There’s no doubt about it, if you have been convicted of a DUI you have already faced many consequences and have been through a difficult experience. Your car insurance is another hurdle in the process of rebuilding. These days a DUI does not mean you are uninsurable however you should expect to pay a lot more than you may have in the past.
Once your car insurance company learns of your DUI conviction, it is possible that they may cancel your policy altogether. Some companies are just not in the business of insuring high-risk motorists. However, this is the worst case scenario because not only will you be faced with higher rates at a new company because of the DUI, but you will also face higher rates for having your insurance cancelled by your previous insurer.
If you are lucky and do not face cancellation, all car insurance companies will raise your rate because of a DUI. Exactly how much that will be will vary by company. Most companies look at DUI convictions on case-by-case basis. Of course other factors will be taken into account such as your history, your age and the car you drive. These other factors may help to mitigate some of the extra costs.
What is an SR-22?
You have probably now heard of an SR-22. In addition to higher rates, you may be required to file an SR-22 once you have been convicted of a DUI. This is a form which you may need to file with your DMV in order to have your license reinstated. The SR-22 is verified by your insurance company and states that you do in fact have the required amount of insurance for your vehicle. Most insurance companies will file the SR-22 for you.
A DUI puts you in the high-risk category of drivers. This means higher rates for at least a few years after the conviction.
Will My Rates Ever Go Down Again?
A DUI conviction is very serious and state DMV’s treat it as one of their highest offenses. A DUI will remain on your record anywhere from 5 to 55 years, depending on where you live. You may need to file an SR-22 for five years or more and during that time you cannot have any lapses in your insurance coverage or you risk losing your license again.
A DUI is a difficult experience, but with a bit of patience and persistence, and maintaining a good driving record, you can get your rates lower and back to normal in just a few years.