Or is additional coverage needed? Can car insurance for U.K. drivers in the USA be purchased, for example?

Read through the next few sections to find out more.

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What are the auto insurance requirements in the U.S.?

Most states across the United States require a minimum amount of liability car insurance coverage in order for you to be able to legally drive. What exactly is liability coverage? Watch this video to learn more.

In this table, we’ve summarized the minimum liability requirements per state using data from the Insurance Information Institute and average rates for this coverage by state from information provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Minimum Liability Auto Insurance Requirements and Average Rates by State
StatesInsurance Required in the StateMinimum Liability Limits Required by the StateAverage Annual Liability Insurance Rates in the StateAverage Monthly Liability Insurance Rates in the State
North DakotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25$282.55$23.55
South DakotaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25$289.04$24.09
IowaBI & PD Liab20/40/15$293.34$24.45
WyomingBI & PD Liab25/50/20$323.38$26.95
MaineBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM, Medpay50/100/25$333.92$27.83
IdahoBI & PD Liab25/50/15$337.17$28.10
VermontBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/10$340.98$28.42
KansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25$342.33$28.53
NebraskaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25$349.07$29.09
North CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM30/60/25$357.59$29.80
WisconsinBI & PD Liab, UM, Medpay25/50/10$359.84$29.99
IndianaBI & PD Liab25/50/25$372.44$31.04
AlabamaBI & PD Liab25/50/25$372.57$31.05
OhioBI & PD Liab25/50/25$376.16$31.35
ArkansasBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/25$381.14$31.76
MontanaBI & PD Liab25/50/20$387.77$32.31
New HampshireFR only25/50/25$393.24$32.77
TennesseeBI & PD Liab25/50/15$397.73$33.14
MissouriBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/25$399.41$33.28
VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20$413.12$34.43
IllinoisBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20$430.54$35.88
MississippiBI & PD Liab25/50/25$437.38$36.45
MinnesotaBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/10$439.58$36.63
OklahomaBI & PD Liab25/50/25$441.57$36.80
HawaiiBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10$458.49$38.21
New MexicoBI & PD Liab25/50/10$462.21$38.52
CaliforniaBI & PD Liab15/30/5$462.95$38.58
UtahBI & PD Liab, PIP25/65/15$471.26$39.27
ColoradoBI & PD Liab25/50/15$477.10$39.76
ArizonaBI & PD Liab15/30/10$488.59$40.72
GeorgiaBI & PD Liab25/50/25$490.64$40.89
PennsylvaniaBI & PD Liab, PIP15/30/5$495.02$41.25
South CarolinaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25$497.50$41.46
TexasBI & PD Liab, PIP30/60/25$498.44$41.54
West VirginiaBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/25$501.44$41.79
KentuckyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/25$518.91$43.24
AlaskaBI & PD Liab50/100/25$547.34$45.61
OregonBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/20$553.43$46.12
WashingtonBI & PD Liab25/50/10$568.92$47.41
MassachusettsBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/5$587.75$48.98
MarylandBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM30/60/15$599.48$49.96
District of ColumbiaBI & PD Liab, UM25/50/10$628.09$52.34
ConnecticutBI & PD Liab, UM, UIM25/50/20$633.95$52.83
NevadaBI & PD Liab25/50/20$647.07$53.92
Rhode IslandBI & PD Liab25/50/25$720.06$60.01
MichiganBI & PD Liab, PIP20/40/10$722.04$60.17
LouisianaBI & PD Liab15/30/25$727.15$60.60
DelawareBI & PD Liab, PIP25/50/10$776.50$64.71
New YorkBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM25/50/10$784.98$65.42
FloridaPD Liab, PIP10/20/10$845.05$70.42
New JerseyBI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM15/30/5$865.55$72.13
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It’s important to keep in mind that the rates in this table are averages for U.S. drivers, and rates for a foreign driver may be higher.

While some companies may not charge higher rates for foreign drivers, others may because you don’t have enough of a track record on U.S. roads. These rates may be an average of 20 percent higher for foreign drivers.

If you’re wondering, do I need a U.S. driver’s licensee to get car instance, keep reading to find out.

Do I need a U.S. driver’s licenses to get auto insurance?

U.S. insurance licenses are not typically required to purchase temporary auto insurance (though some form of driver’s license is required, as you’re not permitted to obtain insurance without a license or drive in the U.S. without one). However, not all insurance companies sell policies to foreign drivers (more on that later).

In some cases, your existing drivers license will be valid. For example, Canadian and Mexican driver’s licenses are usually accepted. However, some states may require you to obtain an international driver’s license or permit in order to legally drive (and therefore to purchase auto insurance in those states).

The U.S. doesn’t issue international driver’s licenses or permits to foreign drivers, so you’ll need to do this ahead of time.

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Should foreign drivers purchase an insurance policy?

It depends on how long you plan to stay. If you’re only here for a short time, it’s probably more economical to purchase insurance through your rental car company (we’ll discuss this in more detail in the next section).

However, if you plan to be in the U.S. for a longer period of time, it may be a good idea to purchase your own policy.

Most policies are sold for six months at a time. If you think you’ll need to cancel before the end of the coverage period, speak to a licensed insurance agent to find out the cancellation policy for the company from which you’re purchasing your policy.

Does rental insurance meet U.S. coverage requirements?

Car rental insurance in the USA for foreigners can be a great option if you only plan to be in the country for a short time. This temporary car insurance coverage will meet the minimum mandatory requirements where you’ll be traveling.

It will be an additional charge on your rental agreement, but it’s not exorbitant. Most companies will charge you somewhere between an extra $8 and $30 per day for the coverage.

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The Bottom Line for Auto Insurance for Foreigners

When you’re planning to come to the U.S., you need to know the requirements for car insurance for non-U.S. citizens if you plan to drive. Before you make your trip across the pond, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • International driver’s licenses or permits may be required if you’re traveling from anywhere besides Canada or Mexico (and you’ll need to obtain one in your home country, before arriving in the U.S.)
  • If you’re planning a short trip, insurance through your car rental company is probably the best option
  • If you’re planning an extended trip, it may make more sense to purchase a long-term policy, which you can cancel when you leave the country
  • Car insurance coverage may cost a bit more for a foreign driver than averages for U.S. drivers because of the lack of driving history in the country

Enjoy your trip to the U.S. and be ready to get behind the wheel by getting the right insurance for your driving needs.

Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance for Foreign Drivers

Still have questions about car insurance for foreign drivers? Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

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What insurance companies accept international licenses?

Insurance companies that sell policies to foreign drivers typically accept international licenses, rather than requiring a U.S. license.

This includes Progressive and Farmers car insurance, but you’ll need to speak with insurance companies directly to confirm that they do in fact accept international licenses when you’re looking to purchase a policy, as not all companies do (and not all companies sell insurance to foreign drivers either).

Can a foreigner drive my car?

The short answer is yes. However, you’ll need to confirm your car insurance coverage is sufficient. You’ll find that adding an overseas visitor to your car insurance policy temporarily is a good option if you plan to allow them to drive your vehicle.

What kind of auto insurance coverage do I need in a foreign country?

If you’re planning to travel abroad and drive while you’re visiting another country, you’ll need to meet the car insurance requirements set by those countries (and you may need an international driver’s license). So if you’re looking for car insurance for foreigners in the UK, Canada, Korea, Ireland, Japan, Australia, etc. your best bet is to find out the specific requirements in the country you plan to visit.

For example, in Canada, the primary ways to get car insurance as a foreigner are to apply for car insurance for non-residents or have whoever you plan to visit temporarily add you to their policy.

Does Geico insurance cover foreign drivers?

Depending on where you’re going, you may be able to purchase overseas insurance coverage through Geico. They can also provide assistance and recommendations for coverages in various countries, if needed.

For foreign drivers in the U.S., you’ll need to speak with a licensed Geico insurance agent.

Before you go, get a free quote on foreign driver car insurance today by using the ZIP code of the area in which you’ll be staying.

References:

  1. https://www.usa.gov/visitors-driving
  2. https://www.iii.org/automobile-financial-responsibility-laws-by-state
  3. https://content.naic.org/article/news_release_naic_releases_2019_market_share_data.htm

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