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Motorcycle insurance without a license

It’s possible to get coverage and lower your rates with a few extra steps.

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Insurance companies may classify you as a high-risk applicant due to your unlicensed status, especially if your license was suspended. However, it’s possible to get insurance for a motorcycle you own but can’t drive — like naming the main rider as the primary person on the policy.

Can I get motorcycle insurance without a license?

Yes, although not all insurers may allow this. You may even be required to have insurance on a bike you own, even if you don’t have a license if, for example:

  • You have a suspended license
  • You purchased a motorcycle before getting licensed
  • You purchased a motorcycle in your name for another rider
  • You own a vintage bike that you don’t ride

Motorcycle buying guide: Tips on how to purchase your first motorcycle

How do I get motorcycle insurance without a license?

Getting insurance without a license may be tricky, since insurance companies often use your riding record to determine rates. In addition, you may have difficulty finding an insurer who accepts unlicensed policyholders to begin with.

You may need to speak to a insurance company representative directly to find out if a company offers coverage. Some companies require that you have provincial or territorial ID to get insurance.

To increase your chances of getting approved for coverage:

  • Exclude yourself. Excluding yourself on the policy means you won’t get coverage for riding your bike. But you also won’t be factored in as a risk for unlicensed driving. Update this information if you choose to get or regain your license.
  • Name a primary driver. Naming another primary driver on the policy means your insurance company will use that person’s driving record to determine rates.
  • Wait to get insurance. If you’ll be getting your license soon and don’t need to ride the bike right away, you could wait to get coverage until you pass your driving test or your license is no longer suspended. You might pay a little extra for insurance if you allow a period of time to pass without being covered, but it’ll be easier to get coverage with a license.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost without a license?

It depends on the reason you don’t have a license and who’s going to be the main person insured on the policy.

If you’re the main driver, insurance companies may view your unlicensed status as an increased risk, which could drive up your premium. For illustration, a person convicted of riding while drunk could hypothetically pay 60% more for car insurance, while a driver with several speeding tickets could end up paying 20%-30% more.

Since the average motorcycle policy in Canada costs just over $700 per year, a high-risk policy could increase to over $900 per year or more.

On the other hand, you may be able to normalize your premiums by naming a licensed rider as the primary rider on the policy and letting that person enjoy your bike for while.

Example:

John’s license was suspended due to too many traffic violations, and he needs to keep his bike insured until he regains his motorcycle license.

Because of his driving record, his new premium would cost $980 per year. However, John names his father as the primary driver and excludes himself from the policy. Doing so brings his premium back down to $750 per year, plus his bike is covered if anyone with a license needs to ride it.

What kind of motorcycle insurance should I get without a license?

The amount of coverage you need depends on how you’ll be using the bike. If your license was suspended but you need to meet provincial or territorial requirements, you can opt for minimum coverage like third-party liability, accident benefits, uninsured automobile coverage and direct compensation property damage (DCPD). Minimum coverage requirements vary by province or territory.

However, if you need motorcycle insurance for another driver, you might consider add-on coverage as well such as comprehensive coverage (for fire, theft, vandalism and hail), additional medical insurance and roadside assistance.

What should I watch out for if I don’t have a license?

Unlicensed motorcycle policyholders should keep in mind several situations that they might experience:

  • Driving without a license. You can get insurance as an unlicensed driver, but that doesn’t mean you can legally ride your bike. Driving without a license may result in punishment by provincial or territorial law enforcement.
  • Driving even though you’re an excluded rider. Excluding yourself as a rider means you won’t receive coverage under your policy. If you get into an accident while riding, you’ll need to pay for damages yourself.
  • Getting or regaining your license. Contact your insurance company to update your policy, especially if you’ve excluded yourself.
  • Insuring young drivers. Naming a young driver as the primary driver on your policy may increase the rate. Compare different scenarios to be sure. For example, you might add another primary driver onto the policy and keep the younger person as an additional driver if this matches your motorcycle usage.

Bottom line

Getting motorcycle insurance without a license may prove tricky in high-risk situations, such as a suspended license. However, you can reduce the risk for your insurance company by excluding yourself from the policy and naming another primary rider.

Compare motorcycle insurance providers to find the best option for your situation.

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