The Facts About Car Insurance Coverage: Who’s Covered and Who’s Not
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UPDATED: Oct 15, 2021
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There are several different types of driver’s licenses, and you may find it surprising that you can buy car insurance with any of them, or even with no driver’s license at all! You’re still a valid driver if you have a permit. But non-licensed drivers can also get insurance, which means they don’t need permits at all. Car insurance is about insuring a vehicle, not a driver. So you do not need to be a driver, just a car owner, to purchase a policy. However, you may pay more for your premium depending on the situation.
Begin your search for car insurance now by clicking here and entering your ZIP code into our FREE car insurance quote tool! You’ll be able to check plenty of insurers to see if any of them offer service you’d be interested in purchasing.
Regardless of your type of driver’s license, or if you have a license, there are several steps you should take when buying car insurance. This is to make sure you get the best deal possible and a policy that suits your needs.
There are certain situations when a person without a driver’s license or a suspended driver’s license may need to purchase an auto insurance policy. This can be done, but the policy may cost more. Therefore, it is also essential to know how to save money on car insurance.
What are the types of driver’s licenses?
There are multiple types of driver’s licenses depending on the needs of your lifestyle or occupation. In addition, some people hold multiple licenses or endorsements on their licenses due to the variety of vehicles they may drive in their daily life.
The first type of license is a standard driver’s license. The majority of drivers have this type for driving regular passenger vehicles on public roads legally. They usually have a primary driver listed on their policy, and it’s usually themselves.
Teenagers or anyone else who is just learning to drive may first be issued a learner’s permit, which allows them to drive with an adult instructor while learning. An interim license, between a learner’s permit and a standard, unrestricted license is a provisional or graduated license.
With a provisional license, certain restrictions are placed on new drivers for a while before they progress to a standard license. These restrictions may include limits on night driving, limits on the passengers a person can transport, or limits on the use of mobile devices.
Another type of license is a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). These licenses come in classes A, B, and C depending upon the size of commercial vehicle you will be driving. For example, to drive a bus or large truck, you are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to get a CDL license. These are also required to operate many vehicles necessary for specific occupations, such as transporting goods or using certain construction vehicles.
Drivers must be 18 years of age or older to apply and be tested to receive a CDL license.
Some drivers may be required to get a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) endorsement on their CDL license if they will be driving a vehicle that could be used to transport this type of material, such as an oil or propane truck.
Another type of license is a Class E Taxi and Livery License. This allows an individual who is age 18 or over to transport passengers and operate a for-hire vehicle for their occupation. This includes taxi drivers and limousine drivers.
A Class D Operators license is for individuals who operate a vehicle with a high Gross Vehicle Weight. This may include trailers that are towed for private or commercial use.
One final valid license type is a motorcycle license. Individuals wishing to operate a motorcycle on public roads must pass a test to obtain a motorcycle operator’s license. Anyone with a standard license can apply for a motorcycle license if they wish to operate a motorcycle. The test is focused on the unique driving requirements necessary to know when using a motorcycle on public roads.
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Are you able to get insurance for those who do not have a license?
There are certain situations in which an individual may need to obtain car insurance even though they do not have a current driver’s license. For example, a parent may be unable to drive due to injuries or a medical condition such as epilepsy, a disability such as a visual impairment, or various physical limitations. Still, this parent may want to purchase a vehicle for their child once that child receives a driver’s license. In addition, that parent may wish to insure the car and add the teenage son or daughter to the policy even though they happen to be an unlicensed driver.
Another situation occurs when a person has had their driver’s license suspended. Some possible reasons for a suspended license could be driving without insurance, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or multiple infractions leading to many points on one’s license.
In many cases, a person with a suspended license must obtain proof of insurance through an SR22 form before having their license reinstated. A driver can get insurance with a suspended license, but it will cost them more money as they will be labeled a high-risk driver.
An unlicensed driver can also purchase auto insurance policies, because you are insuring the car and not the driver. However, policies protect the driver’s assets and may help cover medical bills if the driver or passengers suffer any injuries. In most states, car insurance is required to register a vehicle with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Therefore, if a person without a license wishes to purchase and register a vehicle, they will first have to obtain car insurance, even if it’s just the minimal level of coverage required.
How do you go about obtaining car insurance?
Whether you have a license or not, there are several steps you should follow when seeking to purchase car insurance in order to make sure you get a policy that meets your needs and does not break the bank. Just remember that cheap car insurance doesn’t always mean it’s the best.
First, explore your options. Do your research and make a list including every insurance carrier and auto insurance company that appear to meet your needs. Talk to friends and family members to get recommendations for auto insurers in your area. Also, make sure you are considering insurance companies that are licensed in your state. You can find this out by contacting your state department of insurance.
Obtain quotes from several companies. Just make sure you’re comparing similar policies. If you’re looking into minimum coverage, make sure you’re doing so all across the board. You can do this either online or through an insurance agent or broker. An agent typically works for one company. A broker can provide you with information and quotes from several companies. By obtaining quotes from several companies, you can be sure you are getting the best possible price for your auto policy.
This will help you get a little insider perspective on companies; if you speak with experienced agents who know what they’re talking about and who provide you with excellent customer service, you’ll feel a lot better getting insurance coverage from their company.
After getting several quotes and finding an insurance rate that settles comfortably within your budget, narrow your search down to two or three companies and precisely determine what you could expect to pay for the policy you need. Look into discounts the insurance companies may offer. Read reviews of the insurance companies.
Before making your final decision regarding the purchase of car insurance, check to make sure you are purchasing insurance from a reputable company. Even if they claim to have the best in terms of insurance products, you’re going to want to triple check that they can back that claim up. Dive into their history by going online or speaking to a customer service agent, and make sure that they are in fact licensed specialists who will be able to file your claims properly.
Visit the Better Business Bureau online to see how the company you are considering is rated. In addition, read information about complaints filed against the companies and their response to those complaints. Usually if you have online access, you have the ability to look at these reviews. They can be located on various different online platforms. You may also want to visit A.M. Best online because they provide scores for companies based on their financial stability and other valuable tips for purchasing insurance.
Using these techniques, you’ll be able to find affordable car insurance that won’t damage your financial integrity, but there are even more ways you could save money.
Are there any car insurance discounts?
Suppose you are purchasing car insurance without a license or with a license suspension in place. In that case, the chances are good that you will be quoted much higher rates. This is because the insurance companies now will label you as high-risk.
There are ways that even those in these situations or others without a perfect driving record can save money on car insurance:
- Shop around. Get quotes from several companies.
- Opt for a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium.
- Opt to pay your premium in one lump sum annually. It costs more when you make monthly payments.
- Pay your bills electronically. Insurance companies save money on paperwork, and this savings is passed along to you.
- Bundle your insurance policies. Suppose you have a homeowner’s or life insurance policy with a specific company. In that case, you may want to choose the same company for your car insurance to save money.
If you are involved with any organizations such as professional, academic, or military organizations, you may be able to obtain insurance premiums through these at a lower rate.
Plus, there are discounts to consider! Find out about discounts the insurance company may offer, and they may end up being the cause of your affordable coverage rates. Some common discounts include:
- Low mileage discounts
- Good student discounts
- Long-time customer discounts
- Retirement discounts
- Safe driver discounts
- Defensive driving course discounts
- Discounts for safety devices such as anti-theft devices, side curtain airbags, or anti-lock brakes
All of these can help with premium reductions, even if it’s just by a small percentage. The Insurance Information Institute lists several additional ways to save on car insurance. You can mention things such as your marital status, your driving history, and your credit score, which are all things that could potentially factor into what you pay, depending on the auto insurance providers you’re looking into.
You can buy car insurance no matter what type of driver’s license you have. You can even purchase insurance if you have no license at all or a suspended license. However, you may need to buy insurance and show proof of that insurance to get your suspended license reinstated.
There are several steps you should take when purchasing car insurance. Even if you are now considered a high-risk driver, there are also many ways you may be able to save on car insurance. Given the various types of insurance that exist, and that there are policy service options for those who don’t have a license, there’s going to be a high chance of you finding excellent coverage.
Start comparing car insurance quotes now and obtain a list of rates and insurance options simply by entering your ZIP code in our FREE quote rate finder on this page! It will provide you with quick access to numerous coverage options and companies.