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Can I get car insurance without a job?

The lowdown...
  • You have to meet underwriting criterion set by auto insurance companies before you’ll be offered insurance coverage
  • You must have an acceptable driving record and claims history to secure coverage with preferred carriers
  • Your occupation can affect your rates because driving for commute does change your usage rating factor
  • Some companies will give certain professionals special discounts for their occupation
  • While you can get a discount for your profession, you can’t be denied coverage because you aren’t employed

It can be hard to get by without a job. If you’re a student who’s struggling to make ends meet or you were recently laid off, you know firsthand just how difficult it is to be unemployed. Not only is it impossible to get credit if you don’t have a stable income coming it, it’s virtually impossible to pay your bills if money isn’t coming in.

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Getting a car without a job is close to an impossibility. If you’re honest about your employment status and you don’t have any type of residual income coming in, no finance company is going to give you a loan.

If you already have a car, being without an income doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility to buy auto insurance. Here’s how unemployment can affect your car insurance:

You Must Have a License to Secure Insurance

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There are a few certain requirements you can bet that you’ll have to meet before you’ll be able to get insurance. The first requirement is that you must be licensed to drive before you’ll be able to buy insurance with your named listed as the named insured.

With some carriers, you must have a license issued in the United States. With other carriers, you can have a foreign license as long as it’s translated and you’ll be transferring your privilege to the U.S. within 30 days. No matter what type of license you have, you need to be sure it’s not suspended or revoked before you apply for standard insurance.

You Must Have an Insurable Interest in the Car

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Another mandatory requirement is that you must have an insurable interest in a vehicle to insure it. You can’t be renting a car or borrowing a friends car and expect an insurance company to extend you coverage. Having an insurable interest means that you have a financial interest in the car.

To show that you have this interest, the insurer will want to see that the vehicle is registered in your name. You can register vehicles that you buy outright, vehicles that you finance, and vehicles that you lease in your name. This is sufficient proof that you have something to lose if something were to happen in or to the vehicle.

Getting Insurance On Your Vehicle Without a License

If you’re disabled or you’ve surrendered your license to the DMV, there’s a chance that an insurer would still insure your vehicle as long as you have a driver with an acceptable record to rate. This driver must have a valid license and access to your vehicle.

If your license is suspended for failing to maintain auto insurance or failing to pay a ticket, you need to be able to buy insurance somewhere to reinstate your driving privilege. You won’t be able to find coverage through a standard insurer without an active license, but you will be able to get specialty SR-22 insurance in the meantime. This will protect you until your license is reinstated and you can buy a new policy.

You Have the Right to Buy Insurance

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If you have a license and a vehicle registered in your name, you’ve met the two main requirements that you need to meet to get car insurance. All you need to do is meet these requirements to find insurance somewhere. After all, the state Consumer Bill of Rights says that every vehicle owner has the right to buy insurance from somewhere.

There may be companies with very strict requirements that won’t offer you coverage because of your driving record or because of your inexperience behind the wheel, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never find coverage. There will always be a licensed insurer in your state that will cover drivers in your niche. You just have to find these insurers by shopping around.

Will being unemployed affect your ability to find insurance?

If you don’t have a job, it’s not going to affect your ability to find insurance somewhere. Even if it did affect your rates, it wouldn’t disqualify you from buying a policy.

Your employment status can never make you ineligible for coverage.

Being without a job will just make it a bit more difficult to pay for your premiums regularly.

Other Rating Factors That Can Affect Your Rates

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The fact that you’re without a job won’t disqualify you from getting coverage through even the most reputable carriers. Even though it won’t affect your insurance status, it will affect your rates in an indirect manner. If you don’t know what rating factors are used to calculate your rates, here they are:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your years of licensing experience
  • Your vehicle type
  • Your driving record (last 3 to 7 years)
  • Your accident history (last 3 years)
  • Driving habits
  • Annual mileage
  • Your credit insurance score
  • Your zip code

How does being unemployed affect certain rating factors?

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One of the rating factors that’s impacted the most by you being without a job is vehicle usage. When you’re not working, you’re not commuting. Luckily for you, this means that you’ll drive less and that you won’t be rated for driving to work. This can drive your rates down for annual mileage ratings and for vehicle usage ratings.

Credit-based insurance scores can also change when you’re unemployed. If you’re not able to pay your bills and you’re late on your payments, your insurance score will change. Unfortunately, this change will have a negative affect on your rates instead of a positive one.

If you’re without a job, don’t let your policy lapse. You need insurance on any vehicle that you have registered in your name even if you can’t afford to pay for it in full. When you’re uninsured, the penalties are a lot more expensive than buying a policy.

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