Although you can get car insurance coverage as a foreign driver in the U.S., your rates are likely to be higher than a comparable citizen or permanent resident. This isn't an arbitrary decision from insurers; there are valid reasons for it. Fortunately, there are also steps you can take to manage these rates.
Here are two reasons why foreign drivers tend to attract high rates:
Lack of Data on Driving History
Your driving history is one of the things auto insurers use to calculate your insurance rate. Unfortunately, if you have just come to the country, insurers will not be able to gauge your driving history. This may be because insurance companies in your country don't use the same rating system as the U.S. or because there is no legislation in place for sharing data between American insurance companies and insurance companies in your home country.
As such, American insurers will treat you as a new driver, and new drivers are more likely to get involved in accidents or commit road offenses. This means you will be viewed as a high-risk motorist, and pay proportional rates.
Lack of Data on Credit History
Apart from driving history, credit history also influences your car insurance rates. Unfortunately, just like driving history data, you might not be having a credit history when you come to the U.S. Even if you have built a credit history in your home country, American insurers might lack access to the data. As such, insurers in the U.S. are likely to take the cautious approach of treating you as a person with no credit history, which results in relatively high insurance rates.
How to Manage Your Rates
So, what can you do to improve your rates? Apart from the general advice on lowering car insurance rates (such as asking for discounts, shopping around, and taking a defensive driving course), you will also help your case by establishing your residency status and building credit as soon as you arrive in the country. This is especially true if you are going to be in the U.S. for a long time. This means if there is any paperwork to be filled, do it as soon as you arrive; don't leave it until the deadline. Open a bank account as soon as possible so that you can start transacting in your own name to build your credit history. That way you will have a credit history when the time comes to buy and insure a car.
As you can see, getting reasonable insurance rates as a foreign driver may be difficult, but it's not impossible. However, it will take some work, and you can make it easier by consulting an insurance agent, like one from AALL Insurance, as soon as possible.