I am currently living in the U.S. I am looking to get a car insurance and wonder how they calculate my rate. As I know it from Germany, they calculate the risk with a formula depending on where I live, how long I have my Driver's License for and how many accidents I had in the past. Are these roughly the same factors as in the U.S.?

Since I have my German DL license for over 10 years now and just recently (2 months) got a U.S. Driver's License, I wonder how the insurance company will calculate my risk/rate? Do they take the age of my German Driver's License into account or do they just calculate the rate based on the age of the U.S. Driver's License?


I am now insured on a car of my friend. They did not charge any extra fee so therefore I suppose that the insurance also took the age of my German DL into account. They also asked for this when we added myself to the insurance of the car as a driver.

  • Do you own or lease (or are planning on buying or leasing) a car? Car insurance, as the term is generally understood in the US, means insurance of a specific vehicle against damage of various kinds, and liability coverage of the owner/lessee and/or operators of the vehicles against claims by people injured in accidents etc. Jul 11, 2016 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


They would only take your age typically.

A major additional input in the USA is your Credit Score, which is calculated from your credit history. In a nutshell, it is high=good when you have a long history of managing debt well and paying on time.

Unfortunately, if you do not have a credit history in the USA, it will be considered a negative sign, and you will get insurance only very expensive or not at all. Typically, you cannot get a checking account, rent a house, etc., without a credit history.

  • 3
    I disagree with the checking account because you can definitely open one, even if you don't have a credit score.
    – Freddy
    May 12, 2016 at 15:12
  • 2
    It is a myth that you can't live without credit history. You can indeed open a checking account and rent a house without a credit history.
    – Ben Miller
    May 12, 2016 at 15:28
  • 1
    I have to add that I don't think that my credit score matters too much because when I wanted to get a quote on some pages they asked only for basic information which are non credit score related. Although I am aware of the importance of a credit score I don't think that's applicable to car insurances.
    – Freddy
    May 12, 2016 at 19:56
  • That's good to know, next time I have the problem I will just tell the bank that it is a myth.
    – Aganju
    May 12, 2016 at 22:27

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