Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Having the right visa can be a passport to getting a license
  • Optional insurance policy items are usually worth every penny
  • Drivers who are immigrants can often find surprisingly generous discount opportunities

America has always been a nation of immigrants, and today is no different.

The millions of immigrants who live and work in the U.S. need the convenience that cars can provide. That said, when the time comes for these individuals to get auto insurance, things can sometimes get complicated.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

With a little homework and the help of a good comparison shopping site, immigrants can find affordable auto insurance without getting swamped by red tape.

This article will take a look at this issue and provide immigrant drivers with solid information about common insurance options. It will also offer some tried and true methods to save significant amounts of money by simply shopping around.

Comparison shop for auto insurance today by entering your zip code above.

Learning About State Licensing Law is a key Consideration

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Each and every state of the union has its own motor vehicle laws. While there are some commonalities, when it comes to licensing immigrants many states go their own route.

One of the reasons for this discrepancy is the wide variety of visas that are provided to visitors or emigres. These can include the following:

  • L1
  • F1
  • F2
  • H4

Each visa has its own benefits and requirements, and some of them allow the holder of the visa to get a U.S. state driver’s license.

Since there is so much variability, it behooves immigrants who are seeking to get a license to seek out information about the motor vehicle license registration rules in their states of residency.

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Using Comparison Shopping Sites to Save on Insurance Costs

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Once a driver’s license has been obtained, it will be time to find insurance coverage.

While some immigrants will be classified as new drivers and will thus face higher than average annual insurance costs, individuals who make use of car insurance comparison shopping sites can often locate deals that make getting car insurance much more affordable.

Discounts are one way to make this happen.

  • Student discounts – Individuals who are in the country on student visas will usually qualify for driver’s licenses. If the student in question can provide proof that they are enrolled at a college or university, they will generally be eligible for a student discount.
  • Safe car discounts – Immigrant drivers who are operating vehicles with certain security features can often qualify for discounts. Items that can include anti-lock brakes, traction control systems, and anti-theft systems will usually qualify for some kind of discount.
  • Drivers education discounts – There are many driving schools available to help new drivers to learn driving skills. In addition, there are many organizations that sponsor driver awareness and safety courses. For new drivers with very little history on the road, these classes can be a shortcut to big savings.
  • Group discounts – Individuals who are members of certain groups can often qualify for savings. If the driver in question is a member of a union, credit union, the armed forces, or similar groups, they can expect to get discounts and rebates on their car insurance.
  • Age-based discounts – Drivers who are immigrants and are also senior citizens may qualify for mature driver discounts.

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Optional Auto Insurance Policies

These coverage items aren’t mandated by governments so new drivers have considerable leeway. It is often a good idea to carry at least some of these coverages if at all possible. Doing so can save policyholders a lot of money in the event of an accident.

  • Short-term coverage – This coverage option is ideal for individuals who are in the country for just a few months, yet may need to drive a personal vehicle. With coverage options that run from an hour to a year, these policies can offer drivers almost unsurpassed convenience.
  • Collision coverage – This insurance policy item can pay for damages that are sustained by the vehicle of the policyholder during an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage – This insurance option protects the vehicle of the policyholder from a range of damages. These can include damage from hailstorms, fire, vandalism, flood, theft, and more.
  • Glass coverage – This item pays for damages that are sustained by the windows of the insured vehicle. Whether the issue is a tiny chip or a completely shattered windscreen, glass coverage takes care of it all.
  • Uninsured driver coverage – Unfortunately, there are always a certain number of drivers without insurance prowling the roads at any given moment. Uninsured drivers can’t pay for the damage that they cause.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage – This is closely related to the preceding item and covers any costs that an at-fault driver’s insurance policy doesn’t address.

Mandatory Coverage Items

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These insurance policy provisions must be carried by law.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – This provision pays for any injuries that are suffered by the occupants of the insured vehicle during an accident.
  • Property damage liability – This coverage item pays for any damage to property that is caused by the policyholder or their vehicle.
  • Bodily injury liability – This insurance item provides payment for any injuries suffered by the other driver and their passengers in the event of an accident with the insured vehicle.

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Harnessing the Power of Comparison Shopping

Becoming a citizen of the U.S. can be an exciting and rewarding time for immigrants, and can predict a bright, satisfying future.

At the same time, it can also be a stiff test of personal resolve, grit, and fortitude.

Immigrant drivers who make use of the information found in this article to harness the power of auto insurance comparison shopping websites can at least count on getting around in style and safety.

Compare today by using our free quote tool.