Cheap Car Insurance for International Students in the USA

Cheap Car Insurance for International Students: Purchasing car insurance in the United States can be confusing and expensive for international students. However, there are ways to find affordable coverage if you do your research. This guide will walk through the best options for cheap car insurance for international students studying in the USA.

Understanding Minimum Requirements

The first step is understanding the minimum auto insurance requirements in the state where you are studying. Laws vary, but most states require at least:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – covers injuries to others if you’re at fault
  • Property damage liability coverage – covers damage you may cause to another vehicle or property
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – protects you if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or insufficient coverage

Many states like California and New York also require personal injury protection and MedPay coverage in case you are hurt. Know your state laws so you purchase adequate coverage.

Choosing Limited Coverage

One way international students lower costs is by purchasing only the minimum required coverage. This means skipping optional protection like:

  • Collision – covers damage to your car from an accident
  • Comprehensive – covers damage to your car from theft, vandalism, weather, etc.
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement

However, foregoing extra coverage leaves you unprotected. Evaluate your risks and needs before limiting policies.

Taking Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts

Most international students do not drive far distances regularly. This makes you eligible for low mileage discounts from insurers. Companies like Geico offer breaks for driving under 5,000-7,500 miles annually. Just report your estimated annual mileage to unlock savings.

Maintaining Good Grades

One of the biggest discounts you can earn as a student is for good academic performance. Companies like State Farm offer up to 25% off for a B average, which can equal over $100 in savings. Submit your latest transcripts to qualify.

Using Usage-Based Programs

Usage-based or pay-per-mile programs charge rates based on driving habits tracked by an app or device. This can save money for low mileage drivers. Root is an insurer popular with students for usage-based discounts.

Finding Student Discounts

Some insurers offer a general discount just for being a student. Geico has a “away at school” discount for college students living apart from their vehicle. Travelers offers students under 25 a discount for maintaining B averages. Check with carriers about student savings opportunities.

Adding Experienced Drivers to Your Policy

Adding an experienced driver over 30 to your policy as a named insured can lower costs. This works if you can add a spouse, parent studying with you, or other companion. Their good driving record helps offset your lack of US driving history.

Choosing Older Vehicles

Brand new cars are the most expensive to insure. Choosing an older used vehicle can significantly reduce your insurance premiums. Once a car is 8-10 years old, it costs substantially less to insure and makes coverage more affordable.

Selecting a Vehicle with Safety Features

Vehicles with advanced safety equipment like airbags, antilock brakes, alarm systems, and anti-theft devices qualify for insurance discounts. Avoid sports cars and opt for 4-door sedans or SUVs with safety tech to save.

Asking About Non-Owner Car Insurance

If you do not own a car, non-owner auto insurance may meet minimum requirements. It provides liability protection when driving other people’s cars at lower rates. Students living on campus without a vehicle can use this option.

cheap insurance companies in usa

Taking Defensive Driving Courses

Completing a defensive driving class shows insurers you are a lower risk. Online courses offered by providers like I Drive Safely can earn you a discount of up to 10-15% on your premium.

Comparing Quotes From Multiple Insurers

Make sure to get quotes from national companies like Geico, Allstate, and State Farm as well as local insurers. Compare coverage, discounts, and premiums to find the best fit insurance policy at the lowest price point.

Maintaining Continuous Coverage

Gaps in auto insurance coverage will drive up your rates. Maintain continuous coverage to capitalize on loyalty discounts and avoid non-continuous surcharges that insurers charge.

Considering Getting a Non-Owner SR-22

If you have past driving offenses on record, you may be required to file an SR-22 form proving insurance. In that case, a non-owner SR-22 is cheaper than a regular policy. It satisfies the SR-22 requirement at lower cost.

Looking Into International Student Organizations

Groups like ISO International Student offer plans and support to help international students find affordable coverage. Check with campus international student groups for insurance resources and advice.

Applying Early for Coverage

Give yourself plenty of time before arriving in the US to apply for coverage. This increases your options and gives you leverage to negotiate the best rate.

Using an Insurance Agent

An independent insurance agent can explain coverages, shop multiple carriers, and find you discounts you may miss. Developing a relationship with an agent knowledgeable about international student policies can make getting insured easier.

Finding affordable car insurance as an international student involves being proactive. Do your homework and use these tips to get the lowest rates possible from a reputable insurer that meets state requirements.

Leave a Comment