Should I pause my auto insurance if I have a suspended driver's license?
If my driver's license is suspended, does it make sense to stop my auto coverage until I'm allowed to drive again?
Answer: No. Your auto insurance can include coverage for your vehicle even when you are not allowed to drive your vehicle, which can save you in the event of a claim.
After going through the frustration of getting your license suspended, it’s understandable to think “If I’m not driving my car, why should I have to pay for insurance?!” However, removing auto coverage from your vehicle while you wait for your license to be reinstated may cost you if is something happens to the vehicle.
If you have a fully-financed vehicle, your finance contract requires you to carry full coverage at all times. Additionally, if you remove coverage from the vehicle, you may be on the hook for the cost of liability risk if your vehicle causes any damage.
When your license is suspended, it’s always best to call your broker or agent to see your best course of action. In some provinces or states, the insurance company may void the insurance policy all together if the primary operator does not have a valid license. However, the insurance company may provide one of the following options to keep your policy going:
Option 1: Remove driving coverages
If your vehicle is not financed, you have the option of removing the collision and liability coverage, leaving/placing comprehensive coverage on the vehicle. This makes sure that the vehicle is still covered for things like fire, theft, vandalism, hail, and lightning. Always check with your broker or agent to see what is included under comprehensive coverage.
Some companies may also have an option for “coverage suppression” that removes collision coverage but keeps comprehensive and liability coverage at a reduced coverage limit. This ensures that if your vehicle damages third party property in any way, you’re still covered up to those reduced coverage limits. For example, if your car is parked in your driveway and it rolls away into your neighbor’s fence, your liability coverage will pay to fix the neighbor’s fence.
Option 2: Phone a friend
Most insurance contracts require that all drivers have valid licenses. If you are relying on someone to drive you around while your license is suspended, you can add them to your policy as the primary operator until you reinstate your license. Keep in mind that when you do this, if this primary operator gets into an accident with your vehicle, it will affect your insurance.
Option 3: Cancel the policy
This option is a last resort as you do not want to be left without coverage. If your vehicle is not financed and you can self-insure your vehicle, then you may consider this option. Do not make this decision lightly, and make sure to explore the first two options with your broker or agent first. Canceling your policy mid-term may cause more in cancellation fees than the cost per month to keep the insurance. You may also lose any loyalty discounts with the company. Insurance history is usually only considered if you complete the full term of the contract. Canceling the policy may leave you with gaps in your history. that will cost you your hard-earned discounts.
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About the Author: Kaitlyn Kokoska
Kaitlyn Kokoska is a content writer and ex-Personal Insurance Broker from Edmonton, AB. After dipping her toes in the insurance industry, she realized that client education is the key to financial empowerment. She’s now on a mission to make insurance a more accessible topic. You can find more information about Kaitlyn on her website.[Read full bio]