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It can be confusing and inconvenient to have a suspended license. Some of the most common questions after this occurs revolve around what happens to car insurance rates after a suspended license. Learn what to expect to happen to your rates, how to keep them as low as possible, and everything else you need to know about auto insurance after a suspension by reading our user-friendly guide.
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Does a Suspended License Affect Car Insurance Rates?
Unfortunately, you can expect a change to your car insurance rates after a suspended license. You will still be able to get auto insurance, but companies will now consider you to be a high-risk driver, which is a factor that will increase your rates.
How Much Does a Suspended License Increase Car Insurance Rates?
As mentioned above, you will likely pay higher car insurance rates after a suspended license. That is just one of the consequences of being a high-risk driver, according to insurance companies.
There is also a chance that some insurance companies will refuse to give you any coverage. This would be a decision the company would make based on your perceived level of risk. This means that while you can find auto insurance after your license is suspended, you may have fewer options among various providers than you did before the suspension.
It is also important to note that if you have a suspended license, this will stay on your driving record for several years. How long it stays depends on the state you live in. This means that insurance companies will continue to classify you as high-risk for several years.
As a rule of thumb, you can expect your auto insurance quotes to increase by at least 10% and as much as 50% due to a suspended license. Depending on the reason your license was suspended, the uptick can be even more. For example, DUI-related suspensions tend to lead to even larger increases and make it hard to afford auto insurance.
Steps to Take for Car Insurance With a Suspended License
If your license is currently suspended, you can still sometimes get car insurance. That said, every state has different requirements to reinstate your license, and not every insurance company will let you get coverage with a suspended license.
Remember that even though you may have auto insurance, you still cannot legally drive if your license is suspended.
The process to get auto insurance with a suspended license will be the same as it would be in any other situation. You need to compare quotes from various insurance providers to find the right one. Remember to be honest during the process and expect your suspension to affect your rates.
The simplest way to get coverage with a suspended license is to join another person’s policy. However, if you own your car, you may need to add the insured person’s name to the title in order to take this route.
If that is not an option, you will want to ask insurance companies or an insurance agent about insuring a car in storage that no one will drive. Some may even require an affidavit confirming you will not drive the car.
What is SR-22 Car Insurance?
You may come across the term SR-22 car insurance if your license is suspended. Many states require you to have an SR-22 before your license can be reinstated.
An SR-22 is a certificate from your insurance company to let the state know that you have insurance coverage. It is also called a certificate of financial responsibility.
The SR-22 certificate is not car insurance. It simply proves that you meet your state’s minimum coverage requirements and acts as proof of insurance. This typically includes liability insurance.
Luckily, getting an SR-22 is simple. In many cases, you just indicate that you need one to apply for coverage from car insurance companies. If you already have insurance, just let your insurer know that you need one.
Consequences of Driving Without a License or Car Insurance
It is worth repeating that even if you have car insurance, you still cannot legally drive your car if your license is currently suspended. You need to have a valid license to drive a car.
That means that if you drive while your license is suspended, your insurance company will not necessarily cover any incidents that occur.
On top of that, there can be serious legal consequences to driving while your license is suspended. You can face jail time and substantial fines. You may even have your license revoked depending on what state you live in.
Reasons for a Suspended License
There are numerous reasons that someone may have their driver’s license suspended. The potential reasons to lose driving privileges vary by state and may not be directly related to driving. Causes can include:
- DUIs or DWIs
- Too many moving or traffic violations within a certain period of time
- Driving without insurance
- Reckless driving
- Being at fault in an accident that caused a fatality
- Abandoning a vehicle on public highways
- Not being physically or psychologically safe to drive
- Not responding to notices from the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Not paying traffic fines or tickets
- Not paying owed child support
Pros and Cons: Suspending Your Insurance When Your License is Suspended
You may wonder if you even need to have insurance for your car while your license is suspended. The simple answer is no, which means that if you stop insuring your car temporarily, you can save some money.
However, there are some situations when you still need car insurance. The most important of these is if there are other drivers on your policy. If anyone drives your car, you need to have an insurance policy.
You may also want to keep paying for insurance to avoid having a coverage gap. This is important for your future insurance rates, as insurance companies view gaps in coverage as liabilities, which typically increases your rates.
You may also want to insure your car while it is in storage in order to protect it from theft, vandalism or other damages. This will typically involve getting comprehensive insurance.
If you have a restricted license instead of a suspended one, you need insurance for the times you can drive. Finally, if you have a loan on your car, you still need to have full coverage on the vehicle.
How to Lower Car Insurance Rates After a License Suspension
You will be considered a high-risk driver after a driver’s license suspension, which means that your insurance rates will inevitably go up. The good news is that there are some ways to lower your rates via various discounts. The specific options available to you will depend on your chosen insurer.
One great option is to take a defensive driving course. This will not only give you a discount, but it can also show your insurer that you are taking steps to become more responsible behind the wheel. You may also qualify for discounts by bundling your auto insurance with other types of insurance. You can even get a discount for having certain safety and security features on your car.
You can also reduce your car insurance coverage to the minimum required by your state. This is a great strategy to get cheap car insurance and have a lower insurance premium.
Of course, one of the best ways to get the lowest rates is to shop around. When you compare quotes from multiple providers, you should find the best deals on a car insurance policy.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
We encourage you to use our free comparison tool to compare car insurance rates between various providers. Just enter your zip code into our quote box, and you will receive several quotes from providers in your area.
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We also recommend considering insurance from GEICO, USAA and State Farm.
GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO earned a 9.1 out of 10.0 overall rating from our experts. This reflects a rating of 9.8 for industry reputation, a 9.4 for cost, an 8.5 for coverage, and a 9.0 for customer experience.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA earned an 9.6 out of 10.0 overall rating in our expert evaluation. This reflects a 9.3 for industry reputation and customer experience, a score of 9.5 for coverage, and a 10.0 for cost.
FAQ: Car Insurance with a Suspended License
How much does insurance go up after a suspension?
You can expect your car insurance to increase by at least 10% to 50%, or more, after a suspension.
How long does a suspended license stay on your record?
A suspended license will stay on your record for between seven and ten years.
Can you get a license suspension reduced?
Yes, it is possible to get a license suspension reduced, but it will depend on your situation. It is harder to get early license reinstatement for more serious violations.
Can someone drive my car if my license is suspended?
Yes, as long as you have car insurance, someone can drive your car while your license is suspended. However, you cannot drive it yourself.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction, and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.