Driving under the influence of alcohol can come with several penalties if convicted, and you might even be subject to a civil suit if you’re involved in an accident that hurts someone. Additionally, your car insurance is about to get more expensive. Here’s what you need to know about how a DUI affects your insurance.
Evaluate the Climate
When wondering what happens after a DUI, investigate how your state treats drunk driving offenses. Some states are more lenient than others, which will likely influence how insurance providers treat DUI offenses. There are providers that don’t cover those who have a DUI, so your policy could be canceled if you already have insurance through one of these companies.
Understand the Red Tape
Most states add some red tape to getting insurance in the form of a SR-22 form. This form must be filed with the state by your insurer or you. During the three years you could need this form, the state is notified if you no longer have coverage. This can be confusing when trying to find insurance, but this form does not automatically come with penalties or more coverage requirements. This is just an extra step to ensure you have the minimum amount of coverage necessary.
For at least three years after a DUI, insurance providers think your likelihood of causing an accident is higher. This is what leads to roughly three to five times higher rates.
While your rates will go up after a DUI conviction, how much they rise can vary greatly. If you already have a poor driving record or previous drunk driving convictions, insurance coverage will almost definitely be expensive. If you have a clean record and a misdemeanor offense, you shouldn’t assume that exorbitant fees are in your future. Your driving history and the severity of the conviction matter, so you should be paying more but not something outrageous if you have an otherwise impressive record. To get the best rate, you may need to get quotes from multiple companies. Select Insurance is one group that offers a quote for drivers that need an SR-22 form.
Life will get more complicated after a DUI, but it’s still possible to drive and get insurance coverage in most situations. Several factors will determine how much your rates rise, so persistence and patience are required when searching for car insurance.
About the Author: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her husky Snowball. You can find her on Twitter at @LizzieWeakley and on Facebook at facebook.com/lizzie.weakley.