Car Insurance for the Homeless

Getting car insurance while homeless can be a challenge, as insurance companies require you to provide a physical address. You can use a friend's address, but if your insurer learns you are not actually parking your vehicle there, you could run into problems.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance companies need a permanent address to determine rates
  • If you’re without a home temporarily but have signed a lease, you can use that address
  • Even if you don’t live with your friend, it can help if you leave the vehicle parked at their address when not in use

If you find yourself homeless or living in your car, auto insurance can be challenging to come by. Homeless car insurance is difficult to obtain because insurance companies typically require a permanent residence to be listed on your policy. 

All hope is not lost, though. There are ways to improve your chances of approval for car insurance without a permanent address, and we’ll get into the important details below. 

Car Insurance When You Live in Your Car

Most states require insurance if you own a vehicle. So if you’re living in your car, it will need to be insured. The problem is that insurance companies require an address to be listed on your policy. Your home address is used to determine your rates based on the level of risk the company anticipates when your vehicle is parked there. 

For example, urban areas with higher vandalism and theft rates are viewed as higher risk than low-crime rural areas. Keeping a vehicle in higher-risk locations tends to lead to higher insurance rates. It isn’t only the location that is important to insurance companies, though. If you are living in your car, it is viewed as very dangerous and high-risk to the insurer, and this alone is often enough to be denied insurance coverage.

If you’re living in your car, you don’t have a current home address for your policy. Without providing a primary address where your vehicle will be parked, most insurance companies will not offer a policy at all.

So how can you get car insurance without a permanent address?

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Car Insurance Options While Temporarily Homeless 

If you’ve recently moved out of your previous residence and are only homeless until you move into your new home, then you may be able to use that address on your insurance policy. This may occur if you are forced to move out suddenly and your new place won’t be ready for move-in until the end of the month or later. It’s a scenario that isn’t particularly uncommon, and in some instances, people don’t have anywhere to stay until their new home is move-in ready.

However, you should have some documentation confirming that is your address. If you can’t move in yet, but you have a signed lease, that is often sufficient documentation to get insurance through some insurers.  

It is possible to use a P.O. Box as a mailing address for car insurance, but you cannot take out a policy with a P.O. Box as your home address.

Car Insurance Options While Parking at a Friend’s House

This option may not work with all insurance companies, but if you shop around with different insurance companies you’re likely to find one that will work with you. When it comes down to it, the primary purpose of an address on your policy is to determine your rates. 

Even if you’re homeless, some insurance companies may allow you to use a friend or relative’s address if you agree to keep it parked there while you are not using it. You must have permission from that person to use their address, but it’s one of the few options for getting homeless car insurance. 

You also have to keep in mind that if your insurance company discovers that you are not keeping your vehicle parked at this address, it is likely to stop your coverage altogether. 

Key Takeaway: Homeless Car Insurance Is Challenging to Get

Without a permanent address, virtually all insurance companies will refuse coverage. This is especially true if you are living in your vehicle. However, if you are fortunate enough to have a signed lease for a new residence, some insurance companies will accept this as your address. 

Otherwise, you may have to shop around for insurance companies that will provide coverage with the understanding that the vehicle remains parked at a friend or relative’s house while you are not using it.  

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