DUIs suck. And you already know they’re expensive too. One of the major expenses is higher car insurance. No matter what you do, your auto insurance rates will increase but there are still affordable options. Here’s four things you need to know about insurance after a DUI conviction:
- Your rates will go up. A DUI conviction can increase your insurance rates – ranging from an increase of 28 to 371 percent depending on your state on the circumstances, your insurer’s policies, etc. Unfortunately, some carriers cancel your policy after learning of your conviction, which means two dings on your record – a DUI and a policy cancellation.
- Depending on the state, a DUI will remain on your record for a while. A DUI will typically remain on your criminal record for 7 to 10 years depending on the state, some states are much worse in length. How do insurance companies know if you’ve been convicted? They usually see your motor vehicle record (MVR) at time of conviction or policy renewal. That means when your DUI clears, you can search for cheaper car insurance again.
- Depending on type of DUI and quantity you may end up in the “high-risk” or assigned-risk pool for insurance. This is basically a mandate by the state to insurance companies which states that the people in the pool MUST have coverage, so the insurer must come up with a rate. You may be entered into a high-risk pool if you can’t find an insurer to cover you. This pool means you’ll pay a high premium and have only minimum liability insurance.
- An insurance rider known as a SR-22, or FR-44 in certain states, may be required. An SR-22 is a rider on your policy that lets the DMV know that you’re carrying proper liability insurance after a DUI conviction and the DMV is immediately notified if your coverage drops. It’s good to be familiar with your state’s laws and requirements for DUI. Typically, you will be notified by mail if you are required to get an SR-22. Be warned: these are not free (prices vary by state and insurance provider). The insurance company will charge a fee for providing an SR-22 certificate on your behalf. Some insurance companies don’t offer SR-22 policies, in which case your policy would be cancelled.
While all parts of a DUI are expensive, there are some ways to reduce your insurance rates after DUI conviction and save yourself a few dollars. Talk with your insurance carrier about possibly taking Defensive Driving, or other similar classes, and possibly knock down your insurance rate by a few percentage points. Also ask your auto insurance company if they offer discounts for combined auto and home policies. Now maybe be a good time to explore that option. Just like before you were convicted, you absolutely should compare rates with other companies that offer DUI auto insurance.
Need help with insurance after DUI conviction? We are here. We can help you find the right attorney, financial provider, insurance, counseling and more. Just visit myduisolution.com. There are many resources dedicated to helping you stay safe and recover. If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, locate an AA Group here.