Surround Insurance and Zolve are working together to make sure people new to the US can get banking, credit cards, auto loans, and now insurance designed just for them.
How do I get a credit card if you're new to the US?
It's hard to open a credit card when you first arrive in the US because many credit card issuers require you to have a social security number (SSN). Only a few will accept an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN instead. And, while you may have had an excellent credit score at home, almost no US lenders will consider that. That's the problem companies like Zolve are working to solve by providing truly cross-border banking and lending services.
Why is it hard to find car insurance when you move to the US?
Finding car insurance as a new immigrant is different from looking for banking or lending services. You don't have to be a permanent resident or have an SSN to buy a policy. What makes auto insurance shopping tough for new arrivals in the US is that they often lack a US license, credit history, and prior insurance history.
Many insurance carriers won't write policies for consumers with little credit history or continuous prior insurance regardless of whether they have lived in the US for a long time or they're new to the country. And many insurance companies won't insure someone with a foreign driver's license at all, or only if they are added to a policy with a US-licensed driver.
In addition, insurance in the United States is regulated by the states, not the federal government. That means where insurance companies sell, what their underwriting rules are, and their pricing varies across 50 states. That means generalized advice isn't super helpful.
Why is auto insurance so expensive for new immigrants?
Insurance is expensive for new immigrants for two reasons. First, not many insurance companies will sell to people who don't have a US license yet, so there's less competition. Second, most newly arrived immigrants won't qualify for common auto insurance discounts and/or the best rate tiers.
Here are some examples of factors that drive low insurance rates that foreign drivers often don't yet qualify for:
- Continuous insurance discounts - People who have had car insurance in the US for at least six months usually qualify for a proof of prior insurance discount. This can be up to 30% off.
- Credit history tiering - In 48 states, insurance companies use credit scores to price insurance. This is because on average, people with better credit scores have much lower accident rates. Most new arrivals in the US will show us as "no hits" or "thin files" when an insurance company orders credit history as part of their sales process. These buckets do not get the best rates. It just takes time using credit in the US to build a history.
- US driver's license - Having a non-US license is usually treated the same as having a driving violation like a speeding ticket, which is a surcharge on the policy. Getting a license issued by any US state means the surcharge can be removed. Some insurance companies will remove it immediately, while others will remove it once you've had a US license for six to twelve months.
Read our post for more on how to save money on car insurance as an immigrant.
If you're looking for insurance companies who will sell policies to people who recently arrived in the US, we can quote you with three national carriers who will, Progressive, Dairyland, and Farmers/Bristol West. Click below to submit your information for a quote.
How can I learn more about car insurance in the US?
Start with our guide to US car insurance for foreign nationals, then feel free to reach out using the form about, or call or text 617-941-3673.
Who is Surround Insurance?
Surround Insurance is a full service national digital insurance agency serving tech-savvy consumers. Get great prices, thorough advice, and excellent customer service. Check out our 5 star Google reviews! In addition to car insurance, we sell renters insurance, condo, homeowners, and pet insurance.
Who is Zolve?
Zolve strives to be the go-to platform that empowers you to embrace your new life in the US without worrying about the complexities of the financial system. Our vision at Zolve is to empower citizens across the world with the financial tools and support they need to thrive in the United States.