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What Is Import Car Insurance?

For many people, the concept of getting comprehensive car insurance can be very confusing and a lot of work. Nearly everybody knows someone with standard car insurance, but the same cannot be said about knowing someone with import car insurance. That is because import or imported car insurance is a specialized type of coverage that not all insurance companies offer. Most companies do not want to deal with the hassle that accompanies trying to accommodate customers with imported cars. The reason that import insurance may be more difficult for you to find is because most insurers do not want to deal with cars and parts that are not manufactured in the United States.

Whenever you are dealing with a car that was made outside of the country, there are different safety concerns from insurance companies and it is difficult to tell whether there were any modifications made to the vehicle. Although the rumor that import car insurance is not attainable has spread around, most people that already have import insurance know that this is not true. With that said, it is more difficult to get this type of coverage, so hopefully you are prepared to go through the necessary steps to get this type of insurance policy if you need it.

Why get Import Car Insurance?

There are many reasons that people decide to get import car insurance – the main reason is to provide them (as drivers) with security while driving on the roadways. Anytime a person gets into an accident with an imported car, the damages caused to the import generally cost a lot more to fix than a normal vehicle. For this reason, it is a good idea to have insurance coverage because you could lose a lot of money if you have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket.

There are policies ranging from standard import vehicle insurance to comprehensive coverage. It is up to you to decide what type of policy would be best for you. Some people like to have additional coverage that protects them from theft, weather damages, and vandals. Although imported cars may be fairly expensive to insure, it is better to have the coverage than to be sorry and paying out tons of money because you didn’t purchase the insurance that you should have. Things like medical expenses, repair bills, and other damages can be very expensive.

Cheap Import Car Insurance is Not Likely

Although there are always ways to save on your insurance, getting cheap import car insurance is not something that you should expect. Whenever insurers are dealing with an imported vehicle, the cost to insure it is generally going to increase. There is no telling how much it will increase in comparison to a standardized rate until you get a quote or have your car’s value appraised. Take into consideration that if the parts inside of your vehicle cannot be easily replaced from manufacturers in the United States, your vehicle could end up being a lot more expensive to insure.

Due to the wide variety of imported vehicles, some car insurance companies may reject any inquiries related to them. There are various types of imported cars that have been modified several times so that they can legally be driven in the United States. Some may need to have extra safety features installed so that they are safe for driving in the United States; many are void of good crash safety ratings and many are unknown because they have not been scientifically tested.

Not all car insurance companies are going to label “import car insurance” as something that they offer on their website. However, if you give them a call, most of them will be able to tell you whether or not they can insure your imported vehicle and how much it is going to cost you. The cost isn’t only going to be based on the value of the car, availability of replacement parts and make and model, it is also going to be somewhat influenced by your history as a driver. If you have a good driving history without a damaged driving record, you should be able to get the insurance that you need for less of a price than someone with a history of traffic violations and/or accidents.

Import Car Insurance Companies (To Consider)

Progressive

Geico

AllState

Esurance

State Farm

Nationwide

The General

All of the companies above have been listed as popular trusted car insurance providers in the United States. While you may prefer one over the rest, each has survived the test of time and has been in the business for awhile now. If one particular company isn’t able to help you get import car insurance, then contact a different one so that you can find out if they will be able to keep your imported car protected while you are on the road. Most of these companies offer customizable insurance options and will allow you to select the amount of coverage that you are going to need for your import.

If I had an import car, I would probably contact all of these companies and figure out which ones could give me the best price for the most quality coverage. Then, I would schedule a meeting and meet with the representatives of the companies that I thought were the best suited for my situation. Based on the quotes that I would gather and the reps that I would talk to, it should be relatively easy for me to find out how I can insure my imported car and a rough estimate as to how much I will be paying for my car insurance policy.

Getting the Most Out of Import Car Insurance

Who Is Driving?

It is important to consider who will be driving the imported car that you are going to get insured. If you are going to have multiple drivers, then the insurance costs are going to be increased by the insurance company. If you own an imported car and are not going to let your friend take it for a spin or other members of your family take it for a joyride, then you can save some money. The reason that it will end up costing you more to insure when others ride it is because there is a greater chance of having something go wrong like getting into an accident.

Insurance companies also want to know that they can hold one person responsible for what happens with the imported car. When multiple people are taking it out for a ride, insurers know that there may be riskier parties involved with the operations of the vehicle; they do not want to carry on additional risk. For this reason, it is best to be straightforward and honest with them about who will be operating the vehicle and whether there will be anyone else driving it.

Aligning Import Cars with Legal Requirements

Anytime people insure imported cars, they need to make sure that they are aligned with the laws of the country and state in which they are driving. Sometimes modifications are tough to perform without changing the overall safety rating of the car. For example, when someone shifts around the inside of their import, it may negatively affect the safety of the passengers.

Make sure that you have reviewed the requirements issued by the car insurance company that you would like to work with to get your import car insured. They may have additional requirements that you must meet before they will grant you the coverage option that you want or need. If there is some type of modification that you are eager to make, just make sure that you know how to properly do it and make sure that it does not go against the terms of the insurance company that you are working with.

How to Keep Import Car Insurance Cheap

The best way to lower the cost of your import car insurance is to make sure that it has good security. If you are going to be driving around in an import, you will want to make sure that it is parked in a garage or good storage so that damage to it is unlikely while you are not driving it. Additionally, you will want to have a burglar alarm installed; if you don’t install any of the necessary security requirements, then it could cause your insurance rate to skyrocket. The insurance companies will usually inspect your car to make sure that it fits the description that you have provided them with.

Another way to keep your costs low is to drive your import less often; meaning you should drive it as little as possible. For example, you may want to drive it only during the summer months or during a certain time of the year. You can buy seasonal car insurance so that you aren’t paying to have your vehicle insured for the full year when you are not driving it the full 12 months that you may be paying for. You should assess your driving patterns and know whether you will want to drive your import year round or for just a few months.

There will also be additional drivers’ discounts that you can get for your insurance policy as well. The available discounters will vary from company to company, but nearly all of them have ways in which you can save. For example, some offer “no claim discounts” – meaning that if you are never involved in a claim, you can save a lot of money on your policy. Take the time to ask about ways that you can save before you apply for a policy.

Another way to make sure that you are getting the insurance that you need for your import car is to ask an import car specialist. Believe it or not, there are people that specialize in working with imported vehicles and they will be able to help you learn about the ins-and-outs related to insurance coverage. Additionally, there are many specialists that work for branches of existing insurance companies, so be sure to ask to speak with them if you want to find out more specific information related to your import.

Understand that the make and model of your car are going to be taken into careful consideration by any potential insurers. If your car is a rare commodity and parts for it are expensive and are not commonly found, you can bet that your insurance is going to be much higher than average. Anytime you are working with a luxury imported car or one that is considered “vintage” you are going to pay more as well. The more expensive the import and rarer it is, the higher your car insurance rates will be.

Most of the time other background information will be used by the insurance company to assess the risk you pose to their company; the greater the risk you are, the greater the amount of money that you will be paying to them. Factors like: age, credit score, gender, and past driving history will all be looked into by the car insurance company – so be prepared to fill them in if you want to get the best possible deal. Location may also be factored into the price; for example, if you live in a busier, more accident-prone city, you will be expected to pay more for insurance since the standard rate is greater. All of these things need to be taken into account so that you know what the insurers will be taking a look at.

Start Researching Import Car Insurance Policies

It is best to start researching import car insurance deals as soon as possible so that you know what to expect with the paperwork when it comes time to close on a deal. I recommend that you take some time to do your research on the internet so that you can find a few deals that you are interested in and will be able to compare various variables like cost, customer service, and type of policy before you apply for insurance. Many people are taken by surprise with the cost of import auto insurance; mostly because it’s expensive.

Keep in mind that the road rules, regulations, and legal implications are different depending on your location. Even different states within the United States have different driving laws and vehicle regulations that you must abide by when traveling through the area. Make sure that your vehicle is not illegal and that you have a trusted import car insurance company before you travel the roadways of the U.S.

Types of Import Car Insurance

There are several different types of coverage that you should look for in your import car insurance policy. Even though most of the larger insurance companies will provide the necessary coverage that you need for your location, many will offer additional, more comprehensive car insurance coverage. It is up to you to decide what you need for your import car and whether you are aiming to get the minimum or maximum amount of protection for your vehicle – and more importantly – for yourself as the driver on the road.

Personal Injury or “No Fault” Insurance

This type of coverage that you can get involves your import insurance company being responsible for making payments to drivers and any other individuals that are in the insured imported car in the event of an accident. This means that if there are medical bills from an accident, your insurer will need to reimburse you or whoever needed the medical attention for the full amount of money that they had to spend for these services.

Bodily Injury and Liability Insurance

These usually come standard, but they will help you pay for any bodily injury damages as well as any other property that may be damaged on the scene of an accident. It is important to check with your insurer to see how much coverage you can get if you need it. Most insurers have limits on the amount of money that they pay out; although in most cases, it is enough to cover whatever damages are endured.

Medical Assistance Coverage

Most of the time, if someone needs to get medical insurance coverage from their import car insurance company, they will get it. Anytime passengers or the primary operator of the imported car happens to undergo an injury as the result of an accident, they will be compensated for their medical costs. In severe accidents, it is very common for people to need the assistance of an emergency team, which is why it is so important to make sure that your car insurance provider is able to fit your needs in regards to medical care.

Collision Import Car Coverage

Anytime that vehicles collide, there are usually damages that are inflicted to the import car. Collision coverage will compensate you for the damages based on the present book value of the car. If there are disputes about the value, there is not usually a lot of leeway when your car is modified or imported; insurers know that they can call the shots when you are the one getting specialized coverage – so keep this in mind.

Going Without Import Car Insurance

It is never a smart idea to drive around with your import car uninsured. Although it’s good to have an optimistic outlook as a driver – thinking that everything will go smoothly on the road – there’s no telling when something could happen to you or your car. If you are driving around without insurance (which is illegal in many cases), then you may end up paying for all damages out of your own pocket; including medical expenses (which can be extremely expensive).

Import cars are expensive enough, so why not at least pay the extra money to make sure that if anything happens to your car you get reimbursed for the damage? It makes total sense to get your car insured and get the coverage that you need for it – so take the time to compare prices and do it. If you think that it will be too expensive, there are always ways to get discounts and reduce the overall cost.

Chances are that if you are driving around in an import car and are looking for import car insurance, that you will not mind paying the money that it takes to get it insured. There are always adjustments that can be made to get a lower car insurance rate and save more money.

Import Car Insurance Requirements

The requirements for getting an import car insured are generally the same as other cars. As was mentioned earlier, you may need to make modifications. With that said, the basics include: being a United States resident, having a registered driver’s license, having documentation as being the primary owner of the import car that you want to insure, etc. If you are unsure about what is required for you, you can look up the government requirements on their website. If you are from another country, do some searching online and you will likely find information about their driving laws, rules, and regulations.

Import Car Insurance in Europe (European Countries)

There are several different companies that will help you get import car insurance in Europe – but they are going to check into your car to see whether it is a grey import and whether modifications have been made. You will need to make it legal for the location in Europe in which you plan on driving it if it isn’t already before you get insurance.

Sometimes the European import car insurance companies will require that you install additional security features on your vehicle because imports are often stolen. They will give you instructions as to what you need to do and how you should go about making the necessary modifications. Each company has different expectations, so consult with whoever you were thinking about getting insurance through and ask them what needs to be done.

There may be some registration issues with your import if it was registered overseas in another country. Usually there aren’t any problems with the registration as long as there is documentation to back it up. As with any type of car insurance in Europe, make sure that you gather quotes and compare them to find the best deals for insuring an import.

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