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Compare car insurance after a DUI

How to get affordable car insurance after a drunk driving conviction.


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A DUI isn’t the end of your driving, but it can make finding affordable car insurance difficult. The bad news is that you can expect higher premiums, but the good news is that not all insurers look at convicted drivers the same way.

How does a DUI affect car insurance?

Some insurance companies don’t place big premium increases on people convicted of driving under the influence. However, other companies won’t offer any coverage — or only do so at a much higher price.

One main way to find cost-effective DUI car insurance is by shopping around. Look for a policy that has the right coverage at an affordable price, and fewer penalties for past offenses. Getting multiple quotes from different insurers can help you see where you stand.

What are my car insurance options after a DUI?

Different insurance companies look at different risk factors when setting premiums for those convicted of a DUI.

For example, some might set higher premiums on any driver with a DUI conviction, while another might raise costs based on how long your license was suspended. Some insurers might deny coverage until enough time has passed since your license suspension, so shopping around every year or so could lead to lower premiums.

If you can’t get insurance through a traditional carrier, you might have better luck with an insurance company specializing in insuring high-risk drivers.

Compare DUI car insurance

Find car insurance that covers you even with a DUI on record. Tap the Compare box to see up to four companies beside each other.

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
The General
All states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey
Snag affordable coverage for high-risk drivers, a marketing claim backed by our rate analysis which showed premiums less than $80 a month.
High-risk drivers can steer into savings from discounts and payment options like reduced premiums with a down payment.
National General
All 50 states
Nab flexible coverage and tremendous savings for drivers who have trouble finding coverage elsewhere. Talk to an agent at (833) 319-0553.

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What is an SR-22 and why do I have to file one?

If you’re convicted of a DUI or DWI, you might be required to file an SR-22 before getting back behind the wheel. In Florida or Virginia, you’ll have to file an FR-44.

An SR-22 or FR-44 is a document that your insurance company files with your state as proof that you carry an active policy with the minimum liability requirements. It’s your official proof of insurance to legally get back on the road.

Most providers charge a $25 to $50 fee to file an SR-22 for you. But the real cost of an SR-22 is the impact it has on your car insurance premiums. After a serious driving violation, you’re considered a high-risk driver, which means you could pay thousands of dollars more for car insurance during the time that you need an SR-22.

How much will my insurance go up after a DUI?

Most drivers can expect their rates to go up about 50%, although estimates vary based on your state and past convictions.

Ask an expert: Do car insurance rates go up after a DUI?

Joe Hoelscher DUI lawyer

Joseph Hoelscher

Managing Attorney, Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC

Most people don’t realize that even getting arrested or stopped for a DUI or DWI can affect insurance rates. A conviction isn’t required. This is because most states enforce laws requiring license suspensions and/or SR-22s for any drivers suspected of impaired driving. However, when a driver requests an SR-22 from their insurer, the insurer is likely to realize it’s for suspicion of DWI and react by raising rates or even refusing to renew coverage..

So, we advise our clients to obtain a “driver only” policy from a third party insurance company and request the SR-22 from them. Good DWI lawyers can often eliminate the negative driver history, prevent a license suspension, and avoid a conviction. In fact, sometimes we can have all of the records destroyed. However, it takes time, possibly years. So, by getting an SR-22 from a different insurer and through secondary coverage, drivers can protect their rates by not alerting their primary insurer to any problems before those problems have a chance to get resolved. It’s critical to do the process correctly, though, because adding coverage can be expensive and purchasing full coverage will cancel the primary coverage.

Average insurance rate increase after a DUI

StateAverage car insurancePremium increaseCost of insurance after DUI
New Hampshire$77579%$1,387
New Jersey$1,26647%$1,861
New Mexico$76346%$1,113
New York$1,23549%$1,840
North Carolina$656112%$1,389
North Dakota$63833%$848
Rhode Island$1,14825%$1,435
South Carolina$85427%$1,084
South Dakota$61627%$782
Washington, DC$1,1900.30%$1,194
West Virginia$85559%$1,360

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How much does a DUI cost?

Raised insurance premiums could be the least of your financial worries after a DUI conviction. In total, a DUI averages almost $3,300 for fines, towing, court and bail, license fees and alcohol education — but some states have significantly lower financial penalties than others.

How to compare rates for DUI insurance

When looking for car insurance after a DUI, these policy features can help you get the most bang for your buck:

  • Try companies specializing in high-risk insurance. Consider companies that welcome drivers without a pristine record.
  • Consider the value for coverage. If you need extra coverage apart from your state minimums, look at how much coverage you can get for the price, plus any free coverage or benefits.
  • Look for safe driver rewards. Find companies that give you a chance to lower your premium by proving your safety on the road or taking a defensive driving course.
  • Try telematics-based insurance companies. Telematics companies weigh your driving skill more heavily than your driving record, although you get steeper savings for lower mileage. They track your driving through an app or device installed in your car.

Factors that affect your 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 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 license.

Other factors considered may include:

  • Number of points on your license
  • Whether your license was revoked, 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 tested positive for other nonprescription drugs
  • Whether you refused a 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 generally reflects how risky the driver is. The exact factors considered and how they work them into the prices vary between companies.

How long will the DUI affect me?

There are many ways in which a DUI will impact you. You could lose your license; you could go to jail. And it will almost certainly cause your insurance rates to rise.

Some providers set their own time limits for how long a DUI will affect your premiums. In general, you can expect increased premiums for three to seven years. But the length of time an offense stays on your driving record depends on your state’s laws. In California, a DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years, but in Florida it’s 75 years.

Bottom line

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, it’s sure to impact your car insurance. Your insurer might drop you or raise your rates. But no matter the outcome, there are providers out there that will insure you. Take the time to compare your options to find the best one for your situation.

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