Car Insurance in the VI
Thought I'd post some info and experience here for those relocating and would encourage others to do the same.
In the USVI, drivers under the age of 26 are hit with a stiff premium when added to a parent's policy. How much depends on how much coverage you get, but as of June 2011, adding an underage driver to a car with full coverage is over $1000. Less if your car only has liability and has low value.
And unlike in the states where you can add your kids to the "family's policy" and that covers them on all your cars, HERE if you want the underage driver to be able to drive more than one of your cars, then you have to pay for each car you want to add them to. No "family coverage" unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for it.
However, you do catch one break. If you have two underage drivers in your household, then you only pay one underage premium per car. The second child is merely added to the one car's policy at no additional charge. That's how I have it set up with my two kids: "Here's your car, you're both covered, and "no" you can't drive the other car because you're not on its policy."
((I have Marshall and Sterling Insurance, which is one of the few car insurance co's left on the island.))
About Stateside Coverage:
I own a car in the states insured with Allstate, and by Allstate policy NONE of that's car's family coverage extends to cars I own here in the VI. The stateside coverage only follows me or my kids to cars I don't own. Why? Because the insurance companies don't want us taking out cheaper stateside coverage and using it down here on other cars you own.
This is why when your children under the age of 26 come to visit, and who are driving a car YOU own which is covered in the states (a typical college student arrangement, for example) they need to be ADDED to your policy down here, either permanently or temporarily, in order for them to be covered in cars you own down here. "This is Allstate's stand" haha.
THUS.....With my two underage drivers here, I let them drive the "islandy" liability-only car, but do not let them drive mom & dad's "full coverage" car because it would cost $1100 a year to add them to that fully covered car's policy, in addition to the cost of insuring them to drive the islandy-car.
Of course, if you're J.C. Gotrocks, you got no problem. 😎
USAA insurance is also an option---USAA is for veterans and their family. The rules changed about a year ago, a veteran is defined as any individual who served in the Armed forces. Simply put, you do have to be a war time and or combat veteran. Call USAA insurance for more details,
If you served in the armed forces, live in the Virgin Islands, call for a quote, I am sure you will find it cheaper. Moreover, almost every year right before XMAS we get a rebate check from USAA(depends on amount of claims compared to forecast of expenses). How many insurance companies give you money back ???
BUT when someone under 26 is just visiting, you can add them to the policy just for the days they will be on island, at a pro-rated daily premium, so it is not a big amount for a week or two or even a month. I think there used to be a limit on how long their 'visit' could be though, and all our kids are past that point so I'm not current on the details.
USAA all the way and you don't just have to be a vet, or have a family member who is a vet. You could also have worked for the federal government or have a family member who does. The do renters insurance as well and over the past 20 years I have had them they are the best around.
Since we moved here in 2008 I've used my Liberty Mutual policy which covers us here. It doesn't appear you can write a new policy here but they cover you for existing policies. I was thrilled with them (been a customer for about 20 years) as their rate was 1/2 of local for literally 10 times the coverage (I have about 1.5M in coverage between my underlying and umbrella policy.) Earlier this year my parents (father is a 30-year vet) moved back to the states and finally signed up with USAA (more accurately I signed them up, paid their initial premium, and showed them how much they would save over the Geico policy they had just bought.) I of course did this for me 🙂
As a child of a vet I and my family are eligible. The rates I'm paying now with USAA are about 40% less than the great rates I have with Liberty Mutual. I techincally still have both insurers so I'm very overinsured but we're moving back to the states this week and as soon as I get an address to do a price comparison I'm dropping one of them (99.99% sure it's going to be Liberty Mutual as I don't think anybody can compete with USAA on rates.) I've got some homework to do but I suspect I'm going to shut down all the Bank of America, Chase, and credit union accounts we have and move them all to USAA if the numbers work like I think they will.
Don't know if these questions were brought up before or not, but I am going to ask anyway. Sorry, if I'm being redundant.
Can you be insured by USAA if the family member(s) - parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, who were veterans are deceased? Or an aunts, uncles, or cousins who are still living worked for the federal govt. and/or a veteran?
Spoke to a rep., who was very informative and nice.
Policies are always changing, so stxnama, widows might get coverage in the future. Just keep checking their website, USAA.com for updates.
Some family members can be eligible for checking & savings accts., life/health insurance, medicare supplement policies, investment accounts, discounts for products and services, for example, rental cars, cell phones, if the vet was not a member.
Just have to go to website and sign up for a membership, which is free.
Anyone you know who is serving our great country or served in the past, should get a membership, its free and seems worth it. And do to policies changing all the time, it can benefit family members in the future.