If your license has been suspended, you can still get car insurance. However, the process is longer and more complicated. Some insurance companies also refuse to offer coverage, depending on why your license was suspended.
For instance, a driver with a history of reckless driving, accidents, or risky behavior is likely to find it more difficult to find an insurance company willing to offer them coverage.
An insurer that takes on such a driver will also charge higher premiums to cover this increased risk.
What Is a Suspended License?
A license suspension prohibits you from legally driving. This temporary hold can be issued for various reasons, including drug-related driving violations, DUIs, multiple tickets within a short time, or even failure to fulfill your child support obligations.
Although the license suspension prohibits you from driving, you still need to insure your vehicle. It may be difficult to find an insurance company willing to provide coverage with a suspended license, but it is not impossible.
It is important to note that having your license revoked is different from suspension. If your license is revoked, it is permanent, and your driving privileges are taken for good.
Depending on the circumstances that led to having your license revoked and the state you are in, you may be allowed to apply for a new license after some time.
Why Do I Need Car Insurance If my License is Suspended?
Keeping your car insured, even though you are temporarily banned from driving, has several long-term benefits.
No Insurance Gaps on Your Records
Insurance companies do not like lapses in coverage, no matter how short. Any gap in your insurance is considered a red flag, and insurers consider you a high-risk driver. As a result, your future premiums are likely to be higher to cover the increased risk.
Once your license is suspended, your future premiums will be higher. Keeping your insurance updated allows you to save money on premiums when you finally get your license reinstated.
Hardship License Drivers
If you use your car to go to specific locations such as school, medical appointments, or work, you may be eligible for a hardship license.
This license is issued by the state, and if your application is successful, you will need car insurance to use your vehicle.
Lease and Loan Company Requirements
If you’re on a lease, one of the contract requirements is insurance to ensure the company’s asset is protected.
Getting your License Reinstated
As earlier discussed, license suspension is a temporary hold on your driving privileges. When the suspension period is expired, you must provide proof of car insurance to get your license reinstated.
Coverage in Case of Accidents
Your car can still get involved in a collision even if it remains parked. It could also be vandalized, stolen, or destroyed by elements such as fire while in your driveway. If your car is insured, you are covered against these liabilities.
Car owners who do not have insurance at the time of damage are required to pay for all repairs and replacements.
If your car is leased, in case of an incident, you will also be in violation of the agreement that requires you to maintain insurance coverage.
Getting Car Insurance with a Suspended License
Most states require you to have your car insured despite having your license suspended or revoked. However, this process is difficult because you cannot get rated as a driver on your policy with a suspended license.
Depending on the reason you got your license suspended, there are some ways to get car insurance:
Obtain an SR-22 Form
An insurance company issues an SR-22 form to confirm that you have the required insurance on your car. It is also known as a certificate of liability insurance or certificate of financial responsibility.
While it is not considered an insurance policy, the SR-22 form is attached to your current policy to prove its validity.
Your insurer submits this form to the state, and while most companies charge a small fee to facilitate submission, some insurers might not accommodate this request.
You need an SR-22 if your license was suspended for a serious offense such as DUI or driving without insurance. The state will usually notify you if an SR-22 is required. If your insurer is unwilling to submit the SR-22 form, consider switching companies.
Rate a Household Member with a Clean Record
Depending on your insurance provider, you can rate a family member with a clean driving record as the driver on your policy. This allows you to keep paying your premiums even while the car is not in use.
You may need to check with your insurance company as some do not offer this option.
As earlier discussed, a hardship license is issued to drivers who need to use their vehicle for special circumstances. While most insurers will not cover your car if your license is suspended, if you have a hardship license, they might make an exception.
To find out whether you are eligible for a hardship license, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.
Shop For Cheaper Insurance
If your license is suspended, you are considered a high-risk driver, and getting your car insured costs you more in premiums. As a last option, consider reaching out to non-standard insurance providers who specialize in high-risk drivers.
In some instances, these carriers may try to reach out to you to provide their services. We recommend this as a last resort because the goal should be to get your driving privileges reinstated.
What Happens If You Drive with a Suspended License?
Driving with a suspended license is illegal and results in serious consequences. It is a violation that can stay on your record for years and result in higher insurance rates.
Depending on the state you live in, driving with a suspended license can result in consequences such as facing misdemeanor charges, a fine, getting your car impounded, or even jail time.
Additional violations when driving with a suspended license may also result in a felony conviction, steeper fines, or longer sentences. You may need to seek legal counsel in case you are charged with driving without a license.
Can the Insurance Company See if Your License is Suspended?
Yes, your insurance provider can see when your driving license is suspended. The motor vehicle division notifies your insurance provider if your license is suspended or revoked. Your insurer is also notified electronically if you are convicted of a moving violation or a ticket.
Once the insurance company is notified, they may issue a non-renewal or cancellation notice of your policy. Some insurers offer exclusion which allows the policy to stay active as long as the driver whose license is suspended is excluded from coverage.
If your insurer offers an exclusion, the policy stays active. However, in case of an accident, you will not be covered even if you own the car.
Will The Insurance Premiums Increase When Your License is Suspended?
Your driving privileges are suspended when you are involved in a serious violation such as:
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to respond to traffic court summons
- Failure to file an accident report in case of an accident
- Fleeing an accident
- Vandalizing property
- Underage drinking
- Failure to pay taxes
- Using a fake driver’s license
- Failure to complete traffic-court-mandated driving rehabilitation
- Impairment due to a medical condition
Most of these violations make you a high-risk driver, and as a result, your premiums are higher as your insurer takes on additional risk. An insurer looking through your driving history will consider the violation as well as the length of suspension before determining your premiums.
Even if your license has been suspended, it is still a good idea to get your car insured to protect yourself against any accidents.
Remember, a suspension is temporary, and eventually, you will get your license reinstated. Keeping your car insured prevents gaps in your insurance history and saves you money on premiums.
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