If you don’t drive but still own a vehicle and employ a personal driver to chauffeur you around, you don’t need a license, but you still need insurance for the vehicle.
It may seem counterintuitive, but there are several instances in which it may be necessary to buy car insurance without holding a valid driver’s license. Here, we’ve compiled some examples of scenarios that may require you to obtain car insurance without holding a driver’s license, and how to go about it.
Obtaining insurance on behalf of an underage driver
In most states, it is not permitted for anyone under the age of 18 to enter into a contract. Consequently, if you have a teenager who wishes to drive, they will need to be included on an adult’s car insurance policy. In this case, even if you don’t hold a license yourself, you can enter into an insurance policy contract on their behalf and name them on the policy as the primary driver.
Getting car insurance when you have a personal driver
If you don’t drive but still own a vehicle and employ a personal driver to chauffeur you around, you don’t need a license, but you still need insurance for the vehicle. Contrary to popular assumption, this scenario doesn’t only relate to the wealthy. For example, for some people it is necessary to cease driving on account of health-related issues, but to still have a preferred person to drive them to appointments or work.
Typically, car insurance premiums increase as you age, but if you are not listed as a driver on your policy, then your age or health status becomes irrelevant to the risks calculated by the insurance company. The amount of premiums due will then be based upon the vehicle in question and the details of the driver listed.
Getting insured whilst still driving on a permit
Most states issue provisional licenses to people whilst they learn how to drive – these are usually called a learner’s permit. If you’re a teenager with a learner’s permit, then you will need to be listed on a parent’s policy. But, if you are over 18, you can purchase your own car insurance with a learner’s permit, effectively before holding a valid driver’s license.
Insuring a vintage or collectable car
If you’re a car enthusiast, collector or valuable vintage car owner, it may be necessary to insure one or more vehicles, even though you don’t actually drive them. In this instance, you would not require insurance components such as collision coverage or personal injury protection, but you would still want to protect the car/s from full or partial loss. Most of the time, these unique car insurance policies are offered by specialty insurers.
Getting insurance before reinstating a suspended license
If you have had your license suspended for something like a DUI or distracted driving, the courts may require you to provide an SR-22 – proof that you hold the minimum vehicle insurance required by your state. Obtaining insurance after a license suspension may lead to higher premiums as your insurance company would consider you a higher risk.
How to obtain car insurance without a license
It can be tricky to take out a car insurance policy without a license, as many insurers can be hesitant.
The easiest and most common way to get a car insurance policy without a license is to list a licensed driver as the primary driver. Any licensed driver can be named as a primary driver on your policy, whether they live with you or not.
For an insurer, having a licensed individual listed as the principal driver, whilst listing yourself as an excluded driver, lowers their risk and should therefore save you from high premiums. That said, the insurance company will be basing their premiums on the primary driver’s age, experience and driving history, so try to choose someone with a good record!
As for listing yourself as an excluded driver, you can’t legally drive your car without a license anyway, so there’s no reason not to. Remember, it is a valid driving license that allows you to legally drive, not a car insurance policy. Your insurance company will not pay out if you are found to have been driving unlicensed.
Many of the larger car insurance companies – like Allstate and State Farm – will not allow anyone without a license to hold a vehicle insurance policy, so it may take some shopping around to find a willing carrier. Smaller, regional insurance companies are your best bet.
In the case of needing an SR-22 to reinstate a suspended license, insurers again can be hesitant to take on the added perceived risk, and it may take some considerable shopping around to find an insurer willing to take you on as a customer at an affordable rate.
A quality independent insurance broker can help you to find the best policy options and may be able to assist you in determining how best to get it legitimately over the line in accordance with your circumstances.