There isn’t a specific type of insurance called import car insurance. Once you purchase and register an imported car in your name, it’s like insuring any other car. However, there is one big difference between insuring domestic and imported vehicles. An imported car may appreciate in value over time. That means you want to find a policy that covers agreed value, not book value.
While import car insurance isn’t hard to obtain, you do need to know what to look for. If your insurance agent tells you to add your 1992 Mazda RX-7 to your standard policy, chances are it won’t cover the car’s full value.
We’ll get into the specifics of insurance for imported cars below. We also recommend a few companies that stood out in our research of the best car insurance providers. Many providers offer coverage for imported cars, but some are better than others. In the end, you should get a few auto insurance quotes so you can compare coverage and pricing.
In this article:
- What Is Import Car Insurance?
- Our Recommendations For Import Car Insurance
- What Kind Of Car Insurance Coverage Should You Get?
- What Does Import Car Insurance Cover?
- Get Import Car Insurance Quotes
- FAQ About Import Car Insurance
What Is Import Car Insurance?
Import car insurance is fairly similar to standard car insurance. The main difference is that import car insurance takes this into account that imported cars increase with value over time, instead of losing value like everyday cars. On top of standard car insurance coverage, import car insurance also includes coverage for replacement or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts.
Import Cars Vs Domestic Cars
For the purposes of this article, an import car is a car that isn’t meant for the United States market. It has been imported by a specialty seller or buyer, but it hasn’t been sent to the U.S. by the brand officially.
Import cars can be gray market cars, like when a BMW model designed for Europe is imported into the United States instead. A gray market car isn’t illegal to import, but it’s not what the brand desires. It also might not meet federal regulations without modifications.
When talking about the car market in general, the import can also refer to any car produced outside the U.S., like cars made by Subaru or Acura. But these cars are distributed into the domestic market by authorized retailers, and they don’t need any special type of car insurance unless they are collectible.
Today, we’re only focusing on vehicles not meant for the market that import car insurance could benefit.
Our Recommendations For Import Car Insurance
USAA, Geico, and Progressive auto insurance sell import car insurance plans that are backed by specialty companies listed under the better-known provider. In our view, these companies provide the best of both worlds as far as import car insurance is concerned: Customers get the track record and customer service of a larger company combined with the expertise of a specialty insurance agency.
To make it easy for you, we took a look at the best car insurance providers to see who offers agreed value coverage for imported cars. Based on our research, these are the best import car, insurance providers:
|Import Car Insurance Provider||Overall Rating||Spare Parts||Mileage Max|
|#1 Progressive Insurance (Hagerty Auto Insurance)||4.5||$750||Unlimited|
|#2 Geico Car Insurance (American Modern)||4.5||$2,000||Unlimited|
|#3 USAA Car Insurance (American Collectors)||5.0||$500||7,500|
|#4 State Farm Auto Insurance||4.5||$500||Not Specified|
|#5 Heacock Classic||4.0||$2,000||6,000|
The best thing to do when trying to determine which car insurance company is right for you is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies. For import car insurance, in particular, we recommend American Modern through Geico and Hagerty auto insurance through Progressive.
#1 Progressive Import Car Insurance Through Hagerty
Hagerty classic car insurance is available through Progressive auto insurance. Hagerty gives customers an unlimited mileage budget and comprehensive allowance for spare parts when it comes to import car insurance for an imported car. The company does require you to have another car insured in your name that you use on a daily basis, however this is standard for specialty car insurance.
One perk of working with Hagerty is the company’s Carcierge. This service available to Hagerty Driver’s Club members can help you track down hard-to-find parts for your car. Hagerty specializes in finding new old stock and OEM parts.
Hagerty’s underwriting partners all have financial strength ratings of A or better from AM Best. Progressive has a financial strength rating of A+. These ratings are reasons for customers to have faith in Progressive and Hagerty's ability to payout customer claims and provide a satisfactory customer experience.
#2 Geico Import Car Insurance Through American Modern
Geico car insurance for imported vehicles through American Modern is another great choice for import car enthusiasts. Geico has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the BBB. These top ratings from experts bode well for Geico's reliability.
To qualify for import car insurance from Geico, your vehicle must meet the following qualifications:
- Vintage 1995 or older
- A new exotic car (Aston Martin, Lotus, Alfa Romeo, etc.)
- A new replica car
- A classic military vehicle, hearse, or firetruck etc.
In addition to the vehicle requirements listed above, each vehicle insured by Geico must also only be used to travel to exhibitions, club activities, and occasional pleasure, leisure drives. Vehicles must be stored in an enclosed garage to qualify for coverage.
American Modern offers an unlimited mileage plan and a high spare parts coverage amount of $2,000. The company knows that agreed value coverage can be expensive, so it allows drivers to choose deductibles of up to $10,000. Choosing a higher deductible can help you save money on monthly rates for an import car insurance policy.
#3 USAA Car Insurance Through American Collectors
USAA classic car insurance provides import car insurance. USAA classic car insurance for import cars comes with the following benefits:
- Agreed-value coverage: The value of your imported car is based on its condition, rarity, and features. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss in a covered event, the value automatically increases six percent.
- Mileage plan: In most states, imported car owners with USAA car insurance can choose their mileage limits to allow for maximum usage flexibility. Your options with USAA range from 2,500-mile, 5,000-mile, or 7,5000-mile tier.
- Automatic coverage: Getting coverage for any imported vehicles you add to your fleet is easy as qualified vehicles are automatically covered for 30 days, up to $100,000 with USAA classic car insurance for imported cars.
See if your car is eligible for USAA classic car insurance for classics, exotics, muscle cars, kits and replicas, street rods, and vintage motorcycles that are:
- Driven for pleasure only
- Not used for racing or timed events
- Stored in a garage
Drivers of the imported covered vehicle must also have at least five years of driving with a valid license, have no more than one moving violation or at-fault accident within the past three years (up to two per household), and have no DUI convictions on their record.
#4 State Farm Classic Auto Insurance
State Farm has been insuring classic cars for almost a century. To be eligible for State Farm import car insurance, your exotic must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Eligibility criteria for classic imported vehicles: 10 to 24 years old
- Eligibility criteria for antique imported vehicles: 25 years or older that has historic interest
Whether your imported car is a classic or antique, State Farm car insurance provides standard coverage for classic cars:
- Medical payments/no-fault
- Comprehensive and collision
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection
All State Farm classic car insurance plans come with emergency roadside assistance. Here are some reasons why owners of classic cars could be interested in State Farm:
- If you use your car on a limited basis, your premium could be lower
- Agreed-value coverage is available
- Receive up to $500 in coverage for your car's spare parts
One interesting perk to State Farm auto insurance is 24 Hour Good Neighbor Service. You will have access to a State Farm agent 24/7 to handle your antique or classic auto insurance needs.
#5 Heacock Classic Car Insurance
Heacock isn't as much of a household name like USAA, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm. However, this provider is not to be underestimated. Here's what you should know about Heacock classic car insurance for your import car insurance needs:
- Agreed value protection so you know upfront what to expect if your imported vehicle is ever deemed a total loss
- Single liability policy allows customers to only pay once for liability protection no matter how many vehicles are in your collection of classic cars protected by import car insurance
- Roadside assistance guarantees flatbed towing up to $200
- Newly purchased exotics and sports cars are covered automatically for 30 days up to $50K
On TrustPilot, a reliable customer review aggregator, customers rate Heacock classic car insurance 4.9 out of a possible 5.0-star rating (based on more than 750 reviews). These high ratings are positive indications that Heacock provides satisfactory customer service.
What Kind Of Car Insurance Coverage Should You Get?
When you’re shopping for import car insurance it’s important to know what coverage is available to you. There are six standard types of car insurance:
- Liability insurance (BI/PD)
- Comprehensive insurance
- Medical payments (MedPay)
- Personal injury protection (PIP)
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)
Liability coverage pays for medical bills and repairs for other people in accidents that you cause. Whether you are driving a specialty import or a standard car, you need this coverage. However, you’ll need a large amount of liability car insurance if you drive around other expensive vehicles – for example, at auto shows. Liability plans with limits of $1M aren’t uncommon for import or exotic car owners.
Collision and comprehensive total payments are based on the value of your car. Once that value is maxed out, the insurance company won’t pay for more damages. That’s why an agreed value plan is so important. Deductibles can range from $100 to $10,000 for import car insurance.
What limits you choose for MedPay, PIP, and UM/UIM are up to you. Some states require these coverage types, but all insurance companies will let you know what’s required when you request a quote.
On top of standard car insurance, there are a few extra coverage options that are unique to import car insurance:
- Agreed value
- Spare parts
- Rising value protection
- Mileage limits
Most import car insurance providers offer regular opportunities to raise the agreed value. Some automatically raise it by a certain percentage per year, while others involve drivers in the process.
What Does Import Car Insurance Cover?
Import car insurance can seem a little overwhelming when you don't know what exactly is covered. Here is a breakdown of what the extra coverage options include:
- Agreed value protection: Know how much to expect in compensation if your imported car is deemed a total loss.
- Spare parts coverage: Have repairs completed using the right parts to maintain your imported car's value.
- Value protection: Pays you what the market value is on your car at the time of the accident.
What Is Agreed Value Protection?
It's important to find a policy that covers agreed value, and not book value. These kinds of policies are often called collector or classic car insurance policies but can cover a variety of vehicles including exotics, imports, and even historic war vehicles. When you begin a policy, you’ll come to an agreement with your insurance carrier on what your car is worth.
If you had put $15,000 of upgrades into the car, you can include that in the value. You can also adjust the agreed value year after year for appreciation. That means you can have the entire actual value of the car covered.
If your car is totaled, you can get out what you had put into it. But there’s another benefit of agreed value insurance for imported cars. It also raises the maximum limit that the company will pay out for repairs since that limit is the value of the car.
Are Your Spare Parts Covered?
After an accident, you don’t want to take your car to just any shop and have them slap on some generic aftermarket parts. The good thing is that many collector car plans come with a specific coverage to pay for the right spare parts. If you have to get specific parts sent to the repair shop, that’s totally OK. Some import car insurance plans also cover the spare parts that you already have.
What Is Value Protection?
In contrast, a book value or stated value policy will only pay you what the market value is on your car at the time of the accident. Let’s say you have a 1989 Nissan Skyline R32 that you paid $40,000 to obtain. A standard insurance company doesn’t care about what you paid – it cares about what the market value is on that car in your area.
The auto insurance company would look at other Nissans from around 1989 to determine its value. Chances are, there aren’t any other 1989 Skylines around you, so the company might look at a Nissan Sentra from ‘90. The underwriter might not understand that a Sentra and a Skyline are worlds apart. Needless to say, the number the company comes up with would be a fraction of what your car is actually worth.
Now, some drivers might just want to get coverage. They might be fine adding a Skyline to a standard policy if they have other cars too. But what if the insurance company assigned a value of $5,000 to a $40,000 car? That $5,000 is the maximum the insurance company would pay out for repairs over the life of the vehicle. After that, it would be totaled. And any single accident that caused over $5,000 in repairs would total the car as well.
Get Import Car Insurance Quotes
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below or call (844) 246-8209 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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