How Does a DUI Affect Insurance Rates?

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by Daniel McClain on Nov 5, 2014

Driving while under the influence, drunk driving, DUI

When insurers calculate your monthly premiums, they take into account your driving record. If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), your insurance company will view you as a “high risk” driver. This will almost certainly result in higher premiums, often double or triple what you previously paid—although the increase depends on the details of your conviction.

There are many factors that contribute to how much extra you will pay for car insurance with a DUI on your record. For example, each state has its own regulations concerning how insurers are allowed to raise rates. They may or may not be required to notify you several days or weeks in advance before raising your premiums.

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, it’s a good idea to check your local laws concerning car insurance and to talk to an attorney who specializes in DUI law.

What is the SR-22?

A DUI conviction typically comes with an automatic suspension of your driver’s license (for how long depends on the penalties of your specific state). Before you can have your driving privileges reinstated, you may be required to present an SR-22 form to the court.

The SR-22 form is proof that you carry the legal amount of vehicle liability insurance. To get this form, you will need to contact your insurer who will fill it out and send it to the relevant agency for you. Some insurance companies don’t allow for SR-22 policies, and in that case you’d have to go shopping for a new insurance policy.

How long does a DUI stay on your driving record

In most states, DUIs remain on your driving record for 5 years. Since you’ll be considered a “high risk” driver during those 5 years, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find a substantially cheaper deal by shopping around for different carriers.

By talking with your insurer or independent insurance agent, as well as an experienced DUI attorney, you may be able to make your premiums a little more manageable. However, the best way to avoiding a hike in your insurance rate from a DUI is to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

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