Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2021

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Key Takeaways

  • There are many car insurance companies that accept international licenses in the United States
  • Car insurance rates for drivers with international licenses are more expensive than for U.S. residents
  • International drivers who are visiting short-term may choose to buy a temporary car insurance policy through a rental car company

Car insurance is required of any person who owns or drives a car in the United States, including non-U.S. residents and those with international licenses.

There are many American car insurance companies that accept international licenses, given that drivers meet a few requirements prior. One of such requirements is an application for an International Driving Permit (an IDP).

An IDP allows drivers to operate a vehicle in foreign countries, not just the U.S., without additional testing or applications. However, note that car insurance for drivers with international licenses may be a little higher than car insurance for U.S. drivers.

Keep reading to learn more about the best car insurance companies that accept international licenses and car insurance companies that don’t accept international licenses.

Before you decide to buy car insurance from companies that accept international licenses, enter your ZIP code above to compare free quotes from car insurance companies near you today.

Are there car insurance companies that accept international licenses?

The quick answer is yes. There are car insurance companies that accept international licenses, but not without slightly increased car insurance rates. Companies that offer car insurance for international licenses include:

  • Kemper
  • The General
  • Bristol West
  • Hallmark
  • Infinity
  • Gainsco
  • Dairyland
  • Assurance America

As stated before, most car insurance companies in the United States accept international licenses after the drivers have completed the proper requirements within 60 days. Generally, insurance providers have the following stipulations for foreign drivers seeking car insurance:

  • International Driving Permit, and
  • a valid drivers license (issued from the same country as the IDP)

Although most car insurance companies accept international licenses, some have rigid rules that disqualify a lot of foreign drivers from getting coverage. In this case, you may need to pursue U.S. residency.

Pursuing residency is only feasible for those intending to reside in the United States permanently or for a considerable amount of time.

Temporary Car Insurance for Foreign Drivers

If you are visiting or will only be in the country for a limited or short amount of time, there are car insurance options for you apart from getting a full car insurance policy.

International drivers who are visiting short-term may choose to buy a temporary car insurance policy through a rental car company.

A temporary policy allows you to operate the vehicle legally and acts as liability insurance if there were to be an accident while driving.

Regardless of which car insurance policy you are looking for, you should compare multiple car insurance rates from companies that accept international licenses.

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How to Find Affordable Car Insurance Companies That Accept International Licenses

You are less likely to find car insurance companies that don’t accept international licenses as most car insurance companies do accept them. No matter how long foreign drivers are staying in the United States, there are car insurance options available.

These options include buying temporary car insurance through a rental company if you’re staying short-term, and getting foreign driver car insurance through an insurance company if staying longer-term.

Unfortunately, car insurance companies that accept international licenses offer higher insurance rates than to United States residents. Before you buy auto insurance with an international driver’s license, make sure to discuss your discount and car insurance policy options with an agent.

Also, make sure to compare car insurance quotes from car insurance companies that accept international licenses and ones that do not. You might find a reputable provider that can offer you more affordable rates.

How can drivers with international licenses save on car insurance?

Generally, car insurance for foreign license holders will be more expensive than car insurance for United States residents, but not by much.

Because international drivers do not have a U.S. driver’s license, their driving history is unknown to the company, leaving them to assume the driver is a higher risk. As a result, foreign drivers should expect an increase in car insurance rates.

Average full coverage car insurance rates in the United States are $1,009.38 a year or $84.12 a month.

Some car insurance sites say that compared to U.S. resident policies, car insurance for drivers with international licenses is around $25 more for six months or $2 more every month.

Car insurance providers consider driving history among other things when determining car insurance rates, and they use a U.S. ID or driver’s license to do so.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate car insurance rates for drivers with international licenses online. Specifically, rates for Progressive car insurance with a foreign license were not available through the company’s website.

Because car insurance for international license holders is a little more expensive than it is for United States residents, it will be beneficial to find some ways to reduce your monthly premiums.

As an international driver, the determinant of what insurance you need depends on the length of time you intend to stay in the country.

Short-term drivers that have a rental car will need to purchase temporary car insurance through the rental company. This is pricey, but it will ensure proper coverage for you and the vehicle in case of an accident.

For more long-term foreign drivers, looking into car insurance discounts will help lower the cost of monthly premiums. Most car insurance companies have tons of discounts available of which drivers are unaware.

The best way foreign drivers can save on car insurance is to shop around and compare car insurance rates from companies that accept international licenses.

Comparing rates gives you an understanding of how much to expect to pay for car insurance. It also helps you narrow down which policies will be perfect for you.

Start your search for affordable car insurance companies that accept international licenses today. Enter your ZIP code below to compare quotes from companies in your area for free.