The Best Car Insurance for Drivers With a Suspended License
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If your car insurance is suspended, your current insurer company may drop your policy or significantly increase your premiums. It just comes with the territory. Many insurance companies steer clear of drivers with suspended licenses – and for good reason. Your status categorizes you as a high risk driver and some companies don’t want to take on the additional risk of insuring you.
However, while it may be more challenging to secure coverage, it’s not impossible. Knowing how to navigate shopping for car insurance can help you find the best car insurance for a suspended license.
- If your license is suspended, your insurance premiums can increase by 10%-50% or more.
- Many car insurance companies won’t insure drivers with a suspended license. However, there are still more than a dozen options available to you.
- The best car insurance company for you might not have the lowest rates, but as long as it meets your insurance needs that’s what’s most important.
How Much is Car Insurance for Drivers With a Suspended License?
Car insurance can increase by 10% to 50% after your license is suspended. If your license is suspended because of a serious violation, like a DUI, then your rates might go up even more.
While smaller, a 10% increase in your rates can be tough to absorb for some, and a 50% increase can feel nearly impossible to afford. Let’s take the national average monthly premiums for top insurance companies, State Farm and Progressive Insurance which are known as good options for drivers with a DUI.
State Farm’s average monthly premium is $158, or $1,896 annually. If you had this policy and your rates increased by 10%, you would pay $15.80 more per month or $189.60 more per year. But if your rates increased by 50%, you would pay $79 per month or $948 more per year.
Progressive Insurance accepts DUI drivers and only increases rates by 13% on average after a DUI.
The best way to know how much you’ll pay for car insurance is to compare rates from different companies to see how much they’ll charge you.
See How Much You’ll Pay for Car Insurance With a Suspended License
Why is Car Insurance So Expensive When You Have a Suspended License?
If your license is suspended, it’s because you’ve either made dangerous driving choices, been involved in certain crimes or failed to meet financial obligations like not paying your child support. The most common reasons include having too many traffic violations within a specific period, being at fault in an accident that resulted in a fatality, or having a DUI/DWI.
These violations indicate you’re at higher risk of causing an accident than your typical driver. Because of this, your car insurance provider will charge you more to account for the added risk.
Should You Even Carry Car Insurance?
If car insurance is expensive when you have a suspended license, you might be tempted to go without it. Unfortunately, that could land you in additional legal trouble. If your car is registered, you are required to carry state minimum insurance unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia, where you can opt out of insuring your vehicle as long as you pay an annual fee.
Unless you own your vehicle outright, your lender or lessor will also require you to carry insurance on the car. You must have coverage that meets your lender or lessor requirements, even if you won’t be driving the vehicle.
Remember that car insurance can also help cover repair or replacement costs if your vehicle is damaged by vandalism, a fallen tree limb, a flood, or other events. So, even if you’re not driving it, maintaining insurance can save you money if your vehicle is damaged.
Canceling your car insurance coverage without having another policy in place can lead to a lapse in coverage. When your insurance lapses, car insurance companies will consider you a high-risk driver. Then when you’re ready to take out a new policy, you’ll face even more expensive costs for coverage.
So, with all of that in mind – yes, you should continue to cover your vehicle even when your license is suspended.
How to Get Car Insurance with a Suspended License
As you explore your car insurance options, you’ll quickly find that many car insurance companies won’t insure you if you have a suspended license. Instead, you will need to look for insurance companies that insure high-risk drivers.
Depending on your state and the terms around your suspension, you may be able to apply for a restricted or conditional license, which gives you the privilege to drive under certain conditions.
You might need to meet certain qualifications to complete a driving program and get that conditional license.
Alternatively, you may need an SR-22 insurance policy before the DMV will reinstate your license. This is typically the case if your license was suspended because you performed a serious traffic violation, like getting DUI or DWI.
A restricted license, conditional license, and SR-22 indicate that you are a high-risk driver to insurance companies. You will need to look at insurance companies like Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm that will insure drivers with suspended licenses. You can also explore non-standard insurance companies, like Acceptance, Explorer, Gainsco, and The General. These companies work with high-risk drivers and may offer coverage options you can’t find elsewhere.
What are the Best Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With a Suspended License?
Many companies offer car insurance policies to drivers with suspended licenses:
Direct Auto Insurance
Direct Auto Insurance specializes in insurance policies for high-risk drivers. The company also offers life insurance so that you could bundle the policies for a discount. With their flexible payment options, you can choose the day of the month your premium is due and can even pay by phone or text message.
Direct Auto Insurance has a 4.5-star rating based on the 49,917 reviews on its site, indicating overall customer satisfaction with the company.
GAINSCO specializes in high-risk insurance policies and is known for offering affordable coverage, particularly their state minimum insurance. The company offers several discounts, including auto-pay, pay-in-full, loyalty, and multi-car discounts.
Coverage is available in 14 states, including Texas, Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
Dairyland offers flexible payment options and SR-22 policies, making it an ideal choice for high-risk drivers, including those with a suspended license. It has maintained an A+ rating from A.M. Best since 1990 and an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
The General caters to high-risk drivers and is known for offering affordably priced policies, including an SR-22 filing. The company provides discounts and coverage options, like roadside assistance and deductible waivers. The General has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
Known for providing some of the lowest car insurance rates in the industry, GEICO’s rates for high-risk drivers are highly competitive. GEICO offers impressive discounts, including less-common options for military members and employees. Since GEICO offers many other insurance options, like renters, condo, and mobile home insurance, you can earn additional savings by bundling multiple policies.
GEICO has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Progressive is one of the largest insurance providers in the United States and has become one of the highest-ranked insurance companies.
It has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and received an A+ rating from A.M. Best Rating in 2018. The company’s car insurance rates vary from state to state, with some states like North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Vermont offering highly affordable policies.
Safe Auto offers low premiums and is known for providing affordable state minimum car insurance policies. The company also offers SR-22 and FR44 insurance for high-risk drivers.
Safe Auto has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a 3.4-star rating on Clearsurance. The company offers various discounts, including multi-vehicle and paid-in-full discounts.
With nearly 80 years of experience in the insurance industry, National General is known for its quality customer service and flexible payment options. The company offers a satisfaction guarantee on its claims services and will waive deductibles of up to $250 if you’re unsatisfied with the claims process. National General has an A- rating from A.M. Best.
Bristol West specializes in working with high-risk drivers. The company offers SR-22 and FR-44 options to drivers who need them. Bristol West offers various flexible payment options, including pay by phone, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
Discounts like pay-in-full, multi-vehicle, and driver training discounts can help you to save more on your policy.
Bristol West has an A- Better Business Bureau rating and a 2.5/5 Clearsurance rating.
Acceptance caters to high-risk drivers, including those with an insurance lapse, poor credit or a DUI on their record. The company has earned a reputation for providing excellent customer service, offering SR-22 insurance coverage. Acceptance has an A- Better Business Bureau rating.
How to Tell Which Car Insurance Company Is Best for You
Choosing the best car insurance company is about more than just comparing your quotes and picking the cheapest option. Instead, you’ll want to weigh multiple factors so you can choose the company that’s truly best for you.
Quick tip: Make a list of each company’s pros and cons. Your list can help to keep that information organized and makes it easier to compare those companies side-by-side.
You can start narrowing down your options by considering the coverage you need. Does your lease contract require you to have specific policies with particular limits? Do you need an option with a lower deductible? Writing these must-haves out ahead of time can help you quickly eliminate any policies that won’t work for your needs.
Since your car insurance premiums will be higher, discounts become even more critical. Consider how many discounts you qualify for at each company and how much money you could save when you add those discounts up. A policy might initially be more expensive than others. Still, if that insurance company offers many discounts, the policy could be cheaper in the long run.
Coverage in Different States
Some insurance companies limit their coverage to certain states. If you’re planning a move soon and don’t want to change your insurance again, look for a company that offers coverage in your current state and the location where you’re moving.
Think about the quality of each company’s customer service. If you ever have a question or need help with your policy or a claim, quickly reaching a knowledgeable representative can make all the difference. Pay attention to factors like customer service hours and the communication methods you can use.
Many companies are now offering more online communication. This might benefit you if you love the convenience of using an app or chat function to get help. However, it could be a drawback if you want to be able to pick up the phone and talk to a live human.
A straightforward claims process can make all the difference during a highly stressful time. Look for details about how you can file a claim, including whether you have to do that online or by phone. Be sure to check the claims hours – the ability to file a claim 24/7 is a major perk. Find details about how quickly the company processes claims to get you back behind the wheel.
Take some time to read online customer reviews about each company. This is often where you’ll learn the little details you wish you’d known before taking out a new policy. While every company is bound to have some negative reviews, look for those that repeatedly describe the same problems. Check-in with your friends and family, too, and see if any of them have previous experience with the companies you’re considering.
Finally, listen to your gut. You should feel good about the insurance company that you choose, and you need to be confident that the company will be there to help you when needed. That company might not have the cheapest quote, but it’s often worth spending a little more for insurance that gives you confidence.
How Can Drivers With a Suspended License Save on Their Car Insurance Policies?
There are ways to save on your car insurance even when you have a suspended license.
Search for Discounts
Look for extra discounts you can take advantage of, like paperless billing or automatic bill payment. Consider changing your homeowner or renter’s insurance to your new company, too, which can help you get a multi-policy discount.
Increase Your Deductible
By choosing a higher deductible, you can lower your premiums. But do so with caution – if you file a claim, you’ll need to pay that higher deductible before your insurance company will pay for any expenses. That can leave you in a tough financial spot if you don’t have enough available to cover your deductible.
Consider What Car You Drive
More expensive vehicles cost more to insure. If you’ve been thinking about buying a new vehicle, choosing a less expensive make and model or even buying a used car can save you money on your premiums.
Keep an Eye on Your Driving Record
It will take at least three years before your suspended license falls off your driving record. In the meantime, work to keep the rest of your record clean. Drive carefully to avoid traffic violations and at-fault accidents, which could increase your premiums.
It’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance annually or after a significant life event like getting married or graduating from college. Taking the time to shop around can help you potentially find a better deal on your insurance, saving you money all year.
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FAQs About Car Insurance With a Suspended License
How does a driver’s license suspension affect my car insurance costs?
A driver’s license suspension will increase the cost of your car insurance since car insurance companies will categorize you as a high-risk driver. If you maintain a clean driving record, your rates will eventually drop again.
How long does a suspended license affect your car insurance rates?
A suspended license may cause your car insurance rates to be higher for three to five years.
What could happen if I drive with a suspended license?
The penalties for driving with a suspended license depend on where you live. They often include fines, permanent loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. Your vehicle might also be impounded.
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