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DUI Car Insurance

If you’ve been charged and convicted with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), your car insurance rates are likely to go up. Insurers will view you as a “high risk” driver and may charge higher premiums on your policy. Because insurance coverage is mandatory in every state, many post-DUI drivers have to cough up higher premiums just to receive the coverage they need while on the road.

The good news is there are DUI car insurance policies that do offer favorable rates for drivers. While these rates are higher than those of normal policies, they help post-DUI drivers save on costs while receiving proper coverage. Finding the best policy will require shopping around, patience, and reading through the fine print.


Consequences of DUI on car insurance premiums

There are many different consequences of a DUI charge and conviction. Your driving privileges may be suspended, you may experience jail time, and you’ll have to undergo lengthy legal processes as part of the drunk driving charge. DUI fees easily accumulate to over $1500, depending on your state.

Your auto insurer may also respond to a DUI charge on your record. At minimum, most insurers will review your policy and increase your premiums. The exact increase varies from state to state, but it’s not uncommon for rates to increase by as much as 100%. In addition, your auto insurance company may restrict or adjust coverage options in response to the DUI charge. Others may also refuse to renew (or immediately cancel) your policy.

In the event that you have multiple DUI charges, unpaid premiums, or recent accidents (for which you were at fault), you may experience further consequences from your auto insurer.


How your new premiums are determined

The good news is that more companies are offering DUI car insurance than ever before. This is partly because of healthy competition in the market, followed by legislation that requires more drivers to have adequate coverage while on the road.

When looking for DUI car insurance, auto insurance companies will review specific details in your application and overall record. Some of these factors include:

  • Age
  • The type of vehicle being insured
  • Your location
  • The nature of your record (including any previous DUI convictions or accidents)
  • Whether your DUI caused an accident or loss of life
  • Your safe driving record over the past 1-3 years

In most cases, younger drivers with more expensive vehicles and a volatile driving record are likely to pay the highest premiums. It’s not uncommon for monthly premiums to double after a DUI conviction, based on the above criteria.

If the DUI incident also resulted in loss of life or significant damage to property, insurance companies will categorize you as being a high risk driver- thus significantly increasing your premiums. A premium increase under these circumstances may be more than double. Other auto insurers may simply cancel your policy because they don’t want to risk a high payout.

How insurers find out about DUI records

You may be wondering how auto insurers will end up finding out about your DUI conviction. There are 3 main ways through which this information ends up reaching your insurance company.

  • SR-22 Filing

Most DUI and DWI convictions will result in a suspended license. If your license is suspended as part of the conviction, you’ll need to file an SR-22 form to get the license reinstated. Auto insurers are responsible for filing this form with the DMV on your behalf.

The SR-22 provides proof of insurance before the state can reinstate your driving privileges. This means that when your auto insurer files the SR-22, they will inevitably find out about your DUI conviction.

  • Through the motor vehicle report

The DMV in your state will provide an annual report about your vehicle to the insurance company. This report will contain information about any accidents, DUI convictions, or traffic violations that the vehicle in question was charged with.

Your auto insurer will review such reports annually, or whenever a driver is renewing their policy. In this way, any DUI convictions will be uncovered.

  • When an accident or driving infraction occurs

If you end up being involved in an accident or driving infraction, you may need to contact your insurance company for help. Your insurer will need to gather as much information as possible regarding the circumstances of your accident. This is another way through which they’ll find out about your DUI charge.


DUI Insurance costs vary by state

One of the biggest factors that will determine your DUI insurance cost is location. The average rate for DUI insurance in states such as California and New York is $1500 per year. The average rate in Florida is $1900, with Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania having rates of between $795-$1080.

These rates are for the minimum legal coverage, which only caters for liability costs (no collision or comprehensive coverage is included). Michigan has among the highest auto insurance rates in the country (regardless of a DUI driving record). Divers with a DUI in Michigan pay an average of $4800 for minimum liability coverage.

The auto insurance company you choose will also affect your premiums. Most insurers charge an average of $960-$2000 per year in premiums for drivers with a recent DUI. For example, Progressive charges $960 on average, while AllState charges $2050. Smaller insurance companies also offer competitive rates for DUI drivers.

How to find a competitive DUI Insurance policy

A DUI conviction doesn’t mean that you can’t find competitive coverage options. However, you’ll need to be strategic when looking for a policy that suits your needs. Here are several tips that will help you save when looking for DUI insurance coverage.

  • Compare quotes

Start by comparing quotes from 3-5 insurance companies. Consider those that offer lower rates for normal drivers, as they’ll be increasing the cost from a lower base rate.

Also look out for insurers who offer policies that are tailored specifically for DUI drivers. Some insurance companies cater to high-risk drivers and design policies that allow you to save on costs.

  • Inquire about discounts

Insurance policies typically have many different discounts. After your initial quoted rate, inquire about which discounts may be available with your policy. There are discounts for military members, homeowners, business owners, and much more.

  • Maintain a stellar driving record

After a DUI conviction, your top concern should be to eliminate your “high-risk” driver status. This can be done by maintaining a stellar driving record for a specific period of time.

Many insurance companies will review your classification after 1-3 years following your DUI to see if you’ve maintained a safe driving record. You may also qualify for “safe driver” rate deductions if your record is clean for a specified duration.

With time, patience, and proper selection, you can find a quality DUI insurance policy that won’t cost you thousands of dollars every year.

You will have to file an SR22 Form

This helps reinstate your driver's license.

DMV Reporting of your driving record

They will report the DUI incident and notify your insurance company.

How does a DUI conviction cost?

You may lose coverage and be forced to find a new auto insurance company. Typically costs range by state. $800 - $3,000.

After a DUI it's critical to maintain good driving records

After a DUI conviction, your top concern should be to eliminate your “high-risk” driver status. This can be done by maintaining a stellar driving record for a specific period of time.

Many states employ the ‘points’ system to score traffic offenses. Every offense is connected to a certain number of points that remain on your driving record for some time depending on the state you live in and the severity of the offense. If you gain a particular number of points, you may lose your driving license.

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