When getting arrested for a DUI, the last thing on your mind is probably your insurance rates. However, once the dust settles and your case has been decided, this is something that you will have to seriously consider. In most states, you will probably have to serve some type of suspension or revocation period. But, once that is done, how will your insurance company react to your DUI?
Do Insurance Companies Learn About DUIs?
Unfortunately for a DUI defendant who gets convicted or enters a guilty plea for even a first offense, the answer to this question is, “Yes.” In all likelihood, because your license was suspended or revoked, you will have to reactivate your coverage. Sky-high car insurance after a DUI conviction is another prime reason why a defendant who is currently facing charges in court, needs an expert arrest review early in a case so a DUI has the best chances to get dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
Today in 2021, insurance companies usually run a credit report and criminal history on clients, so this will show up in those records. In addition, in most states, you must get an SR-22 (this is a document for high-risk insurance) from your provider to have your license re instated. Simply put, there is absolutely no way you will be able to hide a DUI conviction from the insurance company.
Will It Be Difficult to Find Coverage?
Yes…and no. Some companies, possibly the company you are currently with, will shy away from high-risk coverage. Your current company may decide to not offer you coverage, but you will be able to find a company that will. However, because you are now considered high risk, chances are your premiums will be higher than they were before.
Many of the companies that offer this coverage specialize in high-risk insurance such, so they naturally charge higher rates, much higher. In fact, it is not uncommon to see rates as much as three times as high as you were paying prior to the arrest and conviction.
How Can I Get Lower Rates?
If you are lucky enough to have your current provider cover you, the company may consider your previous driving record (assuming it was free of any accidents and/or speeding tickets). You may initially pay a higher rate, but your rates may steadily decrease over the next few years as long as you keep your driving record clean.
You can also take DUI classes or attend programs that will help lower the rates. Another consideration is the voluntary installation of an ignition interlock device to the automobile. Some insurance companies will look at this as a proactive approach ensuring that you are not getting behind the wheel after drinking. Consult with your insurance provider for more information on how you can lower your rates with this specific company.
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