Car insurance after a DUI/DWI Author:    Posted under: Auto InsuranceAuto Insurance questions answeredAuto Insurance Ratings and Factors

Driving under the influence (of alcohol or narcotic substance) or Driving While Intoxicated is a serious offense. Because of the toughened laws against drunken driving due to the danger this poses – of you killing yourself or others or damaging property, you can expect that a DUI arrest will result in court proceedings, costly fines, community services, and even a stint in county jail for some. Aside from this a DUI will affect your eligibility for car insurance, or at the very least cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket.

From an insurance company’s standpoint, drunken drivers are the worst risks to take on. These are not uncommon scenarios: either the person convicted of DUI stops paying his premiums due to significantly increased rates which causes his policy to lapse, or the insurance company cancels his coverage altogether.

Laws regarding DUIs and car insurance vary from one state to another. In most states, police officers are given the authority to cancel or suspend a drunk driver’s license right at the crime scene. Drunk drivers must then request an SR-22 form from their insurance providers in order for their licenses to be reinstated. This way, the offenders will not be able to hide the arrest and conviction from the insurance company. This also ensures that you maintain adequate insurance with no lapses in coverage since you are required to submit the SR-22 form to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state in order to get your license back. An SR-22 also obliges your insurance company to inform your state’s DMV if it cancels your insurance, at which time the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license.

While insurance companies are allowed to cancel auto insurance policies mid-term due to DUI convictions in most states, there are states that require insurance coverage providers to wait until the policy expires and then issue a non-renewal; still, other insurance companies will terminate coverage because they don’t offer SR-22 policies. Be sure to check the laws regarding this in the state you live.

However, in states where SR-22 forms are not required from convicted drunken drivers it is possible, although a less likely scenario, for insurance companies to fail to spot a DUI conviction. Understand though, that if you do have an SR-22 and move to states where SR-22 is not required, you will still have to meet the requirements of the state where the offense was committed.

What do you do then, after a DUI conviction and you need to obtain car insurance in order to get your driver’s license back? Moreover, is there anything you can do to reduce your insurance premiums after a DUI? Fortunately, it’s not impossible especially if the conviction was due to a single, isolated incident. Your determination for a behavioral change is just the first step in the following process:

  • Hire a legal expert to fight your DUI case. You may be able to reduce the charge in a plea bargain or even limit the suspension period for your license. If your lawyer is successfully able to get an appeal at a later date, call up your insurance company and ask to be reinstated at old premium rates.
  • Take and complete driver’s safety courses, on top of the ones required after a DUI to show your insurance provider that you are working towards improving your behavior and attitude about safety on the road. This will repair your image and in most cases will be able to get you a discount on your premiums.
  • If you own multiple vehicles, getting them insured under one policy may get you discounts.
  • Likewise, insuring your home and autos with the same company is likely to get you a discount.
  • In contrast, a person with multiple DUI convictions will find it more difficult to obtain auto insurance, which for most is a small price to pay for drinking and driving.


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