At the time of getting a DUI, you might think the world’s come to an end. Not only could you face jail time but also lose insurance coverage on your automobile. Although a DUI is never a good thing, there are options for avoiding serious legal trouble and staying insured. With the information provided, you’ll learn about your options if you find yourself in this situation.
The Effects of a DUI on Your Insurance
Your driving record plays a significant role in how much you spend on car insurance. From the insurer’s perspective, someone with a DUI is risky. Because of that, it could have your policy canceled altogether, especially if you have more than one DUI on your record. However, if the insurance company decides to continue providing protection, you can anticipate higher premiums.
Every year, more than 10,000 people die directly because of drunk driving. Then when you factor in other intoxicants like illegal drugs, the number increases. In fact, studies show that someone with a blood alcohol level of .09 is 11 times more likely to cause a fatal car accident compared to sober drivers.
As far as how much your insurance rates would go up, that depends on the state of your arrest. Other factors include the number of DUIs you’ve had, whether you caused an injury-related accident, and your specific policy. On average, for a one-time offense, you could expect to pay an increase of anywhere between 80 and 370 percent.
For the sake of example, look at the dollar amount increases in the following states for people convicted of a DUI.
- Michigan — The average rate of car insurance in the state of Michigan is $2,368. For DUI insurance, the policyholder would see an increase of 249 percent, a $5,900 jump.
- California — For insurance in this state, the average policy runs about $1,784. However, the car insurance after a DUI would increase 186 percent to $3,310.
- New Jersey — In New Jersey, most people pay $1,419 for car insurance. Again, DUI insurance would increase that to $1,873, a 145 percent increase.
From these three examples, you can see that just one DUI conviction proves extremely costly.
If you’re convicted of a DUI, there’s an excellent chance of your current insurance provider dropping your policy. Even if it agrees to continue providing coverage, you would probably need to obtain a certain type of form that allows you to qualify for insurance protection. These include SR-22, FR-19, and FR-44. As a major conviction, you would have a difficult time getting coverage without the correct form.
The way this works is that in exchange for a nominal fee, your current insurance provider will file the necessary form on your behalf. Of the three, an SR-22 is the most common. Remember, not only does this apply for DUIs, but also DWIs, the acronym for “Driving While Intoxicated.” Usually, the latter is the conviction when under the influence of drugs as opposed to alcohol.
While some insurers have no problem maintaining coverage on “at risk” policyholders, others do. Obviously, the goal is to avoid drinking and driving. That way, you never have to worry about getting a DUI. However, if you find yourself in this situation, contact your insurance company right away.
Especially if you’ve been with your insurer for a long time, it will do everything possible to keep you as a customer. At the same time, your agent will research the requirements for your situation, and again, file the proper financial responsibility form for you if needed.
Something else worth noting is while most insurers are honest, some take advantage of other people’s mistakes. If your provider opts to price gouge for DUI insurance instead of dropping you from the policy, you should consider looking for a different provider. Along with brick and mortar companies are those that provide services online.
If you choose to work with an online insurance company for a DUI auto insurance, make sure to do your due diligence. In other words, verify it’s in good standing, provides the kind of assistance you need, and won’t charge you an outrageous price for coverage. No, a DUI is not good, but there are viable cheap DUI insurance options available.
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI and need DUI insurance, Freeway Insurance can help. Freeway specializes in providing affordable high-risk auto insurance to people who have tickets, accidents, a DUI, or who require an SR-22. Get a free high-risk auto insurance quote online or over the phone by calling 800-777-5620.