• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Car Auto Insurance

It's My Car Car Auto Insurance

State Farm Classic Car Insurance: Cost and Coverage (2023)

State Farm: Best for Most Drivers

Our team ranked State Farm first in our review of the best car insurance companies for its combination of affordable rates, excellent customer service and variety of coverage options. The company also took the top spot among large insurers in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study℠, which focuses on every step of the auto coverage buying process. 

State Farm performed well in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠, with 882 points out of a possible 1,000. The industry average score was 873. State Farm’s good student discount can save those with a GPA of at least 3.0 (or those in the top 20% of their class) up to 25% on car insurance premiums.

International students should take note that State Farm auto insurance is not available to new customers in Rhode Island or the college-rich state of Massachusetts. Learn more in our full State Farm insurance review.

Geico: Best for Budget-Conscious Drivers

Geico is the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S. The company has a reputation for competitive rates and offers one of the widest ranges of discount opportunities, which includes a good student discount of up to 15%. Based on our research, Geico offers the cheapest full-coverage rates on average for both 19- and 21-year-old drivers.

The company also holds a positive industry reputation. It earned an above-average score of 874 in the J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and scored above the industry average in eight of 11 regions surveyed in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠.

Learn more about the popular provider in our full Geico insurance review

Erie Insurance: Best for Basic Insurance Coverage

Erie Insurance offers affordable rates and sterling customer service, but the provider only offers coverage in 12 states and Washington, D.C. If you’re an international student in its coverage area, Erie Insurance is a great option due to its low rates and unique benefits. These include Erie Rate Lock®, which prevents your rate from increasing even after an accident. 

In the J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study, Erie Insurance ranked second among midsize insurers with 878 out of 1,000 points. The company also fared well in the J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, coming in third among all providers with a score of 893.

Read more in our full Erie Insurance review.

Car Insurance Requirements for International Students

Car insurance for international students doesn’t come with any special requirements. All drivers in the U.S. need a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. Nearly every state requires bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, which pays for other parties’ medical expenses and property damage when you cause an accident. 

If you have an auto loan or lease, you’ll almost certainly need to carry a full-coverage car insurance policy. These policies go beyond minimum coverage to include both collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle no matter who causes an accident. Comprehensive coverage protects your car against damage from natural disasters, fire, theft and vandalism.

Most car insurance providers in the U.S. offer the above types of car insurance coverage, as well as the following options:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This type of insurance pays for your medical expenses after an accident and can reimburse lost wages if you miss work due to your injuries.
  • Medical payments (MedPay): MedPay covers your medical bills as well as those of your passengers after an accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This type of coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle after an accident with a driver with no (or inadequate) insurance.

A table that shows what the six standard types of insurance do and don't cover and where they're required

Alternative Car Insurance Options for International Students

Many top auto insurance providers offer short-term plans that can be ideal for non-citizens studying in the U.S. for a short time. Non-owner car insurance plans, which offer liability coverage for when you drive a car that you don’t own, are also commonly available. These policies protect the owner of the car from being liable if you cause an auto accident, and they’re a good option for international students who plan to regularly borrow someone else’s vehicle rather than drive their own car.

Getting a Driver’s License in the U.S.

To drive or purchase car insurance in the U.S., you’ll need a state-issued driver’s license. The specific requirements for getting a license vary from state to state, so it’s best to verify with your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) or ask someone in the student affairs department at your school.

You’ll typically need a passport, visa and proof of residence to secure a driver’s license. For proof of legal residency, you can provide a recent utility bill, bank statement, rental agreement or national ID. Once you’ve provided the required documents, you’ll likely need to take the following steps:

  • Written test: This test varies by state and evaluates your knowledge of road rules. You can typically find online resources like study guides from each state’s DMV.
  • Driving test: This typically involves making a few types of turns, parking and doing some highway driving. Again, this type of test varies by state but focuses on following basic traffic laws.
  • Eye exam: If you need to wear corrective lenses during this exam, it will be noted on your license. You’ll be required to wear glasses or contact lenses when driving.

International Driver’s Permit

International students can also purchase an international driver’s permit from either the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). To apply for this permit, you have to have a driver’s license in your home country for at least six months. An international driver’s permit is valid for one year and can be renewed.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs

Age is one of the key determining factors when it comes to setting car insurance rates. Insurers view younger drivers as bigger risks, as they’re more likely to get into accidents. That’s one hurdle most international students face in finding cheap auto coverage. Along with the age of the driver, here are a few other factors that affect car insurance costs:

  • Location: Living in a densely populated area means there are more car accidents and insurance claims, which results in higher car insurance premiums.
  • Driving record: Those with clean driving histories receive lower insurance rates than people with at-fault accidents, DUIs and other violations on their records.
  • Credit history: In many states, having a good credit score means cheaper auto coverage.
  • Gender: The gender listed on your driver’s license affects car insurance rates as well. Those who identify as male typically pay higher rates than those who identify as female.
  • Marital status: Married drivers pay lower car insurance rates than single ones.
  • Vehicle: The type and age of the vehicle you drive will affect coverage costs. Newer cars have more safety features and are generally cheaper to insure. High-end vehicles, both luxury and sports cars, are more expensive to insure.

Factors that affect car insurance rates

How International Students Can Save on Car Insurance

Aside from comparing car insurance quotes from multiple providers, international students have a few other options for bringing their auto coverage costs down. Here are a few simple strategies visiting college students can use to save money on an auto insurance policy:

  • Consider local options: The biggest auto insurers may not be the best options for everyone. International students might find better rates with a small local company. Personal service from a local insurance agent is another advantage of going small.
  • Look for discounts: Most providers offer a wide range of car insurance discounts that can help cut premium costs. Students with good grades are often eligible for reduced auto insurance rates. Safe driver discounts are also common, although they sometimes take several years to earn.
  • Increase your deductible: A higher deductible brings with it lower premiums. College students just need to remember that raising their deductible also means they’re responsible for more out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident.
  • Take a driver safety course: Especially for international students without much driving experience, taking a defensive driving course could be an ideal way to unlock savings on regular car insurance payments.

Cheapest Car Insurance for International Students: Conclusion

Due to their age, lack of credit history and inexperience behind the wheel, international students may have trouble finding affordable car insurance that fits their budget and needs. However, by starting with our recommended providers and comparing quotes from multiple companies, these drivers can find quality auto coverage without breaking the bank.

Cheapest Car Insurance for International Students: FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about the cheapest car insurance for international students.


By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *