Summertime is peak season for new immigrants to come to the United States. Not only do parents enroll their students in school, but many families also begin to settle down. Many new Chinese immigrants who have just immigrated to the U.S. face several complications—understanding and adapting to the American lifestyle, culture, and living habits, and getting overwhelmed and/or confused with all the information they have to learn about that will that is necessary to thrive in the U.S.

Many say that with insurance, you will have nothing to worry about. At KCAL, we are here to break down the five kinds of insurance that most immigrants need in the U.S.

1. Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the biggest concerns new immigrants have but it is also one of the most confusing. Applying for health insurance should be on the top of your to-do list. Please make sure to apply for health insurance as soon as possible within 60 days of entering the U.S.

Why do you need to apply within 60 days? After Obamacare came into effect in 2010, there is an open enrollment period for individuals to purchase health insurance. Some states only have a one month open enrollment period, but in California, if you want to buy health insurance for 2019, you have to wait until October 15, 2018 to January 2019 to enroll in insurance.

So if it’s not open enrollment period, does that mean that I can’t buy health insurance? Not exactly! Under special circumstances, you would qualify for special enrollment in which you have 60 days of your qualifying life event, in this case, moving to the U.S. If you miss the 60 day special enrollment period and it isn’t open enrollment period, then no matter how much money you have, you still won’t be able to buy health insurance!

Specifically, families who want to enroll their kids in school in September must apply for health insurance as soon as possible. Generally, acceptance into these schools requires a doctor’s certificate and a small yellow card confirming that the child has already had all the necessary vaccines. After applying for health insurance successfully, you will be able to get the vaccines done for free.

The premium for health insurance in the U.S. is calculated based on the age and living area of the policyholder. The levels are separated into bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The bronze plan is the cheapest and most basic plan, and the platinum plan is the most expensive.

Contact KCAL Insurance Agency immediately and chat with a customer service representative now! Our certified Covered California agents will be here to provide free services and provide free quotes for you!

2. Auto Insurance

Many new immigrants have a driver’s license and have many years of experience driving in their home country. If they are only here in the U.S. for a short period of time, can they drive, rent a car and buy auto insurance with the licenses from their home country? Or as many have said, do they have to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

For visitors from Mainland China, they cannot get an international driving permit (IDP), since China has not yet signed convention which created IDPs. Whereas for visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong, IDPs can be obtained from their home country and it would be very helpful to drive in the U.S. with IDPs.

Different states have different requirements and acceptance for IDPs. Check out the official DMV website for more information about whether or not you could drive in that state with the IDP and how long you could drive in that state with an IDP. For short-term visitors, the state of California accepts both IDPs and driver licenses from China to drive and to rent a car. However, if you do not obtain a California driver’s license after 30 days, you might run into trouble.

For auto insurance, you can use an IDP and/or your home country’s driver’s license to purchase auto insurance. In particular, the auto insurance companies represented by KCAL Insurance Agency have certain discounts for those with IDPs. Get a free quote from our customer service representatives today!

As a friendly reminder from KCAL Insurance Agency,

  1. Once you are eligible to get a driver’s license, you should apply as soon as possible! The earlier you apply for a driver’s license, the cheaper your premiums will be.
  2. When purchasing auto insurance, you need to look at both the costs and the coverage of the policy. Not only do you need to think about basic liability insurance, but you will also need to consider collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, rental reimbursement coverage, roadside coverage, personal injury protection, personal umbrella policy, and property protection coverage, and more. You cannot just purchase a policy based on how cheap it is. When your car breaks down, you don’t want to find out that your insurance doesn’t cover towing while your car is being towed away!
3. Homeowners Insurance

Home insurance can get complicated. Especially when it comes to taking out loans to buy a house, home insurance is a must. Sometimes, new immigrants buy a house in cash so that they can avoid being told to buy home insurance. Does that mean I don’t have to buy home insurance?

Let’s get two points clear. In the U.S., it’s pretty common to get sued. If you fall and get injured at someone’s house, you can sue the owner of the house. Second, home insurance has many layers to it and you can actually get very well-rounded protection from it.

When buying home insurance, the most basic is dwelling coverage. This is the most important one to get in California, especially if you live in areas near the mountain. Something as equally important is liability insurance, which protects the homeowners against any litigation. You can customize the protection and the coverage to match your property’s status and needs. With personal property protection, if for example someone breaks into your car by smashing the windows open and steals your laptop, the private property of home insurance can cover for that and pay for claims.

4. Umbrella Insurance

Many new immigrants have a lot of assets in their home country and want to have stable and sufficient financial security for the next generation. However, if you get into a serious car accident, or other parties are injured on your property, it can lead to lawsuits and you risk the chance of losing your assets. In this case, umbrella insurance could help you cover for claims as well as the expensive attorney fees that a standard homeowners’ insurance policy would not be enough to cover.

The basic umbrella insurance limits is around $1,000,000. The premium varies from company to company. Some premiums are less than $20 a month, and it’s still enough to cover millions worth of damage and provide for the whole family.

5. Life Insurance

Regardless of whether you’re upper class or middle class, life insurance provides a safeguard for your loved ones. Not only can it keep your family financially secure, but it can also help you plan ahead for retirement, fund your children’s education, and plan for future inheritance including transferring assets, hiding assets, deferring taxation, protecting assets and inheritance, and more.

Statistics show that for the same kind of life insurance coverage and limits in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, life insurance premiums in the United States are half of Taiwan’s, 1/3 of Hong Kong’s, and 1/5 of China’s. So if it’s the same coverage among these countries, it’d be much more cost effective to purchase life insurance in the United States. Not only does the life insurance market in the U.S. have a much longer history, but the system is also more wholesome, has more credibility, and rarely has any delay or dispute incidences in terms of claims.

One of the reasons many people buy life insurance is to protect their children and loved ones so that they could inherit their assets in the future. The cash value from life insurance is exempt from the law without facing any lawsuits. In other words, regardless of what happens to the insured, the government cannot touch that money in your life insurance. No government official can take the cash value of their life insurance away from them. In addition, life insurance claims are exempt from income tax.

In the past, one of the world’s top 500 companies, Enron, had closed and all the assets were sued for debt, but the president of the company, Kenneth Lay, was able to keep his $37 million life insurance policy.

Asset planning and protection experts recommend to those who have just immigrated to the United States to start planning their assets as soon as possible. Find an expert tax lawyer in the U.S. first and ask an accountant and a financial insurance planning expert to help avoid risky asset planning.

KCAL Insurance Agency has grown to become one of the most well-known and largest insurance agencies in the Chinese community in Southern California. From individuals and families to businesses, KCAL provides a full range of insurance services. Contact KCAL now and speak to a representative directly!