If you have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), it is likely that car insurance prices skyrocket through the roof.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), every 45 minutes a traffic accident related to alcohol in the United States occurs. Aside from risking your life and other people, a drunk driving conviction carries a serious penalty of your auto insurance company
Insurance companies can review records of their motor vehicles only once every three years or when applying for a new policy. It is possible that accidents, fines and DUI never appear on your official record of motor vehicles. However, if your insurer will discover a DUI it will be classified as a “high risk driver.” Acquiring a new insurance at the time of renewal is the best strategy, because rates can vary greatly between car insurance companies.
Moreover, an increase in rates may be the least of your problems, as your policy may be canceled or not renewed, especially if you are in a class of preferential rate. Then you’ll be forced to seek a new car insurance with a double burden for a DUI and the cancellation policy on your record.
The laws relating to DUI and automobile insurance coverage vary by state. Most states require DUI offenders get a form called SR-22 auto insurers, so that in this way cannot hide. This form DMV test the possession of liability insurance and eliminates the suspension of driver’s license. The SR-22 also requires your insurance company to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state if you cancel your car insurance for any reason. You will likely have to provide proof of insurance for a period of three to five years with your state DMV.
Some car insurance companies do not offer SR-22 policies, so your policy may be canceled or not renewed, because your insurance and cannot provide what you need Insurers can skip DUI convictions.
Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Oklahoma do not require SR-22, but if you have an SR-22 and then moves into one of these states, must continue to meet the requirements of the state of the SR-22 where the offense was committed.
Insurers can miss DUI convictions
It is possible that your insurance company would not know your DUI conviction if your state does not require you apply an SR-22. According to the Insurance Research Council, one in five convictions for traffic violations never end up in the records of motor vehicles due to lack of shared information between the courts and the departments of motor vehicles, or because a conviction has been eliminated through alternative means such as driving school. If you get a reduction in your DUI charge in a plea bargain, or has a limited license suspension, for example, 30 days, it is also very unlikely that your insurer finds out your sentence.
If your insurance company is not notified of your sentence at the time that happens, still it has some years that may elevate fees if the DUI is discovered later.