Can drivers convicted of drunk driving get car insurance? |
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Car insurance for drivers convicted of drunk driving

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Is it possible to get car insurance following a drunk driving conviction?

A DUI isn’t the end of your time on the road, but it does mean it can be more difficult to find affordable car insurance. The bad news is that you can typically expect to pay higher premiums or an additional excess, but the good news is that not all insurers assess convicted drivers the same way.

While some insurance providers don’t place any significant premium increases on people convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, other insurers will not even offer coverage, or will only do so at a considerably higher price.

Car insurance premiums will often go up over time, and can even be raised considerably by making a no-fault claim. As such, one of the main ways to find cost-effective car insurance is by shopping around. Returning drivers with DUIs can do the same, and shop around for a policy that has the right cover at an affordable price, and fewer burdens for past offenses.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and getting multiple quotes from different insurers can help you see where you stand.

Which insurers will cover you after drunk driving offenses

Whether an insurance provider will cover you after returning from a suspended licence depends largely on its risk assessment style. In other words, different insurers will look at different factors when determining premiums. For example, some might impose an additional excess, or raised premiums, on any driver with a previous DUI conviction while another might raise costs based on how long your licence was suspended, or not offer cover until enough time has elapsed since your licence suspension.

Compare insurances from these providers

Rates last updated July 16th, 2018
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Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
  • Multi-car discount
  • Bundle discount for combining auto and home policies
  • New vehicle discount
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Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go.
  • CoverageMyWay® helps you make smarter choices
  • Gain peace of mind with 24/7 claims service
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Allstate Auto Insurance
Allstate Auto Insurance
With a range of coverage options at affordable prices, Allstate auto insurance can be personalized to your needs as a driver.
  • Reward System for Safe Drivers
  • Bumper-to-Bumper Basics® Tool
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How to compare rates after a DUI

The penalties for drunk driving vary between states, which can also interact with car insurance prices in different ways depending on the situation. For example, depending on whether or not it’s the first offense, which state you’re driving in and the situation at the time, driving with a BAC of 0.05 to 0.08 may only lead to a suspended licence in some situations. Other factors considered may include:

  • Number of points left on your licence
  • Whether your licence was cancelled, or the length of suspension
  • If it was your first offense
  • Whether there were other charges, such as reckless driving, speeding or criminal charges
  • If you also tested positive for other drugs
  • Whether you refused or accepted the breathalyzer or drug test
  • How long ago it happened

Insurers set premiums based on factors that are statistically known to affect the likelihood of claims, which is generally a reflection of actual risk while driving. The exact factors they consider, and how they work them into the prices, vary between companies.

This risk assessment is largely completed by the underwriter, meaning you may find similar pricing and restrictions among insurers with the same underwriter. For example, IAG is an underwriter with a risk style that doesn’t necessarily rule out drivers with previous convictions, underwriting brands including NRMA, RACV, SGIC and SGIO. By contrast, Allianz has confirmed that their risk assessment doesn’t leave a lot of room for drivers with previous suspensions for drink driving or speeding and may refuse to cover people with recent drink-driving convictions.

How much will my insurance go up after a DUI?

While estimates vary based on your state, type of DUI and previous convictions, most drivers can expect their rates to go up by about 50%.

Average insurance rate increase after a DUI

StatePremium increase
New Hampshire79%
New Jersey47%
New Mexico46%
New York49%
North Carolina112%
North Dakota33%
Rhode Island25%
South Carolina27%
South Dakota27%
Washington, D.C.0.3%
West Virginia59%

How much does a DUI cost?

Your insurance premiums going up are the least of your worries after a DUI conviction.

Take a look at what happens to a Tennessee driver after a DUI. The Tennessee DMV claims you’ll pay at least $5,000 for a DUI. After calculating the initial fine, which can run $350 to $3,000 depending on the number of DUI convictions, then you add in fines, car insurance rate increases, driver training and court costs. You’ll also lose income and possibly your job from jail time, which could be as little as two days up to five months depending on the number of convictions.

Towing fee$75
Defense attorney$2,000
Court costs$200
License reinstatement fee$300
Insurance premium increase$2,000
IID installation$300
Alcohol education program$300
TOTAL$5,650 – $8,650

How to find the right policy

There are a number of steps you can take to increase your chances of getting cover in place if you have been convicted of drink driving.

  • Your options may increase. Even if your car insurance options are limited right now, you might be able to get lower premiums, or a wider variety of options, after some time has passed. You are able to switch car insurance at a later date, and might be able to get lower premiums when you have some more “clean driving history” under your belt. This is completely dependent on the insurer so you will need to speak with each when applying.

Get your personalized auto quote

Use our magical comparison tool to get a personalized auto quote from providers in your area.

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