A person’s license can be suspended for many reasons, including a DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, repeated moving violations, or failing to carry car insurance, just to name a few. If you’re in this position, you are probably wondering if a suspended license affects insurance. The answer is yes. You can have car insurance with a suspended license, but it might be more of a hassle and will likely cost more.
Many people with a suspended license need to maintain their car insurance even while they cannot drive. Of course, you will also want to have insurance before you get your license reinstated or get a restricted license that allows you to go to work or school. Keep reading to learn more about your options.
Why do You Need Insurance While Your License Is Suspended?
There are several reasons you may want to maintain car insurance while you have a suspended license, and in some circumstances, you may even be required to do so. For example:
- If you have a loan through a bank or dealership, you probably have to insure your car even if you aren’t driving it.
- In some cases, the state may require you to show you are maintaining continuous coverage.
- You may also want to keep coverage so that other drivers on your policy can still drive the vehicle.
Some insurance companies will allow you to maintain comprehensive coverage if the car is being stored, which only covers damage resulting from theft, natural causes, and falling objects, etc.
However, most people are looking for liability insurance coverage. Getting an insurer to cover you for an accident you may cause even while you have a suspended license and are not driving is sometimes more difficult and costly than you might expect.
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What Happens to Your Policy If You Have Coverage When Your License Is Suspended?
If you already have coverage when your suspension begins, you may still be able to insure a car without a license. Some policies contain exclusionary clauses for suspended drivers, so you should read the fine print of your policy. Your insurance coverage could exclude any accident you cause while your license is suspended, or there could be other issues with your claim following a crash regardless of the driver.
Other policies may require you to report the suspension to your insurer, so it is always a good idea to make the phone call. Otherwise, your insurer will find out about your suspension when it comes time to renew your policy, which may cause them to refuse. If your insurer is still willing to offer coverage, you may be labeled a high-risk driver resulting in increased premiums.
Some insurance companies will allow you to name a different covered driver on the policy and remove yourself, but this may involve putting that person on the title of the vehicle as well.
Can You Get Suspended License Insurance If You Don’t Already Have Coverage?
With some work and flexibility, it is still possible to find an insurance company to offer coverage even if you did not have insurance when your license was suspended. Some states may allow you to seek a restricted driver’s license for limited privileges, which can make finding insurance easier. However, it also means you must have your state’s required insurance before you can begin using your car again.
If this is not an option for you, you may consider naming another driver on the policy. There can be strict rules in place that dictate the rules regarding who can be on the policy and who can be the primary driver.
Another option is to seek a high-risk policy. Many of the most well-known insurance companies offer these policies, but if you are not having any luck finding coverage, you might want to consider some of their subsidiaries or non-standard insurance companies.
If you absolutely cannot find insurance, your safest bet is to park your car and turn in the license plates for the duration of your suspension.
How Long does a License Suspension Stay on Your Driving Record?
Like many legal questions, the answer to this will depend on where you live. State laws vary regarding how long the suspension will stay on your record, and the length of time may depend on the reasons you lost your license in the first place.
This could affect whether you will need a high-risk policy, the cost of your coverage, and other factors. In some cases, a suspension could stay on your record for years. However, assuming your driving record remains clear, your insurance premiums should return to a more reasonable rate as time passes. It’s OK to shop around after a couple of years to look for a reduced rate.
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What Happens After Your Suspension Is Over?
Once your license is reinstated, you will likely still be considered a high-risk driver while the suspension still shows on your record. This means you will have to pay more for car insurance. Insurance companies use your driving record to calculate your rates so if you have not driven for some time, you may be refused coverage by some companies.
Depending on what state you live in, once you find insurance your insurer may need to submit a form proving that you have coverage. In other states, you can provide proof by showing your insurance card.
Why Is Insurance Coverage So Important?
There are many reasons why you should never drive without insurance. Even if you are not using your car because of a suspended license, you will probably want to maintain coverage. Depending on the type of policy, insurance enables you to have coverage following a crash, protects your vehicle, and protects your assets from a lawsuit if you cause an accident.
Without insurance, you might be left holding the bill after a collision or have an injured victim sue you and hold you legally responsible if you caused the crash. We recommend maintaining all the required coverages in your state, as well as uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. If you have a car loan, having collision and comprehensive coverage may be required by your finance company, as well.
Do You Have Questions About Your Car Accident?
The Morris Bart law firm has friendly staff available 24/7 to take your call. If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with a legal issue or you need representation with a claim, give us a call! Our legal representatives can help point you in the right direction. We have 15 offices and serve clients in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We provide free case reviews and manage car accident cases based on a contingency fee.
Call (800) 537-8185 to speak with an attorney near you about your possible claim today.
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