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Car insurance with a suspended licence

You might look into lower coverage to save while you're not driving.

Keeping at least minimal coverage could keep your car protected, even if you’re not driving it. However, getting or keeping your insurance during your suspension period could lead to higher rates.

Why would I need car insurance with a suspended licence?

Even if you can’t drive due to a suspension, you’ll probably still need insurance on your car. Reasons to keep your policy:

  • To avoid a coverage lapse. If you cancel your policy without another one in place, your coverage will lapse. Insurance companies consider that an increased risk, which could raise your rates significantly for several years.
  • To cover other drivers. Family members or other named drivers may need your car to get around.
  • To keep your car registered. When you renew the registration, you’re required to have proof of insurance, and your insurance company requires a valid licence to get coverage. With a suspended licence, you may need a special policy to provide the necessary proof.
  • To protect your car in storage. Your car could still be vulnerable to damage while in storage, such as fire, theft, vandalism or natural disasters.

How much does car insurance with a suspended licence cost?

The cost of a policy with a suspended licence depends on the reason your licence is suspended, whether it be a DUI, reckless driving charge, or a pile of unpaid tickets for example. That’s because your insurance rates increase based on the risk you pose to your insurance company.

In general, you can expect your rates to increase between 10% and 50% for moderate offenses and possibly more for DUI suspensions. The average annual insurance rate varies by province, ranging from $900 to $1,900 so you might pay an average of 30% higher depending on where you live.

On the other hand, you could see lower rates than that if you’re just keeping comprehensive coverage while putting your car in storage. Your insurer may offer a special rate for storage insurance if you’re not driving it.

How can I save on car insurance with a suspended licence?

You can still go after savings, even with this mark on your record. Avenues you might consider taking:

  • Get multiple quotes. Look into how much insurance costs with several high-risk providers so that you’re getting the best value.
  • Consider temporary or storage insurance. You could keep minimal coverage on your car if no one’s driving it, such as comprehensive or liability only.
  • Go with telematics. When you recover your licence, consider a telematics policy. This uses an app or black box to track your driving, make safety suggestions and drive down rates as they are based on your actual usage.
  • Keep your driving record clean. Drive forward with safe habits from here on out, no matter what brought about your licence suspension.
  • Share a policy. You might consider adding yourself to a family member’s policy and let others have access to your vehicle. You could also exclude yourself until you regain your licence so that your driving risk isn’t a factor.
  • Take a safety course. Many companies provide a reward for safety course completion, and it could lower your premium overall.
  • Work with your doctor. If your licence was suspended for medical reasons, ask your doctor what requirements you need to follow to get your licence reinstated. You might need to prove your medical issue has been resolved by medication for a certain period of time.

Compare free car insurance quotes online for any driving record

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Accident Forgiveness Min. Liability Coverage Discounts Available Online Claims Available Provinces
Surex Auto Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, PEI, Yukon
Submit one application and receive quotes from 10+ insurers. Save up to 25% on your car insurance, plus get access to an insurance advisor.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to use an insurance broker to compare multiple pricing and coverage options.
Aviva Car Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Aviva car insurance offers customizable policies, discounts and optional insurance coverage add-ons. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to customize their auto policy.
Travelers Car Insurance
Yes
$1,000,000
Up to 25%
Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Yukon
Travelers auto insurance offers a selection of coverage options for just about any type of vehicle. Get a free quote through Surex.

Who it might be good for: Drivers looking to get car, motorcycle, classic car, motorhome or recreational vehicle coverage.
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What kind of coverage should I get with a suspended licence?

Keeping at least minimal coverage on your car can be important, even though you’re not driving it. Types of coverage to consider:

  • Bodily injury liability. Required to pay for others’ accident-related medical bills.
  • Property damage liability. May need to keep your province’s minimum limits for storing your car or minimal driving.
  • Uninsured/underinsured. Covers your car and others driving it for accidents with another driver who doesn’t have enough insurance.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). May be required by some provinces to cover your own medical bills and income loss after an accident.
  • Comprehensive. This option protects your car from theft, fire and storm damage, even while it’s sitting in the garage.
  • Loan or lease GAP. Pays off your loan or lease if your car is totalled, even if theft occurs or another named driver totals it.

Example:

James received a licence suspension for multiple moving violations and discovered his insurer would no longer cover him. After getting several high-risk coverage quotes, James started a new policy that was 20% more expensive than his previous policy without the suspension. Since his previous rate was $1,100, James will pay $660 extra over the next 3 years until he can transition to a regular policy.

* This is a fictional, but realistic, example.

Watchouts for car insurance with a suspended licence

While you’re working to tidy up your record, be careful about a few patchy situations you might encounter:

  • Not informing your insurance company. Avoiding your insurance company could cause bumps down the road if the company finds out after the fact, or worse, after an accident.
  • Driving with a suspended licence. Unless you have your licence restored, this illegal driving could null your insurance agreement, leaving you unprotected.
  • Incurring extra charges. Aside from a premium surcharge, your suspension may cost you more for paying for tickets and fees or receiving consequences for a coverage lapse.

Do I have to let my insurer know if my licence is suspended?

Yes. Most policies stipulate that you must tell your insurer about anything that raises your risk level unless you can reasonably expect the provider to know about it already.

  • If your insurer does know about it, informing it probably won’t affect your premium.
  • If your insurer doesn’t know about it, not telling it may mean a denied claim later on.

Avoid unnecessary headaches by alerting your insurance provider to any changes in your driving record, especially suspensions of your licence, registration or plates.

Bottom line

You may not be driving around for a time, but you might still need some coverage to keep your car and others driving it protected. To get the best high-risk coverage until you clean up your record and return to normal rates, make sure you shop around with multiple providers and understand the kinds of coverage available to you.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance for a suspended licence

Written by

Sarah George

Sarah George is Staff Writer for Small Business Loans at BankRate and formally a personal finance writer at Finder focusing on all things banking and insurance. Her know-how has been featured in such publications as CBS, CNET and Reviews.com, and she was a panelist in Finder’s 2020 money-saving webinar. Sarah earned an English education degree and is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance. See full profile

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