How much does car insurance cost after a DUI?

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In a nutshell...
  • Most states keep DUIs on record for at least three years, and some for as long as ten
  • Your auto insurance rates will certainly rise if you are arrested and convicted of a DUI
  • Sometimes, courts can craft a plan for a truly repentant driver that will allow you to avoid the dreaded DUI conviction

A DUI conviction is costly in more ways than one. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you will have immediate costs such as bail, court fees, and fines imposed by the state.

This can be significant; some states have a fine of as much as $1000 for a first offense, although most countries fall in the $200-$500 range.

You may also be liable for court fees; some states charge an “impact” fee to pay for their overcrowded courtrooms. This is before any legal fees if you hire a DUI defense lawyer!

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What is DUI?

Some companies will cancel your insurance. In fact, this is probably the most common method of handling DUI convictions by insurance companies.

Others will allow you to retain your coverage with their company but will move you to a particular rate section for high-risk drivers.

You may be able to find slightly more affordable rates with these specialty companies; however, your rates will still be far higher than the average prices for your age group.

Many states require you to file a form called an SR-22, which shows that you have insurance coverage sufficient to meet the state liability limits when you are convicted of a DUI.

If you have received a notice to file an SR-22, understand that most car insurance companies will not cover you, and those who do will consider you high-risk and charge you far more for your policy.

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So how much is your car insurance coverage going to increase after a DUI?

While this is a question that is impossible to answer accurately, as every company and every individual is different, some general conclusions can be drawn to show the disparity in rates.

Many experts quote a 20-60 percent increase in rates with a DUI conviction. If we take the median of those figures, at 40 percent, the average driver in the United States, who pays about $1,450 yearly for coverage, would expect to pay $2,030, an increase of $580.

On the other hand, other experts cite $1500 years as the average increase in premiums resulting from a DUI, so the higher of those percentages are probably far more applicable.

Is the annual cost yearly?

Five years is about average for a DUI to “disappear” from your record. “Disappear” does not mean that it will not be on your record; it means instead that the Department of Motor Vehicles stops reporting it to your insurance company.

If your state’s DMV reports for five years, and you have an average premium increase of $1500, you will ultimately pay $7,500 more for your auto insurance over that span of time than you would pay if you had not had the DUI.

If you have been charged with a DUI, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. A DUI lawyer, while expensive, may be able to keep the DUI off your record by pleading you to a lesser offense.

Another way you can help to protect yourself is to show the court that you are willing to do things to teach your remorse and to insure that you will never have another DUI violation.

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