How Drunk Driving Can Affect Your Insurance Rates
Since your driving record is a big determining factor in what your car insurance rate is, a DUI conviction will almost always raise your premiums. However, each insurance company calculates their rates differently, and some will assign more weight to a DUI than others. It’s always a good idea to get car insurance quotes from multiple insurers to find the best coverage for your situation, whether you have a DUI or not.
How much your insurance rate will go up depends on several factors
First of all, penalties for driving under the influence vary from state to state, and so where your DUI conviction happened will play a huge role in how much your rate will go up.
Insurance companies each have their own criteria for calculating rates, and they will also take into account the specific details of your DUI. For example, a misdemeanor conviction would probably result in a lower rate increase than a felony conviction. Additionally, a DUI conviction involving a crash with injuries will be taken much more seriously by an insurer than a DUI citation at low speeds without any injuries or physical damages. Depending on the circumstances, your insurance company may even drop you completely, and you’d have to search for a policy elsewhere.
For most states, a DUI will remain on your driving record for 5 years or more. By determining exactly how long your DUI will stay on your record, you can avoid being overcharged once it’s been removed.
What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 isn’t a separate insurance policy. It’s a form that you or your insurer will most likely be required to fill out before your driving privileges can be reinstated.
The specific SR-22 requirements will be different for each state, so it’s important to talk to an experienced insurance agent or attorney with knowledge of DUI law.
A DUI is expensive in more ways than just insurance
Ultimately, the consequences of having a DUI extend far beyond an increase in your car insurance premiums. Even for first time convictions, your driver’s license will be revoked (typically for 3 months, depending on the state). The national average cost of a DUI will put you out around $10,000.
If you or someone you know has been convicted of a DUI, talk with an experienced insurance agent today to learn more about your insurance options.