Considering the idea that an auto insurance company would actually allow an unlicensed driver to purchase insurance from them would seem a bit ludicrous but it actually does happen. Having a valid driver’s license is, of course, necessary to legally drive an automobile in the United States, but many people do drive without being in possession of a valid license, as many as one in five according to certain statistical information. There are also just as many people who drive without being insured, also. However, many auto insurance agencies will offer auto insurance for unlicensed drivers simply because someone else may be driving their car while they cannot legally do so and insurance is necessary in order to protect the owner of the car and the individual driving the car. In addition, if this unlicensed person is going to drive the car regardless of what the law says, it is better to at least allow them to have insurance for the sake of all those possibly involved in an accident caused by the unlicensed driver.
Insurance Policies For Unlicensed Drivers
Provisions are often included in automobile insurance policies which say that this type of coverage will not provide compensation for damage resulting from an accident which is considered the fault of an unlicensed driver. Although these stipulations are frequently supported and not thought of as being in violation of a public policy which advocates the use of public highways and road by those who are only legally able to utilize them, these stipulations are contrary to the overall idea behind mandatory auto insurance. Making it illegal to drive without being insured is meant to protect those who are innocently involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident with someone who has no auto insurance. So if someone does not have a valid driver’s license for one reason or another but drives anyway, then according to the mandatory insurance law, he or she should have access to being able to purchase car insurance, at least for the sake of all the blameless, licensed drivers who are legally driving on the roads.
Higher Rates If Your License Is Suspended
In the event that your license is suspended, you should be able to find an automobile insurance company which will let you purchase insurance from them as long as you can provide proof that you are going to get your license back within 30 to 45 days–the usual amount of time for those receiving a license suspension for the first time in their lives. Be aware, however, that most agencies will examine your driving record prior to your license suspension and use this information to calculate your monthly premium payment. Also, they will charge you a much higher rate for not having a valid driver’s license and may even deny you coverage, depending on what insurance company you deal with. It may or may not be worth purchasing if you are expected to have your license returned to you within two months.
Some insurance agencies have “physical damage” policies, which mean you can still carry insurance on your vehicle while unlicensed. Although you may not be driving your car, it can be damaged just by sitting in the street or even in your driveway. This type of insurance is cheaper than regular liability or full-coverage insurance. Also, if you happen to have an outstanding loan on a car, the financial institution holding the loan will probably require you to purchase physical damage insurance for the car, since they have a definite financial interest in it.
If you have a Learner’s Permit
Although a learner’s permit is not considered a valid driver’s license, it is still proof that you are working towards obtaining a driver’s license. When someone has a learner’s permit, they are usually participating in a driver’s education course which will eventually allow them to take the driving test (written and road) and receive a legal license. However, this permit only allows them to legally drive as long as there is a licensed driver riding in the car with them. Insurance companies are aware of these conditions and will readily provide insurance coverage to someone with a learner’s permit, since they understand that this person will usually have a valid license within 45 days.
Consequences of Driving Without a License
If you are caught driving without a valid license, you definitely be given a ticket or even arrested, depending on extenuating circumstances such as warrants or previous criminal history. In addition, your car may be towed if you don’t have anyone to come and drive it back to your house. Plus, if you are driving when you shouldn’t be and are not carrying insurance, the consequences will be extremely costly and your license may be suspended for a longer amount of time.
Even though auto insurance for unlicensed drivers does exist, it is probably wiser to wait until you get your license back before purchasing insurance. It will be cheaper in the long run and may save you further exposure to fines and/or arrest.