f convicted of a DUI, you'll have to deal with long-term consequences affecting various aspects of your life, including your insurance. Insurance provides liability coverage for unfortunate events. But, when it comes to receiving a DUI, you are liable. In addition to not compensating for the damages, a DUI conviction may terminate your insurance coverage. It's possible to buy DUI insurance, but you'll have to fork out a lot of money.
Here's how DUI could impact your insurance and everything you need to know about DUI insurance:
What Is DUI?
DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is driving a vehicle while or after intaking alcohol or other substances to a level that the driver is incapable of driving the car. Other substances may include illegal drugs, specific over-the-counter medications, or some pharmaceutical drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines, which cause drowsiness.
DUI is a severe criminal offense that has significant financial and legal implications. It may result in imprisonment, penalty, and temporary or permanent suspension of your driving license based on the severity of the offense.
What Is DUI Insurance?
It's important to point out that DUI insurance is not a formal policy. It's a high-risk auto insurance policy tailored especially for people convicted of a DUI. After a person has been convicted of DUI, their insurance coverage is known as DUI insurance.
How Does DUI Insurance Work?
You might think DUI insurance protects you against a drinking and driving case from the name. But it doesn't. DUI is a severe and illegal crime that most insurance terms exclude. This means the insurance companies might not cover your liability if the accident is caused by driving under the influence.
On top of that, DUI convicted drivers are considered high-risk drivers as there is a high chance of accidents and hence, more risk for a payout claim. As a result, insurance companies are reluctant to take on the risk of covering them.
However, some companies take the risk but charge high premiums to offset it. The companies offer this tailored insurance policy to earn high premiums against high risk.
What Are The Coverage?
DUI insurance should cover the minimum amount of liability coverage. The following provides the coverage requirements that a policyholder must meet:
Bodily Injury Liability Per Person (BI)
Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries you cause to another driver if you are at fault in the accident. It encompasses anything from medical expenses to lost income to the cost of a funeral. If you're at fault, it protects you against third-party liability claims.
The minimum liability coverage requirements differ from state to state. Even so, a minimum of $2500 in bodily injury liability coverage for each individual and $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for each accident is generally required.
Property Damage Liability (PD)
If you damage another party's car or public property, such as a street light or fence, your property damage liability policy may help pay for the repairs. Most states require at least $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Apart from the liability coverage, you need to consider other types of insurance coverage, including Personal injury protection insurance (PIP), underinsured/ uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, or gap insurance as per your requirement and as required by the state law.
How To Get DUI Insurance?
You will need to look for a high-risk insurance company or your state plan to get DUI insurance. If an insurance company refuses to cover you, state plans are readily accessible throughout the United States. With the program, the state assigns you to an insurer obliged by law to offer the minimum amount of coverage for the required liability.
Some insurance companies provide DUI insurance with comparatively higher premiums than regular auto insurance. The premiums are highly dependent on your driving record, age and history. Here are some top insurance companies which provide DUI insurance:
What Is The Cost Of DUI Insurance?
The cost of DUI insurance is more than the standard insurance policy. DUI insurance is risky, and you have to pay a higher premium. However, the price depends on several factors, including the following :
- Your driving record to determine whether this is your first offense or if you have a history of DUIs.
- Your current age
- Driving time
- Overall driving history ( accidents that you had, speeding tickets)
- Driving record of your family member
For example, a teen with a DUI may face an additional $40,000 in insurance costs, whereas a 28-year-old with a first DUI offense may only face an additional $20,000.
How To Find Cheap Insurance With A DUI?
DUI insurance is expensive with high premiums, but there are ways to reduce your premiums. Consider the following method to land cheap DUI insurance:
Finding the best insurance coverage is all about looking for the best deals. You can compare the car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies and choose the one with the best rate. It's better to switch to a new insurance company after being convicted of DUI, as your company will charge higher rates.
Bundle Your Policies
You can qualify for the discount when you insure multiple products with the same company. So, you can consider switching other policies to the same company to get that discount.
Increase Your Deductible
Deductibles are the amount you pay out of pocket when filing a claim for vehicle repairs or replacement after an accident. Increasing your deductible may help you lower your monthly payment, and you can afford the amount you choose. However, you must pay more out of pocket when filing the claim.
Safe Driving Habit
You can reduce your auto insurance premium by demonstrating safe driving habits. Your insurance company considers your driving history and record. If you have fewer accidents and speeding tickets, you can get cheaper insurance even with DUI.
How Does DUI Impact Auto Insurance?
Driving while influenced by drugs or alcohol impairs your judgments and concentration while driving. Thus, there is a high risk of getting into an accident, making insurance companies anxious about the potential claim payouts.
Due to the high risk, many companies may refuse to cover you, and even if they do, they'll charge you a high premium. The insurance premium after a DUI conviction is estimated to be 75% more than the standard insurance rates. In the worst-case scenario, your insurance provider may terminate your coverage, and your future claims may be voided, making it seem like you had no insurance.
How Do Insurance Companies Find Out About DUI?
You might be thinking you will have no problem if your insurance company won't know about the DUI conviction. But, unfortunately, they can easily find out. Here's how they figure out about a new DUI:
After being convicted of DUI, there is a high chance your state requires you to prove that you meet the state's minimum liability requirements. Consequently, your insurance provider must endorse the form. Once you ask your insurance provider to submit an SR-22, they will know that you have been convicted of a DUI.
The insurance company checks your driving record multiple times or at least once a year. They'll do a periodic background check to verify your information, review your driving history, and search for any criminal convictions. This means they will eventually find out even if you try to keep your DUI a secret. Depending on your state, a DUI conviction may remain on your record for ten years to a lifetime.
What Is SR-22?
SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility for DUI convicted drivers by their state or court order. It is not an insurance document but a form filed with your state. This form proves that your auto insurance policy meets the minimum liability coverage required by the law.
In Virginia and Florida, you must obtain FR-44 if convicted of DUI. It is the same as SR-22 but requires higher car insurance limits.
DUI is a severe criminal offense that may have substantial financial and legal repercussions. One of the most significant consequences of a DUI conviction is increased vehicle insurance premiums. As a result, you'll be saddled with a higher premium than what you ordinarily pay for car insurance. However, you can still get affordable insurance given that you avoid more offenses and shop wisely.