How To Find Car Insurance for UK Drivers in the USA
Finding car insurance for international drivers with a visa in the U.S. is difficult, but not much more so than getting comprehensive coverage as a local citizen or resident. Shopping around for car insurance is a somewhat complex and lengthy process in and of itself. Before deciding on a policy, regardless of your situation, you must do your homework by comparing rates and shopping for discounts.
The only difference between your car insurance shopping process and that of a U.S. citizen is that you have slightly fewer options available to you. This is because many auto insurance companies cater strictly to low-risk drivers.
For a driver to obtain a “low-risk” designation, he or she must present a valid U.S. driver’s license for the state in which he or she plans to drive. Drivers must also demonstrate their ability to drive safely and follow the rules of the road. Unfortunately, drivers with UK licenses struggle to prove either experience or knowledge. As a result, most drivers with UK licenses can’t obtain low-risk designations.
There are several companies that issue policies for all types of drivers. As an international driver, it may be worth your while to shop around with these companies. Though you can’t know for sure which companies offer high-risk auto insurance, the best thing you can do is call a company and ask. Larger companies, such as Progressive, State Farm, and GEICO, are typically willing to assume more risk than their smaller counterparts.
Can you use your UK driving record to obtain a low-risk designation?
Unfortunately, it does not matter how great of a driver you are in the UK — if you don’t have a valid U.S. driver’s license, most insurers consider you inexperienced and, therefore, high risk. A high-risk designation makes it difficult for you to obtain coverage. If you can find coverage, you’ll likely have to pay the high-risk driver surcharge
Why are these the best car insurance companies?
To inform our decision, we’ve collected the latest information about nearly 50 car insurers from independent expert review site Fairer Finance. Rather than rate these companies on price (buyers can use price-comparison sites like GoCompare for this), we used expert research to determine the quality of both the cover and service provided by each provider.
The key metrics we considered were:
The level of coverage offered by each insurer’s best car insurance product (represented by a ‘Product Rating’ out of 5). We selected only insurers whose Product Ratings for their highest level of coverage was at least 4 out of 5.
Each insurer’s Customer Experience rating (out of 100), an aggregate of scores for customer happiness, trust, transparency and complaints handling. We only selected insurers with a Customer Experience rating of 60 or above.
Additionally, we only considered insurers who could offer the following:
At least £500 cover for lost keys
Courtesy car for the duration of repairs
New car replacement
A windscreen repair excess of no more than £25
The insurers that scored the highest across these metrics have been featured in our ‘Best Insurers’ list above.
We’ve excluded two high-scoring companies, due to the restrictions placed on the cover they provide. BMW Insurance caters almost exclusively to drivers of BMW vehicles, while Toyota Car Insurance seems to primarily cater to Toyota owners.
Check out our detailed reviews at the bottom of the page for more information on the individual providers.
Looking for breakdown cover? Check out our definitive list of the best breakdown companies instead.