A question that comes up more often than you would think.
For anyone who has not felt the need to ask this question, it might seem counterintuitive. Why would anyone need auto insurance when they don’t have a license? Well, wanting auto insurance without a valid license is more common than you think and has a lot of practical advantages.
Reasons to Get Auto Insurance Without a License
- Auto insurance for an underage driver.
Some states do not allow teenagers under the age of 18 to enter into a contract. So even if you don’t have a valid license yourself, you may need to get auto insurance for them. Car insurance can generally be really pricey for students so it would make sense if you got it under a policy that covers your children as well.
- Auto insurance for a driver.
If you have a personal driver that takes you places, you might still need auto insurance as the car is owned by you. It doesn’t only mean drivers that you pay a salary to. This also includes a family member or neighbour that drives you to work or appointments because of some health or age related issues you might have. So even though you don’t have a valid license, you still need auto insurance as the car is owned by you and is used by you.
Car insurance is usually more in cost for people near retirement age as older people are riskier to insure. They tend to be seen as rash drivers and are generally at higher risk. However, if you get auto insurance but are not listed as the primary driver (if you are near retirement age) then it should not be a problem. Instead, you may even be able to get certain discounts on your policy.
- Auto insurance with a permit.
Most people who are just now learning to drive are issued a learning license called ‘permit.’ If you are a teenager with a permit, it is very likely that you are listed on your parents’ policy if you drive their car. However, if you have your own car and cannot join your parents’ household policy, you might need to get auto insurance for your car while you have a permit. Although, if you are under 18, you would need to have an adult included in the policy as well.
- Auto insurance for a collectible car.
Vintage cars worthy of being in a museum are usually not primarily used for driving. If that is the case with you, you might need to get auto insurance for your car as you would get insurance for any other valuable item. You might not need coverage such as collision or personal injury coverages, but it’s still better to insure it. These type of unique car insurance policies are sold by special insurers and can include standard auto coverages if you have a license and want to drive them someday.
- Auto insurance with health issues.
You might have health issues that may hold you back from driving, you still need to insure your car. Just like wanting to insure your car with a driver to drive you, this serves essentially the same purpose.
How to Get Auto Insurance Without a License?
Now that we’ve answered the “can I get auto insurance without a license?” question, it’s time to see how.
When you apply for auto insurance, the policy agreement usually asks for a driver’s license number. If you don’t have a valid license, you would not be able to provide that number and insuring unlicensed drivers makes insurance companies nervous.
However, some insurance companies may allow you to include another person’s license and list them as the ‘primary driver’ or ‘principal driver.’ That way, you will have auto insurance without a license.
Who can be a primary driver?
A primary driver can be anyone who has a license regardless of the fact that they live with you or not. If you are insuring your car for your teenager, you need to list them as the primary driver. If you are buying insurance for your car but someone else will be driving you, it is essential to list their information on the insurance agreement.
A driver’s license is required because insurance companies use driving records to determine your auto insurance premiums.
What is an excluded driver?
If you find a company that will issue you auto insurance for unlicensed drivers, they might need you to name yourself as an excluded driver. An excluded driver is exactly what it sounds like, if you’re driving, your car insurance would not apply to you.
You cannot drive your car without a driver’s license and your insurance company does not want to encourage that. Auto insurance will not give you permission to drive a car without a license, only a valid license can do that. You cannot legally drive if you do not have a license.
If you have a non drivers insurance, but plan on getting a driver’s license soon, you will have to contact your insurance company so they can add your driver’s license in the policy agreement. Be aware, it is likely that your rates would be changed. You may be rated higher as a new driver than the primary driver listed on your policy before.
This is all based on the fact that you find an insurance company that will let you name a primary driver other than yourself since most companies will not. You might need to research the market before deciding on one insurance company so you can get the best coverage rates and a cheap car insurance without a driver’s license.
Can you get car insurance with a suspended license?
We have already discussed what you can do when you don’t have a driver’s license. But what about when you have a license but it’s been suspended?
There are many reasons for your license to be suspended. You could have a DUI, traffic violations, etc. Once your license is suspended, you are not allowed to legally drive. However, this might be the case where you would need auto insurance the most. Auto insurance is needed in these cases, to prove to the state that you are protected, which can be quite essential sometimes.
This can be done by submitting an SR-22 compliance form to the state to prove your coverage. An SR-22 compliance form is basically a “certificate of financial responsibility” or a “certificate of liability insurance.” It is a document that confirms to the state’s DMV that you have the state required minimum amounts of coverage. It’s a normal auto insurance policy with a SR-22 attached to it.
If you have your license suspended, you could be labelled a high risk driver. Insurance companies are not keen on taking on high risk drivers but if they do, they can submit the SR-22 to the state on your behalf.
So to conclude, you can get auto insurance without a license. The only challenge is finding an insurance company that will provide auto insurance to you as most companies have a non drivers insurance policy. Especially if you are near the retirement age.
It’s not impossible, just difficult.