Auto Insurance for Diplomats

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Things to remember...
  • Under legislation from 1978, any individual that is part of the Foreign Mission Community must carry liability insurance coverage if they are operating a vehicle in the United States
  • While diplomatic officials are often believed to carry immunity against crimes, they are still bound to the same insurance requirements as other drivers
  • These diplomatic individuals are responsible for providing proof of their coverage to the Office of Foreign Missions
  • The Office of Foreign Missions, or OFM, has several responsibilities; this includes regulating the activities of any diplomatic individual acting in the United States
  • If you are a diplomat needing car insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind about your options and your responsibilities

Any diplomat operating a motor vehicle in the United States is bound by the same insurance requirements that any other motorist is required to follow.

However, diplomats must carry specific limits of coverage, as well as follow guidelines on how to list the Diplomatic Motor Vehicle Office as an additional interest in the policy.

Diplomatic individuals are also required to notify the OFM of the following:

  • any updates
  • changes
  • cancellations as soon as they occur

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Required Car Insurance Coverage for Diplomats

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There are clearly defined limits of coverage that any diplomat operating a motor vehicle in the United States must carry including high limits of coverage to protect against physical injuries or property damages you may cause.

During the purchase process, it’s important to inform the insurance provider about the minimum limits that are acceptable for a diplomat to carry.

The OFM provides clearly outlined information regarding the minimum acceptable limits for any diplomat’s car insurance. There are two acceptable options for minimum limits of coverage, which means a combined single limit or a set of split limits may be chosen.

Any policy must have a minimum of $300,000 combined single limit. This combined limit means that there is a defined dollar amount that will apply to any claim. It is a combination of both property damage and bodily injury losses.

Split limits, in comparison to a combined single limit, are a group of limits that apply to a per person, per occurrence, and a per occurrence property damage instance. These limits are often written as a series of three numbers, such as 100/300/100.

This amount is the minimum level of coverage that a diplomat must purchase, which means they would carry $100,000 coverage for bodily injuries per person, $300,000 coverage for bodily injuries per incident, and $100,000 coverage for property damage per incident.

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Additional Considerations for a Diplomat’s Car Insurance Policy

Car insurance for diplomatic individuals comes with a host of requirements that must be followed to maintain their privileges within the United States.

It’s important to remember that anyone required to carry one of these policies must submit proof of coverage every six months to the Diplomatic Motor Vehicle Office. Failure to do so may result in a loss of privileges or fines and fees.

Anyone operating a motor vehicle in the United States is doing so as a privilege, not a right. This privilege may be revoked.

The OFM has a complete program in place to help manage and follow up on moving violations and parking tickets that may occur. It includes payable violations and “must appear” violations.

This office also handles situations where an individual drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Additionally, there are regional offices that work with each Foreign Mission to make sure that the proper requirements are being followed.

If there are concerns or questions about your coverage, such as before renting a non-owned vehicle, you can contact your regional office to find out more about how your coverage will apply.

Conclusion

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Being a diplomat does not eliminate the need for minimum levels of car insurance when operating a vehicle on the roads in the United States.

As a member of any Foreign Mission Community, there are specifications regarding the following:

  • policy terms that are needed
  • the limits of coverage to be carried
  • and how soon changes must be reported
  • providing proof of coverage to the Office of Foreign Missions

If a diplomat is found to be lacking the proper coverage, they may face surcharges or fees if they cause an accident or injury.

Additionally, if the coverage is not in place, the Department of State may request to waive your immunity which could leave you open to legal action as well as fines and the loss of any privilege to drive in the United States.

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