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DUI/DWI and Insurance: What You Need to Know

By
Daisy Rogozinsky
/
May 21, 2023
Last reviewed by
Joanna Smykowski, Esq.
/
May 21, 2023

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that can have significant consequences, including increased insurance rates. After a DUI/DWI conviction, drivers can expect their car insurance rates to go up by a considerable margin. As a result, it's important to understand the insurance options available to drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction, as well as ways to save on car insurance after such a conviction. 

In this legal guide, we will provide valuable information on how DUI/DWI affects insurance rates, insurance options and considerations for drivers with DUI/DWI, and ways to save on car insurance after a DUI/DWI conviction.

How DUI/DWI Affects Insurance Rates

After a DUI/DWI conviction, drivers can expect a significant increase in their car insurance rates. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine car insurance rates, including:

  •  Driving record
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Location. 

However, a DUI/DWI conviction is often viewed as a red flag by insurance providers, as it suggests that the driver is more likely to cause an accident or file a claim.

The amount that insurance rates increase varies by state and insurer. On average, drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction can expect their insurance rates to increase by 70% or more, depending on the severity of the offense. In some cases, the driver's insurance company may choose to drop coverage entirely, leaving the driver without any insurance options.

Insurance Options and Considerations for Drivers with DUI/DWI

Some insurance providers offer non-standard insurance policies for high-risk drivers. High-risk insurance policies are specifically designed for drivers with poor driving records, including those with a DUI/DWI conviction. While these policies can be more expensive than traditional car insurance, they provide coverage for drivers who may not be able to obtain insurance otherwise.

It’s also important to note that drivers with a DUI/DWI on their record may be required to obtain an SR-22 certificate. SR-22 is a form that verifies the driver has the minimum insurance required by their state. This form may be required by the state as a condition for reinstating a driver's license after a DUI/DWI conviction. Drivers should check with their state's Department of Motor Vehicles to determine if an SR-22 is required.

It's essential to note that insurance rates for drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction can remain high for several years, even with these insurance options. It's crucial to maintain a good driving record and avoid additional traffic violations to help reduce insurance rates over time.

Ways to Save on Car Insurance After a DUI/DWI

There are some ways for drivers to save on their car insurance premiums despite their conviction. Here are some ways to save on car insurance after a DUI/DWI:

  • Comparison shopping for car insurance - One of the most effective ways to save on car insurance after a DUI/DWI is to shop around and compare rates from different insurance providers. Some providers may offer more affordable rates for drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction than others.
  • Taking a defensive driving course - Completing a defensive driving course can help drivers improve their driving skills and demonstrate to insurance providers that they are committed to safe driving. Some insurance providers may offer discounts to drivers who have completed a defensive driving course.
  • Maintaining a good driving record - Although a DUI/DWI conviction can stay on a driver's record for several years, maintaining a good driving record by avoiding additional traffic violations can help reduce insurance rates over time.

It's essential to keep in mind that saving on car insurance after a DUI/DWI conviction can be challenging, and rates may remain high for several years. However, by taking these steps, drivers can help reduce their insurance rates and find the best coverage options available.

Conclusion

A DUI/DWI conviction can have a significant impact on car insurance rates. Drivers can expect their rates to increase by 70% or more, and some insurance companies may even choose to drop coverage altogether. However, there are insurance options and considerations available to drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction, including high-risk insurance policies and obtaining an SR-22 certificate. 

It's also important to note that maintaining a good driving record and taking steps to improve driving skills can help reduce insurance rates over time. By shopping around and comparing rates from different insurance providers, completing a defensive driving course, and maintaining a good driving record, drivers can save on car insurance premiums despite their convictions.

For legal advice regarding DUI/DWI convictions, it’s recommended to consult with an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer.

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