• Car Insurance and DUI Consequences: Get the Facts

    So you have just been arrested, you failed a sobriety test, and now you are facing a criminal conviction; the last thing you are probably thinking about is attributing car insurance to dui consequences.  Despite the humiliation of a public trial, expensive legal fees, and the shame of endangering yours and other people’s lives, the most financially taxing consequence from driving under the influence is often the increased insurance premiums you will have to pay to get back on the road.

    Punishment Fits the Crime:

    Drinking and driving is a serious offense. According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) 31.6% of all traffic fatalities were caused by drunk drivers in 2008. This is the key reason why your license will be suspended without question upon a DUI charge, and depending on what state you are convicted in, you will have to go through several phases of rehabilitation before you can even apply to get your license reinstated.  

    SR-22 Form:

    A majority of states require a person with a drunk driving charge to file what is called a SR-22 form with your insurer to prove to the department of motor vehicles that you have liability coverage in order to get your license back. A SR-22 form classifies you as a high-risk driver, and makes it so when you go to insure your car, the insurance company will be notified of your DUI conviction. Some insurance companies do not have a SR-22 policy, and therefore you may be dropped or not allowed to renew your plan. If you are with a company that does not cover SR-22 drivers, you will be able to find one that does easily enough. Though be prepared to pay a substantially higher rate, as not only will your deductible will be higher, but you will be forced to purchase liability coverage at a high-risk driver price.

    Don’t Try to Cheat the System:

    It is possible that your rates may not increase after a DUI charge. If you live in a state that does not require a SR-22 form to be filed, or if you switch insurance companies, sometimes the red tape falls between the cracks. This is not a smart way to go about insuring your car. If your new insurance company catches you, it may affect your ability to be insured with your provider and other companies as well. Having a DUI charge can affect the price and coverage options you have available when purchasing life insurance also.

    If you have been charged with a drunk driving violation, then you are probably having a lot of mixed emotions and wondering where to turn to next. The best advice is to learn from your mistake, take the rehabilitation seriously, and be thankful you didn’t hurt yourself or anyone else. Your insurance rates will go up, but if you are smart and don’t make the same mistake twice than most insurance companies will give you a chance to prove you are no longer a high-risk driver. If you are a person who drinks and drives regularly, this should be a warning sign of worse things to come if you don’t change your ways. Remember if all else fails, just take a taxi.