How a DUI Conviction Will Affect Your Car Insurance Rate
A DUI conviction will drive your insurance premium up, and may cause some carriers to drop your coverage all together.
Your future as a driver can be seriously impaired if you have a DUI conviction. In some cases when the evidence is clear, even a good DUI attorney cannot help you avoid all the charges against you. However, a good attorney will help you prepare for the consequences you face by explaining the impact your conviction may have on your car insurance after a DUI.
Being Classified as a "High Risk Driver" After a DUI Conviction
After learning of your DUI conviction, your car insurance company may decide to classify you as a "high risk driver," which will result in an increase in insurance premiums. Just how much this increase will be is determined by each individual insurance company and policy, so your DUI attorney will be unable to estimate this increase for you.
In some cases, the classification of "high risk driver" can cause an insurance company to drop your car insurance after a DUI. This again is up to the discretion of the insurance company, as well as your policy history. Your chances of keeping your same insurance are better if the DUI conviction you face are the only recent activity on your driving record.
Options When Your Car Insurance Has Been Dropped
Most states require motorists to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage at all times. If you have been allowed to keep your drivers’ license following a DUI conviction and you continue to drive, you also must maintain car insurance. Even if your license was temporarily suspended, you must have insurance coverage by the time you return to driving.
If your car insurance company drops your policy due to your DUI conviction, you must seek coverage elsewhere. Florida insurance laws require you obtain a special type of insurance known as SR-22. Instead of the Florida minimum coverage amount of $10,000 liability, you must carry at least $30,000 in coverage.
Many of the major car insurance companies can refuse coverage to drivers with past DUI convictions. In this case, you will most likely have to seek smaller insurance companies willing to insure higher-risk cases such as yours. These companies often charge much higher premiums to offset the higher potential risk of their clients.
The best way to avoid higher car insurance after a DUI is to avoid the charges altogether. A DUI attorney may be your only hope of doing so, which is why securing legal representation early for your DUI charge is critical to your case. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better chance you have at reducing or beating the charges in your DUI case.
For more information on dealing with a DUI conviction, see our area on Living with a DUI.