How a DUI Affects Car Insurance Rates and Premiums

The fallout from having a DUI has vast repercussions. Yet we continue to see examples of people who drive while under the influence.

If someone has a DUI, they are still going to need car insurance again, and it’s fair to say that someone with a DUI will have higher insurance rates after DUI than before. Insurance companies will consider you to be a high-risk driver.

Typically, if someone receives a DUI, they will lose their license, as mandated by the state laws where you live. The state motor vehicle department will revoke or suspend your license or the court orders that your license is suspended or revoked.

If you refused to be breathalyzed or to take a blood test when you’re arrested, then your license will automatically be suspended, whatever the outcome of your DUI case.

A DUI conviction will then stay on your driving record for at least five years, although insurance companies will keep a record of it for around seven years. Some states keep a DUI on your file for even longer.

For example, in Iowa, it’s 12 years, and California, it’s 10.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at this in a little more detail.

Will Your Insurance Company Know if You Have a DUI?

Most insurance companies check your driving history when you renew your coverage. As such, it’s a good idea, to be honest with your insurance company.

After all, your driving history will show whether you have a DUI. So, if you keep it from your insurance company, and then they discover you’ve withheld such crucial information, it may invalidate your policy.

Higher Premiums

The bad news is that drivers can expect around an 80% hike in premiums if you have a DUI, but it can be way higher, depending on which state you reside in.

The US has a high rate of mortality as a result of drink driving, with 31% of road accident fatalities occurring as a result of alcohol. It’s just one reason why insurance companies raise premiums.

Research carried out by Quadrant Information Services, and found that although most insurance companies will offer insurance after a DUI, the rates vary enormously.

It’s one good reason why drivers with a DUI are advised to shop around thoroughly. Quadrant’s research found that the average cost of car insurance with a DUI is $2,610, with an average increase of 80%.

However, these costs can be higher depending upon what insurance risk you pose, for example, if you have a history of DUIs, or have had other car accidents in the past. Your age may also be a factor and the length of time that has passed since you had a DUI.

The Governors’ Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) own policies advocate: “all states to maintain provisions setting the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level for DUI at .08 per se or lower.”

The organization, which acts as the voice or spokesperson for all US states on matters of road safety, advocates license suspension or revocation for anyone arrested for driving under the influence, mainly if they refuse to be breathalyzed or take a blood test.

Some States are Clamping Down

There’s evidence to suggest some states are starting to go in even harder on drivers with DUIs. For example, in 2018, Utah implemented the most stringent DUI limit in the US at .05.

The GHSA recommends that the Blood Alcohol Content level (BAC) should be .08 or lower. Some states run regular DUI enforcement campaigns.

For example, Colorado state ran its annual enforcement campaign called “The Heat is On” in January 2019. The state runs 14 enforcement periods throughout the year.

So, how best to go forward if you have a DUI and are facing high premiums?

Avoiding High Premiums After a DUI

There’s no such thing as cheap car insurance after a DUI. However, having non-owners SR-22 insurance is an excellent way to reduce costs after a DUI if you no longer own a car.

It’s also a way of having ongoing insurance coverage, which will help you receive lower rates in the future.

Many states expect an insurance company to file a form with the state motor vehicle or insurance department that proves you have car insurance after a DUI.

This form is called an SR-22. It acts as proof that you have the minimum car insurance needed to drive in your state.

Often, when a person receives a DUI, they’re not permitted to drive their car. However, in some states, they’re allowed to drive someone else’s car, such as a friend’s.

There are limitations attached to such insurance.

For example, if you’re driving a car when covered by non owners SR22 insurance and you cause an accident, their policy will cover personal injury and vehicle damage suffered by the other party. But, this doesn’t extend to the vehicle you’re driving.

Ultimately, the best way to have lower insurance rates in the future is to keep your driving record clean.

Ready to Handle Your Insurance Rates After DUI?

Having a DUI can be an expensive long-term problem to bear when you’re trying to renew your car insurance and checking rates and premiums.

Now you’ve read our article, tell us what your thoughts are about insurance rates after DUI. If you have any suggestions for further articles about car insurance rates, let us know in the comments box below.

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