Auto Insurance for International Drivers: Your Best Guide

Most insurance firms in the US provide automobile insurance to visitors from foreign countries, but a valid driver’s license is necessary to obtain the coverage. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining auto insurance for international drivers in the US.
Auto Insurance for International Drivers: Your Best Guide
Obtaining car insurance for international drivers (non-US nationals) in the United States might be difficult. Beem will simplify the process of getting auto insurance for international drivers if you intend to drive in the country.
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Most insurance firms in the United States provide automobile insurance to visitors from foreign countries, but a valid driver’s license is necessary to obtain coverage in case of an unprecedented accident. Your original license may be accepted depending on your native country, or you can apply for an international driving permit (IDP) in the United States. The standard policy period for acquiring auto insurance for international drivers in the country is 6-12 months. Some insurers provide temporary and limited-term coverage. Beem can help you compare quotes from different insurance providers and get the best deal and discounts (up to 30% off) for your coverage. If you are a tourist renting a car, the business may provide you with some auto insurance. Let’s explore the intricacies of getting auto insurance for international drivers in the United States.

How to Get Auto Insurance for International Drivers?

Obtaining car insurance for international drivers (non-US nationals) in the United States might be difficult. Still, it is required for anybody wishing to drive a car in the country. Here is the process to get vehicle insurance as an overseas driver in the country:

Examine your Eligibility

With your current driver’s license from your native country, prove you can drive in the United States. International drivers may be subject to additional regulations in some states.

International Driving Permit (IDP)

Before traveling to the United States, obtain an IDP from your home country. While an IDP is not a separate license, it is a translation of your driver’s license. Automobile rental firms and insurance companies in the US frequently need it.

Check Insurance Needs

Learn about the vehicle insurance needs in the state where you will be living or driving. Insurance requirements may differ from one state to the next.

Contact Insurance Companies

Contact insurance firms that provide coverage for overseas drivers in the US. Some insurance companies provide coverage targeted to the needs of non-US nationals.

Understand Your Coverage Choices

Consult your insurance provider about coverage choices, such as liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. Check if the insurance fulfills the state’s minimal criteria for driving.

Provide Relevant Information

Be prepared to supply personal information, driving history, and information on the vehicle to the insurance providers if you plan to drive in the country. Remember to carry your valid driver’s license, IDP, and insurance paperwork when driving in the US.

Obtain Multiple Quotations

Request quotations from various insurance companies to evaluate coverage choices and rates. It will help you finalize the most appropriate and cost-effective coverage for your requirements.

Consider Specialized Insurers

Research insurers that specialize in providing coverage for overseas drivers. They may have policies tailored to the specific needs of non-US citizens.

Purchase the Coverage

Once you decide on suitable insurance coverage, purchase it before driving your vehicle in the country. Pay close attention to the coverage’s effective dates.

Is It Necessary to Insure Short-Term Visitors?

Whether relocating to the US or simply visiting, you must acquire the minimum insurance required by the state where you reside or visit if you intend to drive in the region. Carrying the state’s minimum auto insurance requirement is required in almost all states, whether you own or rent the car.

Best Auto Insurance for International Drivers

Individual demands, driving history, and exceptional circumstances may all influence the best vehicle insurance for overseas drivers in the United States. As an international driver, you must choose insurers catering to non-US nationals and provide coverage alternatives appropriate for your position.

  • International Motor Insurance: Some insurance firms provide non-resident drivers with international motor insurance plans. These policies may protect foreigners driving in the nation temporarily.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: It is an intelligent choice for foreigners since it covers various hazards, such as theft, vandalism, and natural catastrophe damage.
  • Liability Coverage: It is required for all drivers, even foreigners, since insurance protects against physical injury and property damage claims if you are at fault in an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy: It protects you in a collision with a motorist who does not have enough or no insurance.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage: These options cover medical bills for you and your passengers regardless of responsibility.
  • Rental Car Coverage: If you want to hire a car in a foreign country, rental car coverage can protect you from accidents or damage.
  • Roadside Assistance: This type of coverage might benefit foreigners unfamiliar with local services and require assistance in the event of a breakdown or an emergency.

How Does Auto Insurance for International Drivers Work?

Even if you’ve been driving for decades abroad, car insurance companies in the US will likely see you as a new driver since they only consider your driving history in the country when setting your premium.

When Relocating to the States

Non-citizens planning a long-term migration to the United States can drive on a foreign license or an IDP for a limited time. The time restriction varies by state, although a foreign license is usually valid for three months and an IDP for a year. You may then acquire an insurance policy corresponding to the length of time — temporary short-term coverage if you are driving with an international license and a year-long policy if you have an IDP.

You must get a driver’s license if you plan on staying in the US for over a year. Either take your international license to the DMV and convert it to an American one, depending on where you are from. You can also schedule an appointment with the DMV and get a new license after taking an official test. However, you may wait until your IDP expires, but it’s ideal to get your US driver’s license as soon as you know you’ll be in the nation for an extended period.

When Traveling to the States

If you rent a car, you may get rental car insurance from the rental business, which will have validity for the duration of your rental; it is the most convenient auto insurance option for tourists. If you’re staying for many months and driving a non-rent rental vehicle, you’ll require auto insurance. Standard insurance plans are valid for six months or a year, but some insurers also provide temporary policies valid for a shorter duration. If you intend to drive for less than six months, it will allow you to have the necessary insurance coverage.

Coming to the United States from Canada

The restrictions are slightly different if you are traveling to the United States from Canada. If you’re on vacation, you don’t need to do anything additional as your Canadian license and insurance will protect you during your stay in the US. However, you will have to register your vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state where you will be staying during the period. You can get auto insurance in the United States after that and begin the process of converting your Canadian driver’s license to an American one.


Obtaining auto insurance for international drivers is crucial when driving in a foreign country. Specialized policies are available from various insurers. Consider comprehensive coverage, liability insurance, and other options like uninsured motorist coverage. Beem will provide a comprehensive comparison of quotes of all coverage types to help you make an informed decision as per your requirements. Obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country and research country-specific requirements when traveling. With proper insurance, international drivers can enjoy a safe and secure driving experience abroad.

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Aniket Kulkarni

A seasoned Product Manager specializing in car insurance content, Aniket has a passion for simplifying complex insurance concepts. His strategic approach to content development reflects years of experience in the product development industry, coupled with a commitment to providing accurate, reliable information.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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