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A suspended driver’s license is a serious situation. But even if you can’t legally get behind the wheel, chances are you’ll still need to have car insurance.
Getting insurance with a suspended license can be difficult. Here’s what to know about car insurance when your license has been suspended.
Table of contents
- Do you need car insurance with a suspended license?
- SR-22s for drivers with a suspended license
- Car insurance quotes for drivers with a suspended license
- How to get cheap car insurance with a suspended license
- Best car insurance companies for drivers with a suspended license
- Car insurance with a suspended license FAQs
Do you need car insurance with a suspended license?
Your driver’s license may be suspended for a number of reasons, such as:
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
Leaving the scene of an accident
Accumulating points for crashes and traffic violations
Failing to maintain adequate car insurance
Failing to pay motor vehicle fines, fees, or surcharges
Failing to pay court fines, fees, or surcharges
Failing to comply with a child support order
Failing to appear in court for a traffic ticket or parking ticket
When your driver’s license has been suspended, it can be tough to get or maintain car insurance. However, you still might be able to purchase coverage without a valid driver’s license. In fact, insurance may be required if someone else will be driving your car while your license is suspended.
In some cases, though, an insurer may reject your application for coverage if your driver’s license has been suspended. Additionally, your insurance company might cancel your coverage in this situation. If you fall into either of those categories, you might still own a car, but be unable to obtain the required car insurance. This would lead to a lapse in coverage.
Practically every state requires motorists to carry basic car insurance. So, if your coverage lapses, you could:
Be subjected to penalties if you’re caught driving without insurance.
Be sued if you lack insurance to cover damage or injuries that you cause in a crash.
Face higher car insurance premiums when you look for new insurance.
You might consider applying for a hardship or restricted license, which lets you keep driving but with limitations, such as driving only to and from work, school, or doctor’s appointments. You also might look into a conditional license, which offers limited driving privileges once you complete a driver’s education course.
Car insurance coverage for drivers with a suspended license
When companies do agree to offer coverage when your license is suspended, you might find that it costs significantly more than you previously paid. At the very least, you might expect to pay more than $2,000 a year for this type of coverage, based on Insurify’s data.
If you’ve financed your car, Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communication at the Insurance Information Institute, points out, your lender may require comprehensive and collision insurance as part of the lending agreement. “In other words,” she says, “they’ll want insurance to protect their financial asset — the automobile.”
You would have to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to state-mandated liability coverage.
Keep in Mind: Adding collision and comprehensive coverage to a car insurance policy typically increases the premium.
SR-22s for drivers with a suspended license
A court or the department of motor vehicles in your state might require you to get a document known as an SR-22 following a license suspension. The document, also called a certificate of financial responsibility, proves you carry the minimum amount of coverage needed to reinstate your driving privileges.
Florida and Virginia may require a document known as an FR-44, which is similar to an SR-22, except that an FR-44 applies only to DUI or DWI cases.
A driver with an SR-22 or FR-44 might pay more for coverage than a driver without one of these documents because some insurers view SR-22 and FR-44 drivers as high-risk, particularly those convicted of DUI or DWI.
Two types of SR-22 are available:
Regular SR-22 coverage applies to someone who owns a car.
Nonowner SR-22 coverage applies to someone who does not own a car. This type of auto insurance policy pays for injuries or damage you cause while driving another person’s car.
The cost of car insurance for a driver who requires an SR-22 could range anywhere from $163 to $500 a month. Check out some quotes from top companies below, sourced directly from Insurify’s proprietary database of more than 70 million quotes.
|Average Quote Per Month for an SR-22 Driver
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Car insurance quotes for unlicensed drivers
Depending on why your license was suspended, standard auto insurers might not offer coverage, particularly if your driving record shows you’re a risky or accident-prone driver, says Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications at the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute.
“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to get auto insurance with a suspended license,” he adds. “Once your license is reinstated, you may still have a very difficult time obtaining coverage.”
Drivers with a suspended license typically find more luck buying coverage from a nonstandard auto insurer. These insurers specialize in covering high-risk drivers. Because they’re taking on more risk, nonstandard insurers often charge more than their traditional counterparts.
As a last resort, you might be placed into a “risk pool” in your state. Auto insurers voluntarily participate in these risk pools. If an insurer belongs to one of these pools, it must accept every motorist who the state assigns to it.
“While risk pool premiums are substantially higher than insurance obtained directly with a private company, they do provide auto coverage no matter what the driver’s history [is],” the Insurance Information Institute says.
In the table below, you can find car insurance quotes for an unlicensed driver from a number of car insurance companies. This data comes from Insurify’s proprietary database of more than 70 million quotes.
|Average Quote for Drivers With a Suspended License (Cost per Month)
The data featured on this page is sourced from Insurify’s proprietary database of over 70 million quotes. These quotes were broken down and analyzed by our data scientists to provide an average representation of how much drivers can expect to pay for car insurance after their license has been suspended, or if they require an SR-22 form.
How to get cheap car insurance with a suspended license
Three ways you can get cheap car insurance without a license are:
Shopping around for coverage. The Insurance Information Institute recommends getting quotes from at least three car insurance companies before settling on one insurer. This is a lot easier to achieve if you use an online quote-comparison platform like Insurify, although you should be wary of lead-generation sites.
Asking about discounts. A driver with a suspended license may qualify for discounts when opting for paperless billing or paying an annual premium in one lump sum, for example.
Looking into reduced coverage. If you’re unable to drive due to a suspended license, your insurer may let you temporarily discontinue liability and optional collision coverage if your car is not going to be used by anyone else during your suspension, Ruiz says. Still, she adds, you may want to maintain optional comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage to your car in a disaster like a fire or tornado.
Best car insurance companies for drivers with a suspended license
Here are the five best car insurance companies for drivers with a suspended license.
Our data shows Travelers offers the lowest average quote ($171 a month) for coverage of a driver with a suspended license. That alone makes it a solid pick, but it’s also the best-known brand among the five insurers on our list. On top of that, Travelers offers the lowest average quote ($163 a month) for drivers with an SR-22, our data shows.
Clearcover offers the second-lowest average quote ($238 a month) for coverage of a primary driver with a suspended license. As a bonus, Clearcover touts the ability to do business on its mobile app, such as filing claims, paying premiums, requesting roadside assistance, and showing proof of insurance. Clearcover doesn’t offer SR-22 coverage, though.
With an average quote of $242 a month, National General sits in the middle of our pack for the cost of insuring a driver with a suspended license. The auto insurance company, owned by insurance giant Allstate, does provide SR-22 coverage.
Bristol West, owned by insurance giant Farmers, ranks as the second most-expensive option among the five cheapest insurers on our list, with an average quote of $320 a month for a driver with a suspended license. Bristol West also supplies SR-22 coverage.
If you’re hunting for cheap insurance as a primary driver with a suspended license, you might want to skip Dairyland. Its average quote for coverage of someone with a suspended license is $598 a month. That’s nearly 3.5 times more than the average quote from Travelers. Dairyland does provide SR-22 coverage at a more competitive rate, though.
To pick the best companies for drivers with a suspended license, we reviewed car insurance quotes from Insurify’s proprietary database and considered each insurer’s offerings.
Car insurance with a suspended license FAQs
While it’s hard to get car insurance if your license has been suspended, it’s not impossible. Just be prepared to pay a lot for this coverage if you’re able to find it.
A car insurance company can tell if your license is suspended by looking at your driving history. Insurers always verify and review your driving record to determine the rate you’ll pay for coverage.
Courts and state motor vehicle agencies can suspend your license, but insurance companies cannot. However, insurers are expected to report your insurance status when you begin or end your policy. If your insurance expires or you cancel your policy without a new one in its place, your previous insurer will have to report it to the DMV and your license may be suspended.
You typically can’t rent a car with a suspended license. Generally, car rental companies require you to hold a valid driver’s license to pick up one of their vehicles.
Legally, you can buy a car if you have a suspended license, as long as you have a government-issued ID to provide during the purchase process. Even though you’d be able to buy the car, you can’t legally drive it without a license. In addition, you’d be breaking the law in nearly every state if you drive without car insurance.
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.
- Janet Ruiz. "Director of Strategic Communication, Insurance Information Institute." Accessed December 6, 2022