Car Insurance for Imported Cars

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance for Imported CarsImporting cars from other countries has become a hot trend in the United States and abroad, with almost one quarter (23.7%) of cars in the United States being imports from outside of Canada and Mexico (International Trade Administration, 2010). Not only can Americans find imported cars at a reduced price compared to the United States, but there are also a number of other vehicle options out there that don’t exist in the U.S. but do in Europe, Asia and beyond.

As the demand for imported vehicles increases, the importing process has improved, but that doesn’t mean that the car insurance world has also caught up. Trying to find affordable car insurance for imported vehicles may be more difficult than expected, which is why drivers should research and compare insurance policies and prices before importing a car.

The Cost of Imported Car Insurance

While not always the case, the vast majority of imported car insurance policies will cost more than your standard personal auto insurance policy. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The expensive premiums reflect the fact that sourcing parts for your imported vehicle may be more difficult and more costly than finding parts for a domestic car
  • Many imported vehicles are built to a higher specification than the standard conventional models, which can increase the likelihood of an accident to occur
  • Some may find a higher cost associated with imported vehicles that aren’t constructed to the same standards as an American model (i.e. purchasing a right-hand drive vehicle as opposed to the typical left-hand drive car in America)
  • An insurance agent may be inexperienced at insuring imported cars, which could result in high premiums and/or lack of sufficient coverage

Keeping Imported Car Insurance Expenses to a Minimum

Car insurance for imported cars may be more expensive than standard domestic auto insurance, but there are ways for owners to proactively keep their costs down:

  • Avoid sports cars if at all possible
  • Avoid cars that have had any modifications
  • Ensure that your car will be secure on your property (i.e. the vehicle will be stored in a garage, and safety features such as an alarm or immobilizer will be installed in your vehicle etc.)
  • Boost your insurance deductible to lower your premiums

Owning an imported car can leave you with a prize that is not only fun to drive but also a worthwhile investment. Protect that investment by doing the research to find appropriate, affordable coverage.