Driving under the influence (DUI) is dangerous but a DUI charge can also
negatively impact your car insurance premiums, perhaps more than any other
driving violation. Along with fines, legal fees, and court costs, your
car insurance premiums will almost certainly go up if your insurance company
doesn't drop your coverage altogether.
Rates for new or existing auto insurance will almost certainly be much
higher than they would be before the DUI. While amounts differ depending
on the circumstances, for a one driver policy an average premium could
increase by several hundred dollars or more. Your rate hike could even
be double what it was before the conviction.
The rate at which premiums increase will depend on whether you're a
first-time or repeat offender and the state in which you live. In New
York, for example, average increases are 60%. So you could end up paying
up to $3800 extra annually for car insurance. Regardless of which state
you receive the conviction in, the rate at which your auto insurance will
increase depends solely on your home state.
DUI convictions can be extremely costly and not just in the short term.
Since insurance premiums are determined based upon risk, drivers convicted
of a DUI will be required to pay higher premiums for many years after
Required Forms For Securing Auto Insurance
Depending on which state you reside in, before you can drive again you
may be required to file a proof of financial responsibility form proving
that you carry the mandatory minimum coverage for auto insurance. In some
cases, drivers may be required to carry an insurance policy with higher
than state minimums. The court will let you know if you need to fill out
one of these forms.
The most common form is the SR-22, or statement of responsibility. This
is a document that must be filed with the state DMV to provide proof that
you are carrying the appropriate amount of coverage. Maryland and Delaware
drivers could be required to file an FR-19 and Florida and Virginia drivers
may need to fill out the FR-44. Some insurance companies will file these
forms for a fee. Be sure to ask your insurance company if they provide
this service as not all insurers will file this form for you.
Keeping Your Insurance Coverage After A DUI
The odds are high that your license will be suspended after a DUI. It's
imperative that you maintain continuous coverage during this time. Whatever
you can do to keep your policy from lapsing will ensure that you pay lower
rates even after a DUI. If you wait until after your suspension is lifted,
your quotes could be astronomically high.
If you already have insurance, be sure to ask your insurer if you can add
another person to your insurance as the primary driver. Since the policy
is still under your name, your coverage will remain continuous.
How Long Will a DUI Affect Your Insurance Rate?
How long a DUI remains on your record will depend on the state you live
in. For example, in New York or California, a DUI can remain on your record
for ten years. If you live in Iowa, you can expect a 12-year wait until
the conviction is cleared. Depending on the company, insurers could look
as far back as three, five, seven, or ten years.
The average rate across the country is seven years; and during the time
a DUI stays on your driving record, you will not be able to earn a good
driver discount. Although your DUI could potentially affect your rates
for as long as it appears on your driving record, you can rebuild your
driving record by keeping it clean. After a time, your rates will begin to fall.
While there's no such thing as cheap auto insurance after a DUI, you
can find affordable insurance. It's important to shop around extensively
for the best premiums after a DUI. Some insurance companies have subsidiaries
that specialize in high risk or "nonstandard" drivers.
Frank Acocella Esq., leads the New York
DUILegalNY defense team. Frank fights for the rights of drivers charged with DWI,
DWAI and other intoxicated driving charges throughout the State of New York.