I'd like to share a true story that happened to me this week, involving a new U.S. Driver. I feel this story may help many, who are new to this country looking to buy a car, and get car insurance.
This young person wanted to lease or buy a new car, and just got their driver's license last year. The twist is, this person came to the U.S. a few years ago, and claimed they were issued a driver's license additional years before coming to this country. Normally, this person would be considered an experienced driver (over 6 years of driving), but not having all those years of experience in this country, it may not count towards you're driving record. If you are a new U.S. driver I'm writing to help you through this tricky process, and help warn you about other agencies.
If you are a new U.S. driver, you need to supply as much information as possible: a copy of the license #, dates, etc. from your previous country of residency of driving. Then I know that I can add those years of experience for a new insurance policy. I am being honest when I say, this process does take some time (longer than average) to get a new U.S. driver a quote.
The person I was working with found a questionable quote from another insurance agency immediately. Which for me, raised a few red flags. (It also seemed too good to be true). I asked this person to send me the details of their quote so I may learn as well what other agencies are doing, and I discovered this agency in question didn't provide full details in the quote! In my opinion, they misled this young person. What they did, in short, was asked how long this person had been driving, labeled them as a "mature" driver, and based their quote on that, then asked them to sign along the dotted line. However, I don't believe this agency took into consideration that this person was a new U.S. driver, and then may by law adjust the premium, and label them as a new driver, period. Or..... they did know, but didn't warn this person that the premium could be adjusted.
Unfortunately, I think this person will be very disappointed and angry, and rightfully so. If the insurance agency in question does adjust the premium, it will cost more per year than this person's annual car loan payments! Once you sign along the dotted line, you're locked in, which is why I'm urging new U.S. drivers to read everything and get all the information up front.
I wouldn't think anyone would be happy if this occurs--- shiny new car and all the toys inside notwithstanding! Caveat emptor---- buyer beware!