How Much Does Insurance Go Up After a DUI?

August 11, 2011 No Comments »


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.

A DUI 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.]

So, How Much Will the DUI Cost Me?

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 $2,200 or $3,300 premium 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.

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 this filing – but usually not more than $30 or so per policy term.

You insurer (or new insurer) 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…you’re “done.”

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.

In any case, it’s recommended that you shop your insurance rate post-DUI. Even if your current insurer is willing to keep you, you may be able to beat their rate by going elsewhere.

Try an independent insurance agent who can shop your rate with multiple insurers all at once to get the best price.

Read more: Top 10 auto insurance myths.

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