The Best Japanese Import Car Insurance

The best Japanese import car insurance policies are agreed value. Japanese import car insurance is offered by most car insurance companies in the United States.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Jul 31, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Japanese import cars must meet the American standards for safety and emissions before being registered
  • There are no import vehicle-specific insurance companies that provide coverage in the U.S.
  • How much Japanese import car insurance coverage you need will depend on the value of your car as well as your records
  • Make sure to get agreed value car insurance coverage for your classic or vintage vehicle

Let’s talk about imported cars. If you want an import car, chances are the same old boring cars on the road right now just aren’t for you. Rather than a Honda Civic, why not an MG RV8? But is it hard to insure an imported car and do foreign cars cost more to insure? You’ll be glad to know imports are often the cars with the lowest car insurance premiums.

What is the best car insurance for an import car owner? We’ll help you find the best car insurance policy for your needs at a reasonable price. The next time you’re driving to a car show, you’ll be able to do so without worry.

Before finding out what is the best auto insurance for an import car owner, be sure to enter your ZIP code above for free quotes on cheap car insurance for Japanese imports.

What type of car insurance coverage do you need for your import car?

If you own an import car, you may not be under the same constraints that you would be under if you’d purchased a vehicle from a dealer in the U.S. Every state has its own liability insurance requirements. Search below to see what they are in your state.

Car Insurance Liability Requirements by State
STATEsMINIMUM LIABILITY LIMITS
Alabama25/50/25
Alaska50/100/25
Arizona15/30/10
Arkansas25/50/25
California15/30/5
Colorado25/50/15
Connecticut25/50/20
Deleware25/50/10
District of Columbia25/50/10
Florida10/20/10
Georgia25/50/25
Hawaii20/40/10
Idaho25/50/15
Illinois25/50/20
Indiana25/50/25
Iowa20/40/15
Kansas25/50/25
Kentucky25/50/25
Lousiana15/30/25
Maine50/100/25
Maryland30/60/15
Massachusetts20/40/5
Michigan20/40/10
Minnesota30/60/10
Mississippi25/50/25
Missouri25/50/25
Montana25/50/20
Nebraska25/50/25
Nevada25/50/20
New Hampshire25/50/25
New Jersey15/30/5
New Mexico25/50/10
New York25/50/10
North Carolina30/60/25
North Dakota25/50/25
Ohio25/50/25
Oklahoma25/50/25
Oregon25/50/20
Pennsylvania15/30/5
Rhode Island25/50/25
South Carolina25/50/25
South Dakota25/50/25
Tennessee25/50/15
Texas30/60/25
Utah25/65/15
Vermont25/50/10
Virginia25/50/20
Washington25/50/10
West Virginia25/50/25
Wisconsin25/50/10
Wyoming25/50/20
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However, if you went through the time and trouble it took to import your vehicle, you probably want more than just the basics. You didn’t get here because you want the bland, humdrum, run-of-the-mill normal for your ride. So, don’t leave it unprotected.

You’re going to want to carry comprehensive and collision coverage for your vehicle. If you leased your vehicle, this is probably going to be required.

If you purchased a vehicle from overseas, however, you may have either gotten a personal loan (rather than a vehicle loan) or you may not have needed a loan at all.

So, what type of insurance do you need for your vehicle if you aren’t under a lender’s constraints? Well, first of all, you’re going to have to purchase your state’s minimums, just as you would with any other vehicle.

Then you need to consider two things:

  • The value of the vehicle that you’ve imported
  • The cost of the work to manufacture your vehicle

Are imported cars more expensive to insure? Why might it cost more to insure a Japanese import car? That definitely depends on what kind of car you imported. If you’re moving to the U.S. from another country and want to bring your vehicle, you may want to carry simply the state requirements (or something a little higher) for basic protection.

How much does it cost to insure a classic car, and can you get full coverage on a classic car? If you’re buying a classic imported car, your classic auto insurance rates will look a little different. We’ve compiled the average rates per state below for classic cars.

Classic Car Insurance Average Annual Rates by Coverage
STATEsLiability CoverageComprehensive CoverageCollision CoverageFull Coverage
Idaho$206.57$69.93$131.43$407.93
Iowa$179.51$110.12$131.85$421.48
Maine$203.32$62.99$155.99$422.29
Wisconsin$224.62$82.09$135.60$442.31
Indiana$229.61$73.24$150.17$453.02
Vermont$205.87$75.29$177.25$458.41
South Dakota$180.13$154.87$125.15$460.15
North Dakota$178.91$138.62$146.45$463.98
Ohio$238.27$72.97$161.90$473.14
North Carolina$215.65$81.65$176.15$473.45
New Hampshire$240.34$66.46$184.45$491.25
Nebraska$218.78$137.55$142.28$498.61
Virginia$255.37$81.92$168.31$505.60
Wyoming$192.62$148.54$167.30$508.46
Kansas$214.94$144.82$158.00$517.76
Montana$231.77$127.15$159.19$518.11
Alabama$236.53$93.79$190.78$521.09
Tennessee$248.35$89.07$185.44$522.86
Missouri$249.53$108.76$165.17$523.46
Utah$298.52$65.70$159.54$523.76
Hawaii$275.12$60.94$187.90$523.97
Minnesota$274.09$110.56$140.64$525.29
Illinois$268.03$76.88$185.83$530.74
Oregon$350.48$56.32$136.10$542.90
Arkansas$236.48$114.25$193.08$543.80
New Mexico$292.82$103.54$166.19$562.55
Kentucky$317.53$84.83$160.75$563.11
Washington$358.00$63.83$159.44$581.28
Pennsylvania$299.44$86.53$196.34$582.31
Arizona$305.26$111.67$166.78$583.71
South Carolina$316.25$108.56$159.04$583.86
Colorado$312.02$104.77$172.20$588.98
California$293.80$60.32$237.93$592.05
Mississippi$276.30$126.20$193.93$596.43
Oklahoma$276.61$135.50$191.08$603.19
Countrywide$323.24$88.82$193.57$605.63
West Virginia$295.10$122.57$197.80$615.47
Alaska$323.81$82.36$210.49$616.65
Georgia$334.43$95.51$199.10$629.04
Nevada$408.94$70.58$182.32$661.83
Texas$317.25$123.85$224.69$665.80
Maryland$365.84$91.63$212.39$669.87
Massachusetts$363.62$80.98$232.97$677.57
Connecticut$390.56$78.97$221.11$690.64
Delaware$479.58$73.49$191.26$744.34
Florida$514.58$69.92$169.78$754.28
Rhode Island$455.88$79.31$246.91$782.10
District of Columbia$377.29$139.94$281.20$798.44
New York$482.71$102.67$231.01$816.40
Michigan$477.19$92.91$248.30$818.40
New Jersey$521.74$78.81$229.12$829.67
Louisiana$465.50$129.10$248.62$843.22
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Who insures old cars? Most car insurance companies will cover older models, but classic cars need special car insurance. Still, some of the biggest insurers offer it, like State Farm and Progressive.

Who has the best classic car insurance? Is Japanese import car insurance always expensive? The cheapest classic car insurance rates are found in Idaho, while Louisiana drivers may pay double what their Idahoan counterparts pay for the same coverage. Insurers always look at where you live, as insurance risks vary by location.

If you live in a high-risk part of the country — or usually within a city there — crime rates are usually elevated, which means car insurance premiums are also higher.

Insurers will also look at the value of your car when pricing your coverage.

You have an import, so what does that mean? They might not have easily accessible information about your exact car, so they may end up looking at something that seems similar but is in fact much cheaper than your import.

At first glance, that seems cool. Your insurance rates will be lower if the value is priced lower, right?

Yes, but the insurance company will only pay out what they think your car is worth if you’re in an accident. That’s bad news if you have a $50,000 car that they thought was only worth $5,000. You’d only get $5,000 worth of repairs or cash toward a new vehicle.

A lot of classic cars differ from your everyday sedan, too. That’s because classic and antique vehicles usually appreciate in value. You don’t want to risk losing out on that investment because you didn’t have the right level of coverage of special or antique insurance. Spare parts won’t be very easy to come by, either, so it’s likely to be a costly fix if you’re in an accident.

If you’re purchasing an expensive vehicle, you will definitely want to get comprehensive and collision coverage to make sure you have plenty of protection.

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Import Vehicles & Car Insurance Laws

Each year between 2015 and 2019, there were somewhere between 45,000 and 61,000 used passenger vehicles imported to the U.S. from elsewhere in the world.

Chances are good that your car is going to fall into the first column in the table below, under “used” imports, as the new vehicles are mostly dealership imports — though that’s not always the case. Why is that? Well, there are rules regarding what can or can’t be brought into this country. Surprise, right?

According to the International Trade Administration, Americans import quite a few vehicles every year. Just look at these numbers.

Number of Units and Value of U.S. Imports by Vehicle Type
Yearused passenger vehicles
Units/Value
new passenger vehicles & light trucks
Units/Value
medium & heavy-duty trucks
Units/Value
201953,652 units/
$991,661,288
8,262,039 units/
$197,279,927,226
221,113 units/
$17,250,601,585
201849,055 units/
$987,766,241
8,218,741 units/
$191,753,771,717
230,717 units/
$16,188,074,170
201745,361 units/
$1,009,384,769
8,273,315 units/
$191,765,678,137
231,949 units/
$14,403,869,708
201661,171 units/
$1,256,438,899
8,153,290 units/
$186,356,026,335
198,547 units/
$12,029,293,837
201545,245 units/
$1,131,730,890
8,003,550 units/
$179,819,603,360
240,638 units/
$15,690,482,306
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Check out this helpful how-to video from the U.S. Customers and Border Protection on importing your vehicle to the U.S.

Import vehicles, much like any other vehicle in the U.S., are subject to insurance laws that vary by state. Before you can purchase insurance for your import vehicle, however, you have to ensure that it is compliant with U.S. safety laws.

The vehicle you’re importing also has to meet certain emissions standards, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency.

What makes a car an import that’s eligible to bring into the U.S.? Bill H.R.2628 states that you can either import a car that is over 25 years old (for which restrictions are looser), or you can get a vehicle that is remarkably similar to those already being sold in the United States. The car must also conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many people assume that if they purchase a vehicle outside of the country that’s specifically being targeted for sale in the U.S., it’ll already be street-legal. The problem is, however, that a vehicle made outside of the U.S. is not likely to be compliant with our laws. You won’t be able to purchase the necessary insurance for your vehicle until it meets all of the U.S. safety requirements.

Keep in mind, if you don’t get your vehicle to U.S. standards within 90 days of bringing it into the country, you’re required to either export or destroy it.

There is no specially designated insurance for imported vehicles, but there are requirements that must be addressed before you can insure one at all.

The best car insurance for an import car owner will be different in every state. Also, don’t forget to title your import vehicle as soon as you can.

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The Best Car Insurance Company for an Import Car

If you’re looking for an insurance company that specializes in insuring import vehicles, you’re going to be disappointed.

There are no U.S. insurance companies with a special focus on import vehicles, though some providers do specialize in classic cars, including:

  • Hagerty Insurance
  • Grundy Classic Car Insurance
  • American Modern Classic Car Insurance
  • American Collectors Insurance
  • JDM Imports insurance for JDM cars

Is Hagerty Insurance any good, or should you stick with a better-known name like SafeCo classic car insurance? It really depends on your needs, which help you choose the best auto insurance company for your exotic car.

Once your vehicle meets U.S. standards, you can purchase quality coverage from dozens of insurance companies.

Interestingly enough, many other countries offer specialty insurance for import and classic cars, this just isn’t the case in the U.S. Rather than having specialty companies, most insurance companies simply offer car insurance on import vehicles and regular vehicles as well. That makes it easy to talk to an agent and determine the difference between classic car insurance vs regular and determine which you need.

How much car insurance coverage is enough for your import car?

You’ll want to make sure to choose the right company for you. To that end, let’s take a look at the financial standings of some of the most popular car insurance companies.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Market Share
CompaniesDIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTENMARKET SHAREA.M. BEST RATINGLOSS RATIO
State Farm$41.9 billion17.01%A++ (Superior)63%
Geico$33.1 billion13.41%A++ (Superior)71%
Progressive$27.1 billion10.97%A+ (Superior)62%
Allstate$22.7 billion9.19%A+ (Superior)56%
USAA (Military Personnel & Family Members)$14.5 billion5.87%A++ (Superior)77%
Liberty Mutual$11.8 billion4.77%A (Excellent)62%
Farmers$10.5 billion4.26%A (Excellent)61%
Nationwide$6.7 billion2.73%A+ (Superior)58%
American Family$4.7 billion1.90%A (Excellent)69%
Travelers$4.7 billion1.90%A++ (Superior)60%
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What is a loss ratio?

A loss ratio is a measure of the financial strength of an insurance company that compares how much it’s bringing in from customer payments versus how much it’s paying out in claims.

The ideal range for a loss ratio is between 45 and 75 percent. If a company’s loss ratio goes too high, that means it’s probably paying out too many claims. If it’s every over 100, a rate hike is probably coming. A very low loss ratio means the company is not paying out on many claims, so that’s a red flag to look out for.

The bottom line is that the amount of coverage that you should purchase is dependent on your specific situation. First of all, you’ll want to consider the value of your vehicle. Remember, liability insurance doesn’t cover losses to your vehicle in an accident you caused, only the losses of the other driver.

If you have plenty of money in the bank to cover your own losses, then you may not need to purchase any sort of additional insurance.

What you owe if the vehicle is financed and the value of the vehicle are two different things. Your insurance company will only pay for the value of your car. With the average used import from 2019 valued at $18,483, they’re not clunkers. And remember, that’s just an average; there are a lot of imports that are worth far more than that.

Check out the video below to see the top 10 imports from 2019 — they’re pretty sweet (and costly).

The second thing that you need to consider is self-preservation. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you become responsible for everything that vehicle does. If you cause an accident, you’re responsible for every cost associated with that accident. If you don’t have enough insurance, you’ll be financially responsible for the difference in cost.

Many people will purchase more than the state’s minimum requirements for their vehicle for just this reason.

Chances aren’t terrible that you imported your car for the sheer pleasure of that specific make and model. It’s great to be able to take to the open road on a clear, sunny day and enjoy getting all of the looks on the drive.

Which cars are more expensive to insure though? This partly depends on the car’s value, but the biggest factor is your driving record.

We all like to have a little fun in the car, but watch your speedometer. If you don’t, you’ll be paying for it.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates With One Speeding Violation
CompaniesAverage rates with CLEAN RECORDAverage Rates WITH one SPEEDING VIOLATION
USAA$1,933.68$2,193.25
Geico$2,145.96$2,645.43
American Family$2,693.61$3,025.74
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,113.68
State Farm$2,821.18$3,186.01
Progressive$3,393.09$4,002.28
Travelers$3,447.69$4,260.80
Farmers$3,460.60$4,079.01
Allstate$3,819.90$4,483.51
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$5,701.26
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As you can see, your rates will go up with just one speeding ticket, anywhere from 12 to 24 percent with these major insurers.

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How can you get a car insurance quote for your import car?

Consider your finances. If you don’t have the funds to pay for extra insurance, then you have a problem. If you need to get full coverage and save money, then there are two things you can do:

  • Raise your deductible
  • Get car insurance quotes

Raising your deductible does require that you have more out-of-pocket money if an accident occurs; however, this often makes it possible for people to purchase more insurance at a reasonable monthly premium.

Getting car insurance quotes from multiple companies ensures that you get the lowest rate possible for the insurance coverage that you want to purchase.

Using our link at the bottom of the page will take you to our free, no-obligation, car insurance rate quote tool for collector car insurance.

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Frequently Asked Questions: What is the best car insurance for an import car owner?

Is there something else you need to know? Take a look at the frequently asked questions below.

#1– What companies offer non-owner car insurance?

Some of the largest insurers offer non-owner car insurance. Progressive, Geico, and State Farm are just a few of them.

#2 – What are the most expensive cars to insure?

Are Japanese imports more expensive to insure? The basic rule of thumb here is: the higher the value of the vehicle, the more it will cost to insure. How much does insurance cost for a sports car? Sports and luxury car insurance are higher than less powerful and expensive cars. Porsches and Mercedes vehicles top the list, and exotic car insurance cost is usually the highest.

Is it easy to compare Japanese import car insurance quotes? Now that you’ve learned what is the best car insurance for an import car owner, enter your ZIP code to get free exotic car insurance quotes right now and get started insuring your imported cars from Japan.

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