Auto insurance after a DUI in California

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California takes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol seriously. If you are charged with a DUI, you may be facing major consequences, ranging from a license suspension to jail time.

Additionally, getting a DUI in California is often expensive. You will likely need to pay a fine and you can expect your auto insurance costs to increase. The latter occurs because insurers view drivers with DUIs as high-risk.

If you get a DUI, you may want to consider talking to a legal professional to help you navigate the process. To help you on the insurance side, you should know what to expect to pay for auto insurance after a DUI in California.

How does a DUI affect your insurance rate?

To understand why a DUI generally increases your insurance costs, it is helpful to understand how auto insurance companies calculate your rate in the first place. Insurers take multiple factors into account when determining the premium for your policy. These include the type of car you drive, where you live, how many miles you drive annually and your driving history.

Driving history is a major factor in determining insurance premiums. A history of risky driving, indicated by past accidents or traffic violations, may indicate that you are more likely to have more accidents in the future. Because of this, a DUI conviction will typically increase your insurance rates.

California drivers can expect to see greater rate increases after a DUI than drivers in other states. The table below includes a comparison between California’s average premium and the national average premium pre- and post-DUI to give you an idea of how your insurance rates might be affected by a DUI in California.

National vs state average rates with DUI

Pre-DUI Post-DUI Percent increase
National $1,674 $3,336 99%
California $2,065 $5,163 150%

How much does it cost for insurance after a DUI in California?

After a DUI, you will likely face much higher insurance rates than before your conviction. To give you an idea of the changes in minimum coverage premiums and full coverage premiums after a DUI, we reviewed the average annual premiums pre- and post-DUI from a variety of insurance providers in California.

California provider minimum coverage rates

The rates below may not reflect changes as some carriers will not renew if you have a DUI conviction.

Provider Average minimum coverage rate Minimum coverage rate with DUI
AAA $1,073 $3,750
Alliance United $756 $1,709
Allstate $801 $2,521
AmTrust Financial $718 $709
Capital $743 $1,455
Chubb $1,234 $2,538
CSE $647 $2,390
Farmers $861 $1,500
Geico $521 $1,197
Grange $520 $850
Infinity $847 $1,383
Kemper $857 $1,203
Mercury $624 $985
MetLife $709 $4,657
Nationwide $707 $1,778
Progressive $668 $1,511
PURE $898 $2,337
State Farm $663 $1,890
The Hartford $768 $2,773
Travelers $675 $1,303
Wawanesa $652 $1,143

California provider full coverage rates with DUI

The rates below may not reflect changes as some carriers will not renew if you have a DUI conviction.

Provider Average full coverage rate Full coverage rate with DUI
AAA $3,850 $12,348
Alliance United $2,115 $4,613
Allstate $2,119 $7,247
AmTrust Financial $2,152 $2,180
Capital $1,582 $3,126
Chubb $2,987 $6,599
CSE $2,209 $8,644
Farmers $2,164 $4,166
Geico $1,615 $3,575
Grange $1,886 $3,188
Infinity $1,859 $2,922
Kemper $2,564 $3,525
Mercury $1,636 $2,642
MetLife $1,845 $12,172
Nationwide $2,155 $5,343
Progressive $1,808 $4,157
PURE $4,176 $11,313
State Farm $1,943 $5,122
The Hartford $2,328 $9,084
Travelers $1,794 $3,770
Wawanesa $1,599 $2,908

Other California DUI Consequences

Insurance premium increases are not the only drawbacks to being charged with a DUI in California. The consequences for a DUI largely depend on whether or not you have any prior DUI convictions.

If you did not cause any injuries, your first DUI may not lead to jail time, but you should expect to pay fines. Your license will also likely be suspended. The length of this suspension may vary depending on your blood alcohol concentration level, or BAC. Once you are able to reinstate your license, you may be asked to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, which will monitor your BAC and prevent the engine of your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol in your breath sample.

If you have multiple DUI convictions, you may face additional fines, license suspensions and even jail time. You may also be placed on probation or be asked to install an IID for a number of years. If your drunk driving causes an injury or death, penalties may be steeper.

Frequently asked questions

What is the BAC limit for a DUI in California?

The BAC limit varies depending on the type of vehicle you are driving and your prior DUI convictions. If you are driving a personal vehicle and do not have a prior DUI conviction, the BAC limit for issuing a DUI in California is .08%. If you are driving a commercial vehicle the BAC limit for a DUI is .04%. However, if you are on probation for a previous DUI, you may be cited for a DUI if your BAC is over .01%.

Will I lose my license after a DUI in California?

If it is your first DUI offense and you did not cause any injuries, you may not lose your license permanently, but you will most likely have your license suspended for at least four months.

Will I lose my auto insurance after a DUI?

Each insurance carrier has its own regulations regarding DUI convictions. Some carriers will raise your premium, but some carriers may not offer coverage to drivers who have a DUI on their record within a certain number of years. Talking to your agent or insurance carrier’s customer service department is the best way to understand the particular rules your company has surrounding DUIs.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a DUI, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

*DUI qualifies as > .08 BAC

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Kacie Goff
Personal Finance Contributor
Kacie Goff is a personal finance and insurance writer with over seven years of experience covering personal and commercial coverage options. She writes for Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, NextAdvisor, Varo Money, Coverage, Best Credit Cards and more. She's covered a broad range of policy types — including less-talked-about coverages like wrap insurance and E&O — and she specializes in auto, homeowners and life insurance.
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