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There are many advantages to owning a Japanese import car, including a high resale value. In this article, we’ll help you protect your investment by exploring Japanese import car insurance plan options.
You can use the free tool above to find the best insurance deals on the market today. Our team of experienced auto experts has reviewed every major insurance provider and identified the best car insurance companies in the industry. If you’re ready to consider your options, enter your zip code to get quotes from a few local providers.
Overview of Imported Car Insurance
If you’re driving a Japanese import, there are some unique considerations you will need to keep in mind.
What Kind of Insurance Do You Need for an Import Car?
You’ll need to carry your state’s mandatory insurance at the very minimum, but don’t stop there. Since import cars tend to be higher in value, they can potentially cost more to repair after an accident. For this reason, you may want to get collision and comprehensive coverage, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need for an Import Car?
When you invest in comprehensive and collision insurance, your policy will be limited to the vehicle’s cash value.
Liability insurance can be even trickier. Every state has a minimum amount of liability coverage that you have to purchase, but because medical bills and damages can be fairly high, it’s generally always a good idea to invest in more coverage.
If your net worth is high, you might be particularly vulnerable to lawsuits from other motorists. For this reason, you want to ensure that you have enough coverage to protect you in the case of an accident with another driver, covering any damage you cause in an accident and saving you from legal entanglements.
How Much Does Japanese Import Car Insurance Cost?
If you purchase a Japanese import car, such as a Mazda or Subaru, how much might you expect to spend on insurance? The answer varies depending on several factors.
Average Insurance Expenses in the U.S.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released a report of average insurance costs in the United States and found that, between the years of 2009 and 2018, car owners paid an average of $879.84 for insurance. However, note that the NAIC data reflects liability coverage only, not the expenses associated with comprehensive and collision insurance. So, if you’re looking to get your vehicle insured, this $880 figure might be a good baseline estimate to give you a general idea of expected cost, but you may need to invest a bit more for additional insurance products.
Factors that May Increase Car Insurance Premiums
Additionally, you may find various factors that impact your insurance premiums, which can vary according to your chosen insurance provider too. Factors to consider include:
- The specs and value of your import vehicle
- Your location
- Your annual mileage
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your driving record
- The type of car you plan on driving
Even though the above factors may increase your premium cost, the good news is that some insurers may offer discount opportunities.
How to Insure a Japanese Import Car
The good news is that purchasing insurance for imported vehicles is no different than insuring any other kind of car, so you won’t have to rely on insurance specialists to receive standard car insurance coverage.
That also means that your Japanese import must meet all the usual safety and emissions standards, which can be particularly challenging if you purchase a grey import car (sometimes called a parallel import). This label means the vehicle arrived in the U.S. outside of the manufacturer’s typical distribution network.
These considerations vary by state, but you can typically find a certified inspection station at most major repair shops or through your local dealership.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance for Import Cars
Ready to find insurance for your Japanese import? Here’s a brief snapshot of the top three insurance providers in the industry today according to our industry-wide review. Use the insurance comparison tool below to get free auto insurance quotes in your area.
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GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO topped our list of the best auto insurers, earning a 9.5 out of 10.0 for a strong reputation and a 9.0 for customer service, coverage and cost. GEICO has a reputation for offering low prices and various discounts, and it provides multiple types of insurance to satisfy a wide range of customers.
USAA: Best Military Provider
If you or an immediate family member have served or are actively serving in the military, USAA offers excellent rates and exemplary customer service. We awarded USAA an 8.9 overall, which includes an 8.5 for coverage and a 9.0 for the insurer’s strong reputation and commitment to low costs and customer satisfaction.
State Farm: Best Student Discounts
State Farm is great for multi-car families and student drivers. We awarded State Farm a 9.0 rating based on its great reputation and commitment to customer service. In addition, if a teenage driver drives your Japanese import, you can take advantage of State Farm’s student and safe driver discounts.
FAQ: Japanese Import Car Insurance
What are the most expensive cars to insure?
According to Motor Trend Magazine, luxury vehicles like BMWs and electric cars like Tesla tend to be the most expensive to insure. However, the 2021 Nissan GT-R NISMO made the top three on the most expensive list, costing an estimated $3,892 per year to insure.
USAToday has compiled a similar list, which contains several Japanese import vehicles, including:
– Mitsubishi Lancer
– Mitsubishi Mirage
– Nissan Maxima
While we most often associate Honda and Toyota with Japanese manufacturing, these cars are often built in local factories, which can save money compared to buying a car from the Japanese domestic market.
What are import cars vs. domestic cars?
Domestic cars are any cars manufactured in the United States. Import cars are generally cars manufactured outside of the United States. However, the term “import” can also refer to overseas companies that operate factories in the U.S. For instance, a car assembled in the U.S. can be considered an import if its manufacturer is based abroad.
Does my insurance cover spare parts?
Some car insurance policies will include coverage for spare parts. However, this coverage is usually limited to certain types of comprehensive insurance plans. Be sure to ask your insurance agent whether a company’s policy covers spare parts.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system considers market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction, and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer gets a weighted score in four categories and an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.