The Best Japanese Import Car Insurance

The best Japanese import car insurance companies will give you comprehensive and collision coverage to protect your vehicle. To find the best Japanese import car insurance rates, consider comparison shopping online before you import your car.

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UPDATED: May 23, 2022

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 23, 2022Fact Checked

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. Rather than a Honda Civic, why not an MG RV8? If you do this, however, you’ll need to find the best Japanese import car insurance.

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.

Does an imported car affect insurance? What is the best car insurance for an import car owner? What are the best companies for Japanese import car insurance?

We’ll help you understand your car insurance policy and get the best coverage 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 car insurance for an import car owner, be sure to enter your ZIP code above for free quotes on cheap car insurance for Japanese imports.

Not yet ready to buy Japanese import car insurance? Learn more in our guide.

The Basics of Import Car Insurance

What’s special about import car insurance? There has to be something unique about it. Well, there are some things about import car insurance that set it apart from the standard coverage.

One of these things is that your vehicle will be assessed based upon what you and your insurer agree the value is, rather than the Kelley Blue Book value.

The video below goes over the agreed-upon value versus the standard value.

Import care insurance also factors in the additional cost of spare parts which may be harder to find and will maintain the value of the vehicle.

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

What is an imported 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.

Liability Car Insurance Requirements by State
StatesMinimum Liability Limits
District of Columbia25/50/10
New Hampshire25/50/25
New Jersey15/30/5
New Mexico25/50/10
New York25/50/10
North Carolina30/60/25
North Dakota25/50/25
Rhode Island25/50/25
South Carolina25/50/25
South Dakota25/50/25
West Virginia25/50/25
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However, if you went through the time and trouble 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 car insurance rates will look a little different.

We’ve compiled the average rates per state below for classic cars. Keep in mind that if you’re interested in learning more about classic car insurance you can learn more in our classic car insurance guide.

Average Annual Classic Car Insurance Rates by Coverage
StatesAverage Annual Liability Coverage RatesAverage Annual Liability Comprehensive Coverage RatesAverage Annual Liability Collision Coverage RatesAverage Annual Liability Full Coverage Rates
North Dakota$178.91$138.62$146.45$463.98
South Dakota$180.13$154.87$125.15$460.15
North Carolina$215.65$81.65$176.15$473.45
New Hampshire$240.34$66.46$184.45$491.25
New Mexico$292.82$103.54$166.19$562.55
West Virginia$295.10$122.57$197.80$615.47
South Carolina$316.25$108.56$159.04$583.86
District of Columbia$377.29$139.94$281.20$798.44
Rhode Island$455.88$79.31$246.91$782.10
New York$482.71$102.67$231.01$816.40
New Jersey$521.74$78.81$229.12$829.67
U.S. Average$323.24$88.82$193.57$605.63
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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? Insurance companies 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.

Insuring Your Japanese Import Car

What is import car insurance? Let’s take a closer look at import vehicles and car insurance laws.

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
New Passenger Vehicles and Light Trucks
Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks
201953,652 units/
8,262,039 units/
221,113 units/
201849,055 units/
8,218,741 units/
230,717 units/
201745,361 units/
8,273,315 units/
231,949 units/
201661,171 units/
8,153,290 units/
198,547 units/
201545,245 units/
8,003,550 units/
240,638 units/
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Check out this helpful how-to video from the U.S. Customs 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, that if you don’t get your vehicle up to U.S. standards within 90 days of bringing it into the country, you’re required to either export or destroy it. After all, you can’t import Japanese car insurance along with your vehicle! Imported car insurance isn’t a thing at all, unfortunately. The closest to this being had is when your auto coverage still applies over a certain point in Canada or Mexico.

There is no specially designated car insurance for imported cars, Japanese or otherwise, 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.

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 insurance companies that are import car insurance specialists, or those that offer policies insuring any imported car in the USA. Naturally, this includes companies that provide insurance for Japanese imported cars. 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 will help you identify the best car 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 Japanese imported vehicles and regular vehicles as well.

This makes it easy to talk to an agent and determine the difference between classic car insurance vs. regular and determine which you need.

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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 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.

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 from other drivers.

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 Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One Speeding Violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,186.01
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.

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

Consider your finances when pursuing insurance for import cars. 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.

What kind of car insurance should you get? Enter your ZIP code to get Japanese import car insurance quotes and get started insuring your imported cars from Japan.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

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. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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