Do You Have to Have a Job to Buy Car Insurance?


Under laws in all 50 states, drivers must be covered by some form of car insurance that extends liability coverage to the driver in the event of an accident. These policies must be purchased by the driver from private insurers. However, these insurers are under no legal obligation to sell insurance to anyone they don't want to. All insurers will generally sell insurance to people without a job, but they may face higher rates.

Car Insurance

Car insurance comes in many different varieties, depending on how much coverage the driver wishes to receive. However, all insurance policies offer a minimum level of coverage equivalent to the levels set by the state in which the insurer operates. Car insurers choose the rates that they wish to charge customers for these policies. Rates differ by customer, with customers more likely to get into an accident charged more than drivers deemed safer.

Driver History

In order to assess a driver's relative risk, insurers will typically ask drivers a series of questions before issuing them a policy. Some of these questions will relate to the driver's driving history and habits, while others will focus on their personal life. Typically, insurers will ask a person his profession, where he works, and his income level. The individual seeking the policy is legally obligated to respond truthfully to these questions or risk forfeiting the policy at a later date.

Risk of Accident

As part of their risk modeling, insurers attempt to identify variables that relate to a driver's safety. In regards to employment, insurers may determine that people with job are typically safer than others. For example, an insurer may determine that engineers are, statistically, less likely to get into an accident than plumbers. If an insurer determines that an unemployed person is statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, he will pay steeper rates.

Risk of Nonpayment

Insurers also sometimes extend coverage to a person on a month-to-month basis. As coverage may be extended to the person before he has settled up his account with the insurer, this can be considered a form of credit, one that appears on an individual's credit report. If a person is unemployed, the insurer may believe him to be at greater risk of failing to pay his policy. To compensate for this risk of default, the insurer may charge the policyholder a slightly higher rate.

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