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Car insurance with a suspended license
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, a suspension means you might need an SR-22, leading to higher rates.
Why would I need car insurance with a suspended license?
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 registration, you’re required to have proof of insurance, and your insurance company requires a valid license to get coverage. With a suspended license, you may need a special SR-22 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 license cost?
The cost of a policy with a suspended license depends on the reason your license is suspended. 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. Since the average annual insurance rate is $1,300, you might pay around $1,690 after a 30% increase.
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 license?
You can still go after savings, even with this mark on your record. Avenues you might consider taking:
- Get multiple quotes. Look into what insurance costs with several SR-22 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 license, consider a telematics policy. This uses an app or black box to track your driving, make safety suggestions and drive down rates.
- Keep your driving record clean. Drive forward with safe habits from here on out, no matter what brought about your license 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 license 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 license was suspended for medical reasons, ask your doctor what requirements you need to follow to get your license reinstated. You might need to prove your medical issue has been resolved by medication for a certain period of time.
Compare car insurance after a suspended license
What kind of coverage should I get with a suspended license?
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 by your state to pay for others’ accident-related medical bills.
- Property damage liability. May need to keep your state’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 states 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 totaled, even if theft occurs or another named driver totals it.
James received a license suspension for multiple moving violations and discovered his insurer would no longer cover him. After getting several SR-22 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 three years until he can remove the SR-22 from his policy.
Watchouts for car insurance with a suspended license
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 license. Unless you have your license 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 filing your SR-22, paying for tickets and state fees or receiving consequences for a coverage lapse.
- Removing an SR-22. One positive date to mark on your calendar is the day you can take your SR-22 filing off your policy. But remember to contact your insurer to get it removed.
Do I have to let my insurer know if my license 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 them probably won’t affect your premiums.
- If your insurer doesn’t know about it, not telling them may be used to deny a claim later on.
Avoid unnecessary headaches by alerting your insurance provider to any changes in your driving record, especially suspensions of your license, registration or plates.
You may not be driving around for a time, but you might need some coverage to keep your car and others driving it protected. To get the best SR-22 coverage, you can shop around with multiple providers.
Common car insurance questions for a suspended license
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