A license suspension can have serious consequences for car insurance. A driver’s license can be suspended for a variety of reasons. The exact reasons for a driver’s license being suspended will vary from one state to the next. However, these are the most common.
- Driving under the influence (DUI), or while intoxicated(DWI).
- Reckless driving
- At-fault accidents
- Traffic tickets that are not paid
- A high number of driving points can be accumulated
- Driving without insurance
- Auto insurance: Lapses
Different state laws and policies of the driver’s current insurer will determine the requirements for reinstatement of a license. They will also decide whether higher premiums are to be paid.
Suspended license can have serious consequences
Temporary suspension of a driver’s license means that your privilege to drive is temporarily withdrawn. You can drive with a suspended license, unlike permanent revocation. However, certain insurance requirements must be met. These may vary from one state to the next.
Most states have similar insurance requirements for suspended drivers. These requirements are:
- SR-22 requirements – An SR-22 is often referred to by insurance companies as a certificate or financial responsibility. It does not constitute an insurance policy. This form is usually filed by your insurance company with your state to show that you comply with the minimum auto liability insurance requirements.
- SR-44 requirements – Similar to an SR-22 form, the SR-4 form is required only in some States to show that you have auto insurance with higher limits than the state requires. Usually, the SR-44 form is required for suspensions involving alcohol and drugs.
- Insurance cancellation and renewal – Although state laws may vary, most policies don’t allow auto insurers cancel insurance unless there is fraud or non-payment. Auto insurers are allowed to decline to renew coverage after suspension.
Options for insurance with a license
Driving or getting insurance is not prohibited by a suspended license. This is a sign that these two things will be difficult, in some cases, extremely difficult. A majority of states allow a suspended driver to obtain insurance through obtaining a hardship license or another form of restricted license. These could include a need to drive to school or work, to help ill family members, or to attend important medical appointments. These situations are unlikely to be covered by most national car insurance companies.
Look for non-standard providers
Most insurers will consider you a high-risk driver if you have a hardship license or another restricted license. A high-risk insurer can help you if your license has been suspended or you are restricted. Some of these insurance providers may even be able to help you in such circumstances.
The ultimate goal is to get the suspension lifted and your driving privileges restored. High-Risk Insurance might be your only option, although it can be very costly. There are many auto insurance companies that will take on high-risk drivers.
- The General – renowned for its support of high-risk drivers.
- Allstate, Nationwide – These national carriers are well-known and deal with high risk drivers. However, they may have a smaller coverage area based on reasons for license suspensions.
- Erie — This carrier is limited in geographical availability for drivers but has a reputation of dealing with high-risk drivers.
Obtain an SR-22/FR-44
Most states require these forms, along with others such as an Operator’s Certificate, to make sure there is a source of funds to pay any claims against high-risk drivers. These forms are required by most states and provide evidence that the driver has taken financial responsibility.
Check with your state to verify minimum coverage requirements. Even though they are less common, it is important to pay attention in states like Florida and Virginia that require FR-44 forms. These forms often require higher limits than SR-22s. To help with SR-22-related issues, many insurers will assist suspended drivers. You may have difficulty finding the assistance you need with FR-44 forms. It might be worth contacting your local DMV to get additional assistance.
How to get cheap car coverage with a suspended licence
Although it may take more effort to find affordable auto coverage for a suspended driver, the strategies for finding affordable coverage work well in these situations. Compare several quotes and make sure you ask about all options for low-cost coverage for high-risk drivers. These are some of the options:
- Discounts on Telematics Programs – More and more car insurance companies will help you prove that you are a safe driver. These devices monitor your driving habits with the aim of eliminating sudden acceleration and hard stops. Insurers offer discounts for improving these areas.
- Personal App to Improve Driving – While this will not directly affect insurance rates, these devices can help high risk drivers adopt better driving habits by measuring similar driving patterns as telematics. This is not for the driver’s benefit, but it is always beneficial in the long-term.
- Discounts on defensive driving courses – These courses can be found all over the country, and many insurance companies will offer discounts for successful completion.
- Bundling – Many insurance companies offer discounts for buying two or more policies. The most popular combination is auto and home.
- Compare providers during renewal – It is always helpful to compare your current premiums with other carriers’ offerings. It is likely that companies have made changes to their underwriting policies or offered additional discounts since your initial decision. This is especially important for high-risk drivers working with premiums that are higher than usual.