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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Having active and adequate car insurance is required in almost every state and for every driver. However, it may even be a good idea for someone that has a suspended license to consider having car insurance. Although you may not operate your vehicle with a suspended license, you are still allowed to have active car insurance coverage. There are potential circumstances that may require you to carry active coverage even if you’re not using your car.
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Do you want to protect your vehicle from damages while it’s parked or stored?
When you have a suspended license, you may decide to park your vehicle someplace off-road, in a garage, or in a covered area. Taking this step does reduce some of the risks you are exposed to, but there is still the possibility that an unexpected incident could damage your car. Having an active car insurance policy on your vehicle, normally one with comprehensive coverage, may help protect you from loss.
Having comprehensive coverage on your vehicle may help to protect your car from damages that are not related to a collision. For example, this could be damage from hail, fire, or even theft. This coverage is sometimes referred to as storage coverage by insurance providers, and if you are interested in this coverage, it’s important to speak to your provider about the options available to you.
Will you possibly be driving due to a hardship exception or a court exception?
Every license suspension comes with a set of rules and conditions, meaning that the court may grant a hardship exception or other exceptions based on your unique situation. If the courts grant you one of these restricted licenses, then you will be required to maintain active car insurance. It’s vital that you speak to your insurance provider before any suspension or restriction takes effect; to verify that you can maintain your insurance coverage during your suspension.
The circumstances surrounding a license suspension can differ, and this can lead some insurance providers to classify you as a high-risk driver. If this occurs, your current provider may be unwilling to continue providing insurance coverage. If this occurs, then you may need to pursue an insurance policy for high-risk drivers. Your state’s Department of Insurance may be willing to provide guidance on high-risk insurance providers in your area.
Is anyone else going to use your car while your license is suspended?
While your license is suspended, you may still allow friends or family to operate your vehicle. This is most common in situations where other drivers in the household are still able to drive, but there are other scenarios in which you may loan out your vehicle. If your car is being used during your suspension period, you should have active insurance coverage on your vehicle.
Having active insurance on your car helps to protect your vehicle, any passengers inside, as well as anyone else driving on the road. It’s important to recall that every state differs in what they allow your insurance to cover. There are situations where your provider may not be able to provider coverage to a driver that is not listed on your insurance policy, often called a “non-listed” driver.
If you have questions about how your coverage would apply to a non-listed driver, speak to your insurance provider. They can normally provide you information about any state-specific restrictions on covering non-listed drivers as well as any other restrictions you may need to be aware of.
Do you want to avoid having a lapse in your insurance coverage?
Having a gap in your insurance coverage history can make obtaining future coverage more difficult. Many insurance companies are looking to insure reliable, low-risk drivers, meaning that they look at your insurance history and your record with those providers. If there are multiple gaps in coverage or long lengths of time without coverage, then any potential provider may be hesitant to sell you a policy.
It’s important to remember that some insurance providers may decide not to renew your policy or may even decide to cancel your policy if your license is suspended. If you can, it’s important to discuss your situation with your insurance provider to try and avoid a cancellation or non-renewal.
If your current policy is not going to be kept active by your provider, attempt to find new coverage before your current policy is canceled or expires. Having a new policy in place beforehand can help you avoid having a lapse in your insurance history; making your future insurance purchases easier.
Your Options with a Suspended License
Having your license suspended is never a great scenario, but if it happens to you, then there are many things you should consider. For example, you may be provided an exception by the court that allows you to drive under specific circumstances. If this is the case, then you will need to have active car insurance.
Additionally, if anyone else may be using your car during your suspension, or if your car could be damaged while being stored off-road, then having car insurance is vital.
It’s important to remember that insurance providers are usually paying attention to lapses in insurance coverage. This means that maintaining your coverage during any suspension period may be a smart move.
If you have questions about your options during the suspension period, make sure to speak with your insurance provider about your choices. Some providers may decide to cancel a policy for a driver with a suspended license.
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