If you’ve recently received a DUI charge, there are probably a million things running through your head. Your job situation, criminal record, and license suspension may be your biggest concerns.
Another consequence many people aren’t aware of involves car insurance. Some providers drop clients once at their policy renewal if they get a DUI.
Getting dropped from your insurance carrier may not bother you if your license gets revoked. However, you’ll eventually need to get new coverage. This can prove troublesome.
If you’re in this predicament, keep reading. We’ve put together this guide for getting car insurance after DUI charges.
Don’t Attempt to Hide It
If your DUI just occurred, you may feel like the best approach is to say nothing. When it comes to insurance, this won’t work.
When the DUI charge hits your record, your insurance provider will find out. Once they know about the charge, they’ll decide to either raise your rates or drop you.
The better move is to tell your carrier about the DUI. Your honesty may work to your advantage and your provider won’t drop you.
If you’re not dropped, expect your rates to increase. In the eyes of the insurance company, you’re now a high-risk driver. If you have prior speeding tickets or other traffic violations, your rates could rise exponentially.
You can expect to pay these rates for three years. As long as you keep your record clean during this time, they’ll return to normal.
Start Looking for Coverage in Advance
Let’s say your insurance provider dropped you and your license got revoked. Yes, you may not need auto insurance for a short period.
However, you shouldn’t wait until your license gets reinstated to start shopping around for new insurance. You’ll need to give yourself more time to find a carrier who’ll work with you.
Furthermore, finding the best rate will take longer than it would if you had a clean record. You’ll need to use this time wisely.
The last thing you want to do is wait for your license reinstatement before you start looking for insurance. If you do, you still won’t be able to drive until you’re covered.
Finding the Best Rate
Although there’s no way to get around increased rates, this doesn’t mean you can’t compare the prices of different providers. Put in the legwork and you’ll be able to do some damage control.
Many insurance providers advertise good rates for DUI offenders. Check out these offers, but don’t jump at the first one you see.
Keep in mind that the rates you get depend on several factors. The state where you live and the type of coverage you need both make a big difference.
Insurance companies also take your driving record into account. If you have a prior DUI, expect to pay a lot.
When shopping around, the best approach is to get as many quotes as you can. Don’t shy away from the major insurance companies.
The most important thing to remember is to disclose your DUI upfront. This will save time when trying to get accurate prices.
If your license got suspended, you may need to provide an SR-22 upon reinstatement. This form verifies that you have proper insurance coverage before driving again.
Once you get new coverage, your insurer will need to file an SR-22 with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This is also a requirement after other moving violations such as excessive speeding.
Depending on the state you live in, you may have to provide an SR-22 form for up to three years. If you cancel your coverage while the form is in place, the insurance company must report this to the state. The police will then get a notification that you’re driving without coverage.
Some providers like SR22 insurance offer specialized coverage. Look into this if you want to streamline the process.
Alternatives to Standard Insurance
In some cases, DUI offenders have a hard time finding standard coverage. This can happen as a result of multiple DUI offenses or a history of serious traffic violations.
If you’re in this situation, consider looking into an assigned risk program. States offer these programs to people who need to start driving again soon.
An assisted risk program provides liability insurance so you can get back on the road. This comes in handy if you need to drive for work but insurance providers won’t cover you.
Another alternative is called non-owner insurance coverage. Consider this option if you no longer own a vehicle, but will need to drive from time to time.
This type of coverage satisfies state requirements for auto insurance. You’ll be able to drive rental cars or borrowed vehicles.
Most insurance companies offer this type of coverage. It’s much less expensive than standard policies, even with a DUI on your record.
Steps Toward Improvement
Once you’ve found insurance coverage, there are some things you can do to start repairing your reputation. This won’t lead to a reduction in premiums right away, but it may pay off down the road.
A good rule of thumb is to obey all traffic laws and avoid further violations. When your policy renews, your rates may decrease slightly.
You should also consider taking defensive driving courses or DUI awareness classes. This looks good to insurance companies and can improve your chances of getting your rates reduced. Even if the judge doesn’t force you to take these classes, go ahead and participate.
If you ever need to change insurance providers, taking these steps will work in your favor. Showing that you’re proactive about repairing your record could lead to lower rates and a better chance of getting coverage.
Get New Car Insurance After DUI Charges
A DUI charge puts a stain on your record and results in many serious hardships. However, in time, your life will improve.
Getting car insurance after DUI charges can be tough, but if you follow this guide you’ll find the best coverage for your needs.
We hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to browse the rest of our site for more automotive content.