Everyone makes mistakes. Some, of course, may be more innocent than others. Getting behind the wheel of an automobile after drinking can be quite a serious one. Getting hit with a DUI charge can alter your life in more ways than one, and none of them are positive.
Potential penalties, fines, and jail time aside, you’ll also be looking at likely increases to your auto insurance rates. Facing a DUI charge means you’ll have to shell out more of your hard-earned cash each month to the insurance company.
What are the average DUI insurance rates and what should you expect if you’ve been charged? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you should know.
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Car Insurance Following a DUI
Every month, you pay premiums to your auto insurance company. The rate that you’re required to pay is based on a variety of factors. At the root of all of these factors is an idea of how much risk the insurance company is taking on.
The bigger a risk you’re perceived as the more you’ll have to pay to convince them to take you on as a client.
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, there’s no question that your insurance company will raise your rates on you. They will have a perfectly justified reason. Driving while inebriated, it goes without saying, is one of the riskiest behaviors one can take behind the wheel. It does not reflect positively on your responsibility as a driver.
Insurance companies have to pay out huge payments following accidents caused by drunk drivers, and it’s not something they’re happy to be in the business of doing.
In addition to raising your rates, facing a DUI conviction will mean that you will be ineligible for a number of discounts your insurance company might normally provide. Safe driver discounts help many save money on their car insurance, but unfortunately, you will not have access to these discounts once your conviction is official.
How Much Might Your Insurance Increase?
Car insurance for DUI offenders can get expensive very quickly. There’s basically no other driving offense that will push your rates higher than a DUI charge will.
Even if there’s no damage as a result of your intoxication, a DUI charge can push your insurance premiums up nearly twice as much as an accident would.
Of course, the amount your car insurance will increase following a DUI charge will vary depending on a number of variables. Prime among these variables will be the state you reside in and the car insurance company that you work with.
On average across all states and carriers, you will likely see more than a 75% increase in your monthly premiums after facing a DUI charge. That’s quite a jump! You can see why many decide that fighting a DUI charge is the only sensible course of action.
Of the states, there are a few where you may end up on the cheaper side of the aisle. These include Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. On the flip side, states such as North Carolina, Vermont, and Hawaii can see what you pay almost tripled.
The car insurance company you work with will also have a big impact on how much your insurance premiums will end up increasing by. You might want to consider shopping around for a new insurance policy after your DUI conviction to see if someone might be willing to give you a better rate.
Progressive, on average, tends to somewhat more lenient in what they require in terms of cash increases following a DUI charge. Nationwide and Geico, on the other hand, tend to come down quite hard in terms of the increase in rate they tend to push for.
Your best bet, at the end of the day, will be to compare quotes from as many companies as possible ad see where you end up.
Other Potential Scenarios
There’s some other essential information you’ll need to familiarize yourself with when it comes to car insurance companies and DUI charges. For one, it’s important to be aware that you might be forced to do some shopping around: there’s a decent chance that your car insurance company might drop you completely after a charge.
A car insurance company doesn’t have the legal right to drop you right when they find out about your charge, of course. However, they can decide not to renew your account whenever your contract is up with them.
How long might you have to pay inflated rates for a DUI charge? In most cases, these new costs could remain in place for about three years. In some cases, they might stick around even longer.
You might need to provide a number of financial papers to your insurance company indicating that you’ll be able to pay the new rates. If you aren’t able to convince them that you’ll be able to afford the increase, they may refuse to grant you insurance.
This potentially could keep you grounded and off the roads.
As we mentioned previously, it’s important to look into the state laws regarding insurance and DUIs where you live. Each state has different rules in place and there might be location-specific information you need to become aware of.
Understanding DUI Insurance Rates
Getting hit with a DUI charge can be a low point in a person’s life. Paying off those DUI insurance rates can be a headache for years to come. The above information can help you prepare for what to expect.
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