For those who have a DUI, or are caught driving uninsured, it just isn’t pretty, and there are no two ways about it. The good news as long as you have learned your lesson and change your ways, those incidents will fall off of your record eventually. However, you will have to demonstrate unequivocally that you know how to stay on the straight and narrow by doing exactly that for at least 3 years, or that is to say at least three years of renewal cycles from the time you started a new insurance term (often 6 months) after the event occurs.
For example, if your insurance renews every January and July, and you get a DUI in February. Your car insurance policy won’t know that until it renews, in July, so it will be at least three years from July 1st, not from February 1st, because the insurance company has a limited period of time, they are able to rate your policy, but it starts from the renewal date immediately after the incident in question, not on the incident date.
Another example is if you’re caught driving on a suspended license on August 3rd and your policy renews July and January 1st, then you’ll pay the same rate through the end of your term from August through December, but then in January, your policy will be re-priced based on the last 6 months, and boom, your rate goes up then, and will stay up for at least 3 years depending on the state in which you live.
The bad news is that, for 3 years, or in most states, 6 semi-annual renewal cycles you will have higher rates. The good news, from that moment that major violation occurs, you have the opportunity to turn things around by keeping a clean record, and by working with insurance companies that rate drivers by the state’s fault laws, and not simply by the entire claims history.
One strategy might be to just not have a car, and no car insurance for a period of time. If your life, work and childcare obligations allow for that, it’s not a bad option. There is something that may be even a better option, though many representatives may not know about this option, let alone offer it to you. It is insurance for non-owned autos. It is designed to cover the personal risk of an employee who is required with infrequent regularity, to drive a car personally registered to the boss, not the business. Business insurance doesn’t extend to the employee, because the car is not owned by the business.
The employee doesn’t live in the bosses house, so the boss’s car insurance doesn’t extend to the employee. Anti-discrimination laws require it to be sold to anyone who wants to buy and meets eligibility requirements. This is better though costlier than simply not having insurance. It is better because it forces the underwriters, those folks who never talk to the public, but get to set the rates, to assume you did a certain amount of driving for those years, as opposed to assuming you’ve done none at all, which is the case if you don’t have any car insurance at all. Now in both cases, you don’t drive for 3 years, but for that person who maintains a driver’s license and non-owned auto coverage, they have 3 years of accident and ticket-free “driving”.
What happens if my driver’s license is temporarily suspended or revoked?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Why am I asking this question, it’s a waste of my time!”. Au contraire mon ami! Do not forget you’re not only shopping for a number, you’re shopping for an agent. This methodology takes energy and time, but the outcome is a relationship with a knowledgeable, patient-educating insurance pro who will put your better interest ahead of their own. This search, done completely and correctly, may only need to be done once to gain that tested and therefore, trusted, life-long insurance agent.
If you lower the bar of the test out of convenience, or what you consider irrelevant to your particulars today, you won’t have the refined relationship that will serve you best in the long run. Remember, you’re testing their knowledge and patience. Also, you should not be so quick as to completely rule out an unlikely possibility. All it takes is one too many drinks on New Year’s Eve, and a police checkpoint on the route to your destination to change your situation dramatically. Also, this question will help develop your understanding if you have pre-teen or teen drivers to keep insured.
So, what should the answer be? This is a difficult situation
The underwriters are going to require documentation of reinstatement from the license issuing arm of the state that most of us call “the DMV”. “The DMV” will not issue a valid license unless an insurance company issues written proof of insurance beyond the standard wallet card. So, this could put you in a bit of catch 22 of sorts. Now what usually happens is that “the DMV” will issue a provisional document that indicates all but one hurdle to reinstatement has been completed, that is the written proof of insurance.
Loya insurance company then takes this and issues a certificate of insurance fitting “the DMV’s” requirements after an eye-popping premium has been paid, and then they use that copy of the application to track the issuance of the license, and if it’s not they cancel the insurance. The provisionally insured driver then goes back to the state with their receipt of payment and the certificate they got from the insurance company. And only then does it issue a license. If this whole process sounds like a giant pain in the… neck, it is! And it is expensive and avoidable!
The representative’s ability to answer this question will speak to their experience. They will often tell you the story of another customer with whom they have dealt, with names and sensitive details omitted. This is not only acceptable industry practice, but should be considered proof of their experience, seasoning, and providing that they don’t in fact divulge names, and specific sensitivities, it an excellent test of their personal discretion and data security awareness. In our 21st century world of hacking, hijacking and stealing data and identities, they should be aware of what they can and can’t tell you. Laws concerning privacy also require them to exhibit discretion in recounting any story of how they helped someone else. If they can’t help themselves but share juicy details that violate discretion or data security standards, move on.