The Effects of a DUI Conviction on Your Insurance Rates

Insurance companies base their rates on the amount of trust they have in their policy holder’s driving habits. A DUI conviction may result in cancellation of your insurance. Rebuilding this trust can only be accomplished in three steps: taking a few specific actions, paying large sums of money, and keeping your record clean for a long period of time.

After a DUI conviction, the state requires you to obtain and file a SR-22 insurance certificate (proof of insurance). An SR-22 certificate will prove to the Department of Licensing that you have a valid auto insurance policy and are financially stable enough for them to reinstate your driver’s license. Your insurance company may not issue SR 22 insurance policies. In this case you will likely have to find a new insurance company.

The Cost of a DUI

The total cost of a DUI is often estimated at around $10,000. A large portion of the cost results from insurance rate increases. Over the next 3 to 7 years you can expect your insurance policy to cost 20-40% more. If you are a repeat DUI offender, premium hikes of 50% or more are not uncommon. Many insurance companies will not insure a driver convicted of DUI. Fortunately, there are insurance companies who deal specifically with DUI records.

The Consequences of a DUI

The consequences of a DUI conviction do not end with your court case. The black mark on your criminal record will remain forever. You must keep your driving record absolutely clean for several years before your insurance may consider lowering your premium. Any further driving offense may delay their grace indefinitely, and has the potential to compound upon the increased insurance rates you are already paying.

There is no way to escape years of increased insurance premiums following a DUI conviction. Your only hope is to fight the charge. Hiring a competent DUI lawyer is your best chance of winning. Even if they cannot win your case outright, it is possible your DUI lawyer will be able to get your sentence reduced or charge lowered. In either case, you will be saving a substantial amount of money. Though the expense of hiring a lawyer may seem daunting, the prospect of normal insurance rates over the next seven years will easily justify this early expense.