Okay so you were young and dumb and drank and drove home buzzed or stumbling down drunk instead of taking a cab and you got pulled over by the police. Now you are facing a possible DUI conviction that will affect every aspect of your life for a long time to come including your future auto insurance rates. Just how much does a DUI impact your auto insurance rates?
There is no good scenario regarding your insurances rates in the case of a DUI. Once you have a DUI on your DMV record that information will make its way to your insurance agent either when it’s time to renew your insurance or when they run a check on your record which they tend to do periodically for reasons just like this.
Once your agent finds your DUI conviction you will be deemed a high risk driver and your insurance company will either raise your current premium accordingly, as much as doubling or even tripling the premium in some cases, or they will cancel you completely.
Trying to find auto insurance when you have been canceled and you have a current DUI conviction that is on your DMV record is almost impossible and if you do find an agent to carry you, the rate will certainly be through the roof.
So what are your options? DUI laws and insurance coverage vary state by state but most states require a driver with a conviction to carry a SR-22 form that tells the DMV that you have liability insurance. This makes it pretty hard to hide a DUI conviction from the insurance company.
Only a handful of states don’t require a SR-22 including Delaware, Kentucky, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. In theory a driver in one of these states may be able to hide a DUI conviction from their auto insurance agent for years, especially if there are no other traffic citations or DUI convictions. Before you use this tactic, however, keep in mind that once your \”old\” DUI is discovered, your insurance company can take action and cancel you or raise your rates despite the passage of time. As tempting as it may be to hope it never comes to light, the odds are not in your favor and if your deception is unearthed it may be even more difficult to find auto coverage with someone else.
Your mother was right about one thing–everything does hurt less after enough time has passed. If you are able to afford the higher insurance premiums and you maintain a perfect driving record forever after, your high premiums will begin to subside with the passage of time. It may take a few years but eventually the sting of that DUI conviction will begin to subside and you will be able to fall back into lower premiums and be reclassified out of the high risk driver category.
So now that you know how painful a DUI conviction can be after the fact, drive smart, and don’t drink and drive.