Even those with some knowledge of foreign service aren’t fully aware of the insurance requirements for diplomats visiting the United States as a part of a foreign mission. Car insurance in particular is required for all diplomatic visitors with a minimum standard for liability coverage. However, it can be difficult to find the right insurance company to meet your needs, especially in unique circumstances. It’s a good idea to take the time to find an insurer with experience working with diplomats who can walk you through the process of getting ready to drive. If you need help, read on for information about insurers who specialize in diplomatic insurance.
How does diplomatic insurance work?
For those who are unaware, a diplomat is a member of the diplomatic corps or foreign services within their home country. When visiting another country on official business or as a part of a foreign mission, they are typically required to have diplomat insurance for their vehicle if they intend to drive while in the United States. In the U.S., it is mandatory for every vehicle on the road to be insured in case of accident or emergency, even visiting diplomats.
The Office of Foreign Missions requires all foreign diplomats possess liability car insurance coverage, which is typically the minimum requirement for a car insurance policy. This requirement applies to the car the diplomat intends to use; rules for family or other guests can vary. The OFM also handles the distribution of diplomatic driver’s licenses. After receiving a license, the diplomat will need to register their vehicle with the Department of State, which will issue diplomatic license plates.
If an uninsured driver causes a vehicular accident, it is a violation of the terms under which they have been allowed into the country. OFM can impose charges on any uninsured foreign diplomat under the authority of the Secretary of State if an accident occurs.
What insurers offer specialized diplomat coverage?
Some diplomats visiting the United States states are surprised to learn that they will need car insurance if they intend to drive while they’re in the country. For diplomats visiting the country on a temporary basis, it can be tricky to know how to obtain instant coverage for a trip. If a diplomat obtains an international driver’s permit prior to traveling, it can be easier to obtain insurance coverage when they arrive.
Rates can vary when it comes to car insurance for foreign diplomatic missions, as many insurers don’t have specific rates tailored for diplomatic missions. Though there isn’t a standard rate for diplomats, Geico does offer government employees of a GS-6 or above (a similar classification to that of diplomats) an average annual rate of $1,812. This can give you a general idea of what car insurance may cost in the U.S.
Be warned that insurance rates for diplomats are often quite high, typically due to the lack of an established driving record and because diplomats are required to carry more liability coverage than the average American driver. The liability insurance coverage must be at least $300,000 for a single combined limit to cover both property damage and bodily injury.
Though there isn’t a specific insurance company designated for use by diplomats, most major insurance companies offer liability insurance to visiting members of the foreign services. The consequences of having an accident as an uninsured motorist can be expensive, so make sure to leave plenty of time to get your license, plates, and insurance policy in order before your trip. Rates can vary, but you should expect to pay more due to the level of coverage required. A short or nonexistent driving record can also raise your rate, though having an international driver’s permit will often make it easier to obtain coverage.