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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International Driver's Permit

Some auto insurance covers relatives with international driver’s permit. Having guests from out of the country who want to drive your vehicle around creates a couple of questions; the first one often being, does your auto insurance actually cover temporary international drivers?

There is no short answer to this question and it really depends on your policy. You may have a caveat in your policy that stipulates that no one but listed drivers can drive your vehicle, while other policies may allow you have other people drive your vehicle as long as it’s a temporary situation.

The bottom line is that you are going to have to review your policy to determine whether or not any stipulations about drivers exist. To find the very best international driver’s permit car insurance rates then just enter your zip above for free insurance rates online!

Why Some Auto Insurance Companies Have Driver Stipulations

When you drive a car, you are responsible for what that car does. Cause an accident, and you are responsible for that accident. If you have auto insurance, which you absolutely should, then your insurance company is taking on the financial responsibility for that accident.

In order to feel comfortable with that responsibility, your insurance company did a driving background check on you. They checked the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, database to see what kind of claims that you have filed in the past and they compared your driver’s license number with the DMV database to ensure that there were no outstanding complaints, speeding tickets or other issues that might make you a high-risk person to insure.

The problem is that when you let another driver drive your vehicle and they aren’t listed on your policy, then the insurance company hasn’t made a claim of coverage. If that person gets into an auto accident, your insurance company can refuse to cover the costs. This means that you could be financially responsible for all of the costs associated with the accident even if you weren’t in the vehicle at all.

It is very important for you to determine whether or not your insurance company allows other, unlisted, drivers to drive your vehicle and still be covered. Some do, as long as they don’t drive your vehicle regularly and others will not cover anyone else at all. Knowing your company’s policy is pretty important.

When it comes to international drivers, the system is no different; your insurance company won’t care whether or not they are from out of the country, so long as they have a valid driver’s license.

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How to Get Coverage for Your International Drivers

If your insurance policy stipulates that only drivers listed on your policy can drive your car, then inquire about adding them to your policy. Most insurance companies allow you to add temporary drivers to your policy for a fee. The amount of the fee will vary depending on your insurance company and your own driving history. For example, if you are a high-risk driver, your insurance company may charge such a high fee as to make it unaffordable.

Some companies will charge a larger fee for international drivers than they would for relatives from another state because of the differences in driving from country to country. Someone from another state already knows the driving laws, American road signs, etc. while someone from another country will have to learn these things.

If you add your relatives to your policy, don’t forget to have then removed once they no longer need to use your vehicle. Your insurance company may increase your rates if you have additional drivers on your policy that they cannot do a background check on; they may consider them to be inexperienced drivers and charge you accordingly.

What to do if the Add-On Fees are Too High

If your insurance company wants to charge you an arm and a leg to add on temporary international drivers, you do have a few options. The first option is to insist that they rent a vehicle rather than drive yours. Most rental companies don’t charge more for international drivers than they do for local drivers but don’t forget to shop around.

If that isn’t an option, ask them to assume some of the costs of your insurance increase so that it isn’t a financial burden for you. If they are driving your vehicle, it isn’t unreasonable for you to ask them to chip in on the costs.

Lastly, you cold consider switching insurance companies altogether. This may seem like a drastic measure, but if your insurance company has unreasonable fees and you have to do this again in the future, you may find yourself hitting a wall with your insurance company again and again. You could switch to a company that has no stipulations or to one that has more reasonable temporary add-on fees.

Switching insurance companies isn’t a pain like it was just ten years ago. Just getting a quote could take days to accomplish. Now, with the Internet, you can get a quote instantly from any insurance company you choose. In addition, if you want quotes from multiple companies you can do that by filling out your information a single time by using a free auto insurance quote tool. Start with that resource now and you and your visitors will drive safely. Just enter your zip to start!