Car insurance is vitally important! In fact, most states require you to have a minimum of insurance to cover your personal liability for any damage you or your car may cause. The minimum required amount of coverage is defined by each state and that usually means carrying insurance that includes bodily injury and property damage coverage to protect others on the road. Learn more details regarding Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State.
But what happens if you don’t have a license? Will insurance companies consider you a good risk if you apply for insurance, but don’t have an active license? The answer is – maybe, depending on the circumstances!
Why Someone Might Want Car Insurance Without a License
There are several reasons why you might have the need to insure a car but not want to actually drive it and most insurance companies have policies to accommodate these circumstances. Reasons someone might want to buy car insurance without a license include:
- insuring a teen driver that has a provisional license or learner’s permit,
- for senior drivers who relinquish their license but want to maintain a car for use by family members, visitors, or caregivers,
- insuring a car that is owned by you but driven by a chauffeur or professional driver,
- covering acts of vandalism or theft on a car that you own, but aren’t licensed to drive, or
- when your driving privileges have been revoked or suspended, but you intend to keep and maintain the car until they are reinstated.
What Type of Coverage is Available?
There are basically three types of coverage available to drivers, plus uninsured motorist coverage and medical/personal injury coverage that are available through some insurance companies. Collision and Comprehensive coverage may include a deductible that will need to be paid by you before any benefits are paid by the insurance company.
- Liability — Mandatory in most states with coverage limits set by state law, liability covers both bodily injury and property damage sustained by others as a result of an accident.
- Collision — Covers repair or replacement of vehicles or objects that may be damaged during an accident.
- Comprehensive — Covers any damage to your car from fire, vandalism, theft, hail, etc.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) report from January 2020, here is what you can expect to pay for car insurance as a nationwide average:
How you determine which coverage components are right for you may be up to you or it may be determined by the lender or leasing company with lien rights to your vehicle. Whatever the coverage, you will need to name a primary driver for your policy and you will need to be declared an excluded driver as long as you are unlicensed.
Being Named as an Excluded Driver When Getting Car Insurance Without a License
When you don’t have a license, most insurance companies allow you to insure your car as long as you list yourself as an excluded driver on the policy. Additionally, you will usually need to name a primary driver and that person will need to have a valid driver’s license.
This allows you to keep the vehicle insured and protected without being the primary person who drives the car.
As an excluded driver, you cannot operate the vehicle. If, in fact, you do drive the car and get into an accident, all coverage will be null and void. This can expose you to a tremendous amount of liability, as well as possible legal issues. The consequences can include significant financial fines and license suspension (or further suspension if caught driving under an already suspended license).
Who Can Be the Primary Driver on Car Insurance?
Every car insurance policy requires a designated primary driver and that should be the person that does the most driving of that vehicle. Insurance companies will quote their insurance rates based on that person’s driving history, how many tickets they may have had, and if they have been in any accidents, so it’s important to select your primary driver carefully or you could end up paying more.
The good news is the primary driver doesn’t have to be related to the owner of the car — it can be a spouse or other family member, a caregiver, or a hired driver. Whoever it is, they will have to have a valid driver’s license in good standing to be eligible to be insured.
How Can I Add a Primary Driver to My Policy While My License is Suspended?
People can have their licenses suspended for a variety of reasons which may differ by state. It usually involves behavior that a court deems unsuitable, like alcohol-related offenses when driving, driving without insurance, speeding or driving recklessly, or failing to respond to a traffic summons.
When a license is suspended, it is usually for a pre-determined period of time and then the person can have the license reinstated. In these cases, you can’t operate the vehicle, but you want to keep your car (and keep it insured) until you can once again drive. If you don’t, you will have a gap in coverage and that can impact your future rates because insurance companies see a gap in coverage as negative.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will cancel or not renew your policy once they determine that your license has been revoked or suspended. If you are unable to find coverage under your own name, consider adding another person to the title/registration as an alternative. This may allow you to maintain coverage until your license is back in good standing.
Buying Insurance When You Don’t Have a License
If you find yourself looking for new car insurance without a license, remember to follow this simple checklist:
- Gather your information and select a primary driver with a good driving history.
- Research your state insurance rules/laws.
- Understand what type of policy you want and, if you have a lender or leasing company with a first lien, what your obligation is for coverage limits and amounts.
- Get quotes to compare.
- Pick your new policy, apply, and submit the required documents for your primary driver.
- Cancel your old policy once the new one has taken effect.
To Sum Up
If you ever find yourself in a position to ask how to get car insurance without a license, remember that it may take a little investigation to find the best option. Once you find a good solution, remember to carefully choose your primary driver because your future insurance rates will depend on their performance.
Compare the best rates for free from top carriers available at EINSURANCE.com.