Insurance companies may view your unlicensed status as a higher risk, especially if it’s due to license suspension. However, you do have options to get insurance for a motorcycle that you own but can’t drive — like naming the main driver as the primary insured.
Can I get motorcycle insurance without a license?
Yes. You may still need insurance on a bike you own, even if you don’t have a license.
This situation could happen for several reasons:
You have a suspended license
You purchased a car before getting licensed
You purchased a car in your name for another driver
You own a vintage bike that you don’t drive
How do I get insurance without a license?
Getting insurance without a license may be tricky, since insurance companies often use your driving record to determine rates. In addition, you may have difficulty finding an insurer who accepts unlicensed policyholders.
You may need to speak to a representative directly to find out if a company offers coverage. Some companies require that you have a state-issued ID card to get insurance.
A few ways to increase your chances of getting 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 have your license soon and no one needs to drive 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 have a lapse in coverage, but it’ll be easier to get coverage with a license.
Compare motorcycle insurance for drivers with no 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 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. High-risk riders often see a 30% to 100% increase on their insurance, depending on their driving record. For example, a driver with a DUI may pay 60% more for car insurance, while a driver with several speeding tickets may pay 20% to 30% more.
Since the average motorcycle policy costs $500 per year, a high-risk policy could increase to over $800 per year.
On the other hand, you may be getting motorcycle insurance so that another driver can enjoy your bike. By using the primary driver’s license and driving record, you could see more typical insurance rates.
John needs to keep insurance on his bike until he regains his driver’s license. His license was suspended due to too many traffic violations.
Because of his driving record, his new premium would cost $750 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 $550 per year, and his vehicle is now covered if anyone with a license needs to ride it.
Companies may also lower your rates if you exclude yourself as a driver from the policy. This means you won’t get coverage for driving, but the decreased risk should offer savings on your premium.
What kind of motorcycle coverage 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 state requirements, you can opt for minimum coverage like liability. However, if you need motorcycle insurance for another driver, you might consider add-on coverage as well.
Common coverage for those who don’t have a license:
Bodily injury liability
Covers medical bills for the other driver and passengers if any drivers on your policy are at fault.
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 the bike. Driving without a license may result in increased consequences from your state.
Driving as an excluded driver. Excluding yourself as a driver means you won’t get coverage with your policy. If you get into an accident while riding your bike, you’ll need to pay for the 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.
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.
Yes, you can own a motorcycle and an insurance policy for it without a license. However, you cannot legally drive a motorcycle in any state without either a permit, license or motorcycle endorsement.
Most states require motorcycle insurance, except for Arizona, New Hampshire and Virginia. However, these states still hold you responsible for damages you cause during an accident. You may also need to pay a fine for driving uninsured or prove you can pay accident damages on your own.
Coverage for unlicensed drivers can vary based on the insurance company.
Some companies may exclude responsibility for unlicensed drivers due to legalities. Other companies may assume some responsibility for the accident.
Additionally, drivers who have been specifically excluded from the policy by the policyholder will not be covered during an accident.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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