How Long will a DUI Affect my Car Insurance Rates?
How long will a DUI affect my car insurance rates? I recently got a DUI and was wondering how long the DUI conviction will have an impact on what I pay for car insurance.
A DUI conviction will remain on your permanent record indefinitely as it is a criminal conviction, not a driving offense. But in the eyes of car insurance companies, it may stay with you for as long as three to five years.
The bigger issue of how long a DUI will impact your rates is actually whether or not you can even continue being insured by your current company. A DUI is kind of the scarlet letter on your driving record, and car insurance companies reserve the right to cancel your policy at the next renewal.
If you're lucky enough to not receive a non-renewal from your company, then you most likely will see a huge increase in the cost of your next policy. It may double, triple or even quadruple over the prior term premium.
If your premiums are taking a huge jump or your policy is being cancelled completely, it's time to shop around for a more DUI-friendly car insurance company.
Click the image below for the first step in finding a new car insurance company.
A DUI Affects More Than Just Your Car Insurance Rates
It's best to prepare now for the sticker shock when your car insurance renewal comes in the mail. It's not going to be pretty.
Estimates state that a DUI can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500 in additional car insurance premium over the course of the three to five year window when insurers penalize you for the conviction.
Unfortunately, there is no way around paying this extra cost. You are required by law to carry at least the state mandated minimum liability coverage, and if you have a DUI on your record the cost for this coverage is going to jump significantly. Some people are just not going to be able to afford the extra cost, and they will drop their insurance coverage entirely. We can't emphasize enough how big of a mistake this is.
Not only will you risk having an accident without proper insurance coverage, but you'll be putting everything you own on the line if you get sued for an accident that was your fault. The attorney costs alone for defending yourself against such suits will be enough to bankrupt many people. Carrying even the minimum liability limits required by your state means your insurance company is responsible for defending you against liability claims up to the limit on your policy.
Even if you have to drop physical damage coverage in order to afford a policy, it's critical that you maintain liability coverage on all your vehicles. To prevent you from not insuring your vehicles, most states will require you to file an SR-22 or proof of financial responsibility with your state department of motor vehicles. This is a form issued by your insurance company that states you have liability coverage in place. If you drop coverage at any point, the insurance company will notify your state DMV and they can revoke your driver's license.
Unfortunately we hear too often in the media about drivers involved in an accident where they not only had no insurance, but they also had a suspended driver's license. They just roll the dice and take the gamble that they will not get caught and this is ends up costing them jail time in the end.
Prepare Now For What is to Come
If you just recently recieved a DUI, start shopping now for a new car insurance company. That way you can have the peace of mind that you can obtain coverage if your current company non-renews your policy due to your DUI conviction.
The easiest way to find a company that will insure you with a DUI on your record is to complete or short quote form. It will match you up with companies willing to accept SR-22 filings. But do not expect to pay what you're paying now. There is no such thing as cheap DUI car insurance. Companies are taking a risk by insuring you and they expect to be paid well in return. Most DUI's are a one-time occurance and people generally learn their lesson after paying the high price. But some people are prone to offend again, and unfortunately we all pay higher rates because of them.
So get started now to lessen the impact of a DUI on your car insurance rates by clicking the link below.
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