Car Insurance After DUI

Recovering from a DUI conviction and getting back on the road might feel like a challenging journey. Apart from the possibility of facing legal consequences, there’s also the risk of losing your current car insurance after the conviction. If you manage to keep your insurance, the rates could go up significantly for several years until the DUI is no longer on your driving record. This period can vary depending on your state, ranging from 5 to 10 years or even more. It’s a tough situation, but The General believes that getting car insurance after a DUI shouldn’t be an impossible task.

What is DUI?

DUI stands for “driving under the influence.” It’s a serious offense that’s often linked with driving while drunk, but it can also involve driving under the influence of drugs or certain medications. In some states, having a blood-alcohol level over .08% can lead to a DUI charge, even if there are no visible signs of impairment.

Now, some states use another term, DWI, which stands for “driving while intoxicated” or “driving while impaired.” In places with both terms, DUI typically refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, while DWI generally pertains to driving under the influence of drugs or controlled substances.

It’s worth noting that in certain states, a DUI charge used to require actively driving the vehicle while intoxicated. However, this is changing as states expand the definition of “operating a vehicle” to include situations where a drunk driver is sitting in the driver’s seat or has their keys in the ignition.

car insurance after dui

How Long Does a DUI Stay on My Driving Record?

In different states, having a DUI on your driving record typically lasts for about five to ten years. However, in certain states, DUIs can remain on your record permanently. The rules for handling DUI convictions differ from state to state, but consequences may involve losing your driving privileges or needing an SR-22 to operate a vehicle. An SR-22 is a special certificate that tells the government you have the minimum required insurance for driving. If your SR-22 is canceled, your state might immediately take away your license.

In some states, there’s a points system to monitor people’s driving records. Points are added to your license when you do something wrong while driving. But here’s a neat thing – in some places, you can subtract points from your license for every year you drive without any problems.

Now, let’s break down the timeframes for how long a DUI sticks around in different places:

StateDUI Record Duration
California10 years
Texas5 years
New York7 years
FloridaPermanent
Illinois5 years

Remember, these are just examples, and the actual duration may vary depending on the laws of your specific state. It’s essential to understand the rules where you live!

Comparing DUI Insurance Costs for Drivers in the USA

If you’re looking for affordable car insurance after a DUI, it’s essential to compare quotes from different companies. USAA, Progressive, and American Family are among the options offering policies for less than $3,000 a year, on average, for drivers with a recent DUI.

We examined the rate increases imposed by 10 major car insurance companies after a DUI. The results varied significantly, ranging from a 29% increase for Allstate and Progressive to a 148% increase for Westfield. It’s crucial to consider the total annual premium, not just the DUI surcharge. For example, although USAA imposes an average 95% increase after a DUI, it still maintains the overall cheapest average rate of $2,751 per year, making it the most economical choice among top competitors. Progressive and Allstate also have relatively low rate hikes after a DUI.

Here’s a breakdown of average annual rates for a good driver, rates after one DUI, and the average rate increase after a DUI for some major insurance companies:

DUI Insurance Rate Increase by Company:

CompanyAverage Rates for a Good DriverRates After One DUIAverage Rate Increase After a DUI
USAA$1,412$2,75195%
Progressive$2,157$2,77629%
American Family$2,176$2,98337%
State Farm$1,959$3,23565%
Auto-Owners$1,628$3,363107%
Erie$2,144$3,39058%
Geico$1,716$3,451101%
Farmers$2,381$3,51748%
Travelers$1,852$3,67598%
Nationwide$2,041$3,67780%
Allstate$3,000$3,85629%
Safe Auto$2,647$3,87446%
Westfield$1,759$4,357148%

*Note: Rates are based on coverage of $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident, $100,000 for property damage (100/300/100), and include collision, comprehensive insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage. Source: Quadrant Information Services. USAA car insurance is available only to military members, veterans, and their families.

Cheapest DUI Insurance by State:

StateCheapest Company for Drivers with a DUICost per Year from Cheapest Company for a Driver with a DUI
AlabamaTravelers$1,824
AlaskaUmialik$1,808
ArizonaRoot$956
ArkansasSouthern Farm Bureau$1,952
CaliforniaWawanesa$2,599
ColoradoColorado Farm Bureau Mutual$1,807
ConnecticutProgressive$2,270
DelawareTravelers$2,620
FloridaGeico$4,150
GeorgiaACCC Insurance$2,176
HawaiiState Farm$1,823
IdahoAmerican National P&C$678
IllinoisMercury$1,990
IndianaIndiana Farmers Mutual$1,328
IowaState Farm$1,342
KansasProgressive$1,652
KentuckyProgressive$2,157
LouisianaSouthern Farm Bureau$3,315
MaineCountryway Insurance$1,267
MarylandGeico$3,020
MassachusettsState Farm$2,461
MichiganProgressive$2,073
MinnesotaAmerican Family$2,427
MississippiSafeway$1,990
MissouriUmialik Insurance$1,808
MontanaProgressive$1,425
NebraskaProgressive$1,853
NevadaAmerican Access Casualty$2,656
New HampshireUSAA*$1,347
New JerseyNJM$1,545
New MexicoNationwide$2,357
New YorkNew York Central Mutual Fire$3,811
North CarolinaNational General$3,020
North DakotaNodak Mutual$1,168
OhioUSAA*$1,204
OklahomaProgressive$2,119
OregonState Farm$1,592
PennsylvaniaTravelers$3,347
Rhode IslandState Farm$1,233
South CarolinaTravelers$2,172
South DakotaState Farm$1,830
TennesseeState Farm$1,810
TexasEsurance$2,302
UtahUSAA*$2,182
VermontProgressive$1,165
VirginiaVirginia Farm Bureau$1,349
WashingtonPEMCO$1,802
West VirginiaUSAA*$1,784
WisconsinUSAA*$1,726
WyomingAmerican National P&C$1,068

*Note: Rates are averaged among large insurers for drivers with liability coverage of $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident, $100,000 for property damage (100/300/100), and include collision, comprehensive insurance, and uninsured motorist coverage. Source: Quadrant Information Services. USAA car insurance is available only to military members, veterans, and their families.

Understanding How a DUI Impacts Your Car Insurance Rates

When you get a DUI, it affects how insurance companies see you as a driver. They consider you a higher risk, which means your insurance rates are likely to go up. On average, after a DUI, expect your car insurance rates to increase by around 67%.

A DUI can also have other consequences for your car insurance. In many states, after such an incident, you may need to submit an SR-22 form to get your license reinstated. This form serves as proof to the state that you have the required car insurance coverage. It’s a common requirement after significant driving violations, including DUIs.

If your current insurance provider doesn’t offer the SR-22, you may have to switch to one that does. However, be prepared for higher insurance rates when you make the switch.

If your insurance company provides SR-22 filing, it’s essential to do so promptly. Keep in mind that there is usually a flat filing fee, and the cost can vary depending on the state you’re in.

The duration for which you’ll need to carry an SR-22 varies by state, but it’s typically required for three years.

Here’s a helpful tip: Once the SR-22 requirement is over, don’t assume your insurance provider will automatically remove it from your policy. Take the initiative to contact your company and ask them to remove it. Also, inquire about the possibility of lowering your rate, especially if you’ve maintained a good driving record without any further offenses.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance After a DUI

Getting a DUI has consequences, like points on your license, license suspension, and hefty fines. Plus, your car insurance rates will likely go up when you renew your policy.

Here are some steps to find cheaper car insurance after a DUI:

  • Take Your Time:
    • Your insurance rates won’t go up immediately after a DUI.
    • Insurance providers can’t change your rate during an ongoing policy, giving you time to research.
  • Shop Around:
    • Look for better deals whether you have a DUI or not.
    • Check our list of the cheapest car insurance providers for DUI cases, like USAA, Progressive, and American Family.
  • Get Quotes:
    • Your driving history, credit score, age, gender, location, and car type impact premiums.
    • Get quotes from various providers, ensuring they cover the same type and amount of insurance.
  • Raise Your Deductible:
    • Rather than reducing coverage, consider raising your deductible.
    • For instance, increasing from $250 to $2,000 can save you an average of $498 annually.
DeductibleAverage Savings
$250
$2,000$498

  • Bundle Policies:
    • Bring your homeowners or renters insurance with you when switching providers.
    • Bundling can often get you a discount, and insurers may offer more if you insure multiple vehicles.
  • Improve Your Driving:
    • Maintain a clean driving record by avoiding violations and accidents.
    • Some providers offer discounts for good driving through usage-based car insurance.
  • Focus on Finances:
    • Despite DUI costs, prioritize making on-time payments and reducing debts.
    • Improving your credit score may result in a lower premium during policy renewal.

Remember, the key to finding cheaper car insurance after a DUI is to compare quotes, consider policy options, and focus on becoming a better and safer driver.

How to Find Affordable Car Insurance After a DUI

If you’ve recently received a DUI, there are a few steps you should take to either find new car insurance or maintain your current coverage:

  • Understand the Legal Requirements: Depending on your state, you might need to get an SR-22, also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility, to reinstate your license. If this is necessary, reach out to your car insurance provider to file it. If your current provider doesn’t offer this service, you’ll have to cancel your policy and get a new one before you can hit the road again. Even if you’re not required to file an SR-22, it might be a good idea to inform your insurance company about your DUI before your policy renewal for better control of the situation.
  • Compare Car Insurance Quotes: If you’re not keen on sticking with your current provider, start looking for policies that offer affordable car insurance for DUIs. You can lower your rates by increasing your deductible and bundling your auto insurance with other policies. Additionally, inquire about other discounts and consider usage-based insurance, where your driving habits can earn you discounts.
  • Timing Matters: If your policy isn’t up for renewal soon, there’s no need to rush into switching. Enjoy the lower rate of your current policy until it’s time to renew, unless your insurer decides to cancel your coverage due to the DUI offense.
  • Explore Alternative Options: While you can generally find an auto insurance provider willing to cover you post-conviction, having multiple DUIs might pose challenges. In such cases, you may be limited to high-risk insurers like The General or coverage through your state’s assigned risk pool. Keep in mind that high-risk driver insurance policies tend to be expensive.

FAQs

How much will my insurance rate increase after a DUI?

After a DUI, the average increase in car insurance rates is around 67%, equaling approximately $1,387 per year. To potentially reduce these premiums, consider exploring different insurance policies, completing a defensive driving course, opting for usage-based insurance, and bundling your policy with renters or homeowners insurance.

How long does a DUI stay on your insurance record?

DUIs typically stay on both your insurance and driving records for three to five years, though this duration can vary based on state laws. In some cases, even after the DUI surcharge disappears, you may be ineligible for good driver discounts for an extended period, like 10 years in California.

Can I still get car insurance after a DUI?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain car insurance after a DUI, and it may even be required for the reinstatement of your driver’s license. However, be prepared for higher premiums, with an average increase of 67%. If facing difficulty obtaining coverage, especially after multiple offenses, high-risk driver policies may be necessary, albeit at a higher cost.

How do car insurance companies find out about DUIs?

Once convicted of a DUI, it gets recorded on your motor vehicle report (MVR). During your auto insurance policy renewal, your insurer will check your MVR and adjust your premium or renewal eligibility accordingly. Even if not disclosed during the quoting process, any convictions will be visible to the carrier when checking the MVR.

What is the best insurance company for someone with a DUI?

The best insurance company depends on individual needs and preferences. Whether seeking roadside assistance coverage or prioritizing excellent customer service, shopping around and obtaining quotes from multiple carriers can help find affordable options despite the generally higher costs for drivers with a DUI.

What happens to my car insurance if I get multiple DUIs?

Multiple DUIs can lead to insurance companies deeming you a high risk and denying coverage. In such cases, your state’s high-risk insurer may be the only option, but expect exorbitant car insurance rates due to the elevated risk.

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