Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2021

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Insurance Q&A: “How much does insurance go up after a DUI?”

We’ll spare you the stern “talking to,” and get straight to the details here.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest insurance no-no’s out there and therefore one of the costliest factors for premium rating.

In fact, you can expect the increase in insurance premium to be your single biggest expense associated with your DUI (assuming no accident and subsequent lawsuit).

Put simply, insurance premiums are based on the statistical risk of an individual filing an insurance claim, which obviously costs the insurer money.

There are too many individual factors to provide an exact estimate, but there are some general guidelines to what you may expect.

[How car insurance rates are determined.]

How much will a DUI cost you?

There is no exact “surcharge” for a DUI. Every insurer is different, but the general consensus is you may get dinged for about double or even triple your current premium.

For example; if you were at $1,100 prior to your DUI, you might see a rate increase to $2,200 or $3,300 for at least three years, but up to as many as seven.

Don’t let those numbers scare you. If you had an otherwise clean driving record and great credit (insurance score) you may fall into the lower “charge” category where you might see a 50% (or so) increase over your current premium.

By the way, that’s if your insurer will continue to offer you coverage. Your policy may be cancelled or you might be denied coverage in the standard market. It all depends on what type of insurer you had coverage with.

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Have you been denied insurance coverage because of a DUI?

If you happen to be denied coverage as a result of the DUI, you may have to seek coverage in the residual market, also referred to as the assigned risk pool for your state.

Assigned risk insurers have to offer coverage to EVERYONE…at least to those who cannot get coverage from a regular insurance company.

Your state offers this type of insurance because it’s not legal to drive without insurance. Therefore, the state must offer a program that gives you options. Expect to pay through the nose here as well.

You will likely have to obtain an SR22 from your insurer as well. This is not a “type of coverage,” rather a “filing” sent from your insurer to the state to prove you have coverage in force at all times.

There is a fee associated with filing an SR-22 form – but usually not more than $30 or so per policy term.

Your auto insurance company will send the state a “note” every month showing that you either have or don’t have “in-force” coverage.

If the state doesn’t get the “note,” your license is likely suspended, effective immediately. If you get pulled over and can’t show proof of insurance…your driving privileges are getting revoked.

And you could add driving on a suspended license to your record and will likely be “uninsurable,” other than in a state run assigned risk pool.

How can you save money on car insurance after a DUI?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: If you got a DUI, it’s going to be difficult if not impossible to find cheap car insurance. That said, there are still some things you can do to bring down your auto insurance rate.

You can raise your deductible temporarily, though this will mean paying more out of pocket if you get into an accident. You can also remove some of the coverage options you have on your auto policy. You will likely need to keep your liability insurance (bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage) to maintain your state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance. But you can remove any types of insurance that are not part of the minimum coverage required (such as collision coverage and comprehensive coverage) and also lower your coverage limits if you choose.

One of the best ways to cut down on insurance costs is to ask your insurance provider about discounts. Though you won’t be eligible for any safe driver discounts, you can ask your insurer if they offer a multi-vehicle discount, multi-policy discount, discounts for vehicle safety features, or discounts for taking a defensive driving or other driver education course.

Also, learn your lesson and work on maintaining a clean record going forward. You can’t do much about what’s already happened, but you can make a commitment to safe driving in the future. Subsequent offenses after a DUI could mean losing your license for good.

What’s the bottom line?

It’s recommended that you shop around for and compare auto insurance rates after being charged with a DUI, reckless driving, or other serious traffic violations. Even if your current insurer is willing to keep you, you may be able to beat their rate by going elsewhere.

Rates for drivers with DUIs are expensive, but you should still be able to find affordable car insurance if you know where to look.

Try an independent insurance agent who can shop your rate with multiple insurance carriers all at once to get the best price. You can also use our comparison tool to receive multiple auto insurance quotes at once by entering your ZIP code below. This is the best way to find the cheapest car insurance company for your specific situation.

Read more: Top 10 auto insurance myths.