We really know the dangers and the consequences that come along with drinking and driving. It often leads to thousands of dollars worth of fines, suspended license, and even jail time. Still, it doesn’t stop people from going out and getting intoxicated and still try to drive home. While there are a lot of DUI penalties, they often will stick around for a while, even years after your DUI conviction. This can also impact of potential insurers see you. If you have suffered from a DUI you may want to reach out to a DUI attorney.
It all comes down to risk. If you have a history of DUIs, then you’re an extremely risky person to try to ensure. People who drink while under the influence of alcohol or drugs don’t have the best judgment and are more likely to get into an accident that kills themselves and/or others. That’s a risky proposition for any insurance company looking to consider taking on someone with a DUI.
When it comes to putting together their best policy or if it’s time to renew your policy, your driving and your state criminal record will be pulled and added to the data. If they still go ahead and decide to renew or create a policy with you, the rate at which you pay is going to be determined upon the risk that they take by insuring you. It is their job to look at how likely it is that you might get into an accident based upon what they find in your record.
As previously stated, drunk driving is an incredibly risky behavior. If they feel that you are at risk of getting into an accident, then your fees will be a lot higher than the average driver. How each insurance company decides to work around a DUI is really on a case-by-case basis and it depends on the insurance company itself. They each have their own rules and policies regarding a potential customer who has a DUI conviction.
A Case-by-Case Basis
There are several things that you can probably determine will happen. If you are receiving a safe driver discount of any kind, getting a DUI will wipe it away. It doesn’t matter if you’re with them for 30 years and have no record of an accident or previous concern. After a single DUI, insurance companies will use to consider you a serious risk on the road. Your rates may not increase right away, but only after your driving record is checked when it’s time to renew your policy.
If you do get a DUI, there are several states in the country that will require you to submit Form SR-22 to the DMV. This means you have to report the DUI to your insurance company and the insurance company will send the form to the DMV. This will automatically alert your insurance company that you have a DUI on record. But it also lets the DMV know that you are still insured after he received a DUI conviction. Without it, you will not be allowed to reinstate your license.
Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 insurance to be sent to the DMV. If your insurance company doesn’t, you might have to switch to a different company that might offer it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get your license reinstated after your DUI conviction has it suspended temporarily.
Having Coverage Denied
As previously stated above, it really depends on the insurance company and what their policy is. If you’re already with an insurance company, they may decide to terminate their coverage because you’re too much of a risk to take. Other insurers might just raise rates a little bit, other insurers raise these rates significantly. If you’re unable to renew or your insurance is terminated, you might have to look for a different company to cover you.
There are insurance companies out there who do take on high-risk drivers. Just like if you’re a high credit risk trying to get a car loan, there are places who will do it, but only at a significantly higher price. This is for anyone that they would consider too high risk for a typical insurance plan or coverage.
Your Vehicle – Different Driver
Let’s say you’re a teenager and you’re still under your parent’s insurance and driving their vehicle when the DUI happens. This happens quite often as a lot of teenagers exhibit riskier behavior. In this instance, it’s likely that your parent’s car insurance premiums will go up. They might be able to lower their premiums in the future once they drop their child from their insurance policy and they get their own.
This might be a different situation if an adult friend borrows your car and gets a DUI. If you have your own insurance, your rates will go up not the owner of the car. Really, it goes back to potential risk and if you borrow someone’s car, it’s your insurance that will cover any accidents that will happen, not your friends.
How to Lower Your Insurance Rates after a DUI
The good news is, your DUI won’t stay on your record forever. If you just have the one mistake and that’s it, the odds are good your premiums will return back to normal in several years. Most states have a policy called “lookback” where insurance companies and the like can only look back seven years. That’s a long period of time, but at least there’s some time for redemption. If you have no other issues and you follow the law, then your DUI will fall off and things will get back to normal.
It really depends on the state in which you live. Each state has different laws and guidelines about how long certain convictions can remain on your record. After so many years, a person’s record should have the opportunity to be expunged completely and/or sealed from view. You might even be unlucky enough to live in a state that doesn’t allow for these types of convictions to be expunged and might follow you around forever.
The moral of the story is to not get drunk and try to drive a vehicle. It’s not worth it as you’ll spend the next several years of your life trying to rectify the situation.
Read one of our latest blogs here: What to Do After Being Injured By A Drunk Driver