If you have had a DUI, you could be facing an increase in car insurance premiums, even from the best car insurance companies. Once a driver is convicted of driving under the influence, insurance companies typically consider that driver to be high-risk. Research backs up this stance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol-related accidents cause up to $44 billion in damages each year.
Because drivers with DUIs are considered high-risk, insurance companies compensate by frequently charging them higher premiums. This can make it harder to find cheap car insurance with a DUI. The average annual premium for a full coverage auto insurance policy is $3,336 per year when you have a DUI on your driving record. If you have a clean driving record, the average annual cost of full coverage auto insurance is $1,674.
Understanding how and why a DUI affects your insurance premium could help you to find a policy that better fits your needs.
How DUIs affect insurance premiums
Car insurance companies use a number of rating factors, such as your age, the type of car you drive and where you live, to determine your insurance premium. When you have a DUI on your record, insurance companies are likely to view you as a high-risk driver, meaning they are concerned about the possibility of you causing accidents in the future.
Auto insurance premiums are based on risk. If you have a clean driving record, car insurance companies are more likely to offer you a lower insurance rate than someone with multiple accidents or tickets would receive. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. Some insurance providers will even deny coverage to drivers with a DUI on their record.
“A DUI means long-lasting effects on many aspects of your life, and insurance is just one of them,” said Andrew Winters, legal expert and co-founder of Cohen & Winters. “Generally, someone with a DUI charge can expect their insurance rates to increase and sometimes can even be dropped altogether from their insurance provider.”
If you have a DUI, knowing how much of an increase to expect on your car insurance may help you to identify potential savings opportunities.
National average annual car insurance rate with a DUI
The average cost of car insurance is $1,674 per year for a full coverage policy, but when you have a DUI, the cost of that same full coverage policy nearly doubles.
|Average annual premium for full coverage with a clean driving record||Average annual premium for full coverage with a DUI on record||Difference in annual premium|
Your DUI is not the only factor that can influence your auto insurance premiums. The state you live in also has an impact on how much you pay for car insurance after a DUI.
Average annual car insurance rates with a DUI by state
The cost of your car insurance after a DUI can vary depending on what state you live in. Each state has different insurance laws which can affect average premiums. Additionally, location-specific factors like population density, the likelihood of getting in an accident and the average cost of an auto insurance claim can impact the average auto insurance premiums in any given state.
|State||Average annual premium for full coverage with clean driving record||Average annual premium for full coverage with a DUI on record||Difference in annual premium|
|District of Columbia||$1,775||$3,302||$1,526|
Insurance requirements after a DUI
In most states, drivers with a DUI are required to carry an SR-22 filing. An SR-22 is a form that serves as proof that you are maintaining minimum liability insurance coverage. If you live in Florida or Virginia, you will need an FR-44 certification instead of an SR-22.
With either of these forms, depending on state laws, you may need to purchase insurance with certain minimum limits, sometimes in excess of your state’s minimum required limits. Your driver’s license may have been suspended as a result of your DUI. You will typically need to have an SR-22 or FR-44 filing in place before you are able to reinstate your license.
If you are advised that you need an SR-22 or FR-44 filing, you will need to call your insurance company. However, not all car insurance companies will file an SR-22 or FR-44 certification. If your company provides insurance for drivers with DUIs, it will file the form directly with your state’s DMV. If your current insurance company does not insure drivers with DUIs, you will need to switch insurance carriers to find a company that will file the SR-22 or FR-44 form for you.
How to find the best cheap insurance with a DUI
If you have a DUI, your car insurance may be more expensive on average than it is for drivers without a DUI, but there may still be ways to save. Consider the following options that could help you save on your premium:
- Bundle your policies: You can often qualify for a discount on several policies when you insure multiple products with the same company. When you find the right car insurance company for you, you might consider switching your other policies, like your homeowners insurance or life insurance.
- Increase your deductible: Increasing your deductible may help to lower your monthly payment, but you will have to pay more out of pocket if you file a claim. If you increase your deductible, make sure you can afford the amount that you choose.
- Change your habits: Over time, you can often reduce your auto insurance premium by demonstrating safe driving habits. When it has been three to five years since your last accident or ticket, you may see a decrease in your car insurance premium.
- Adjust your payment method: Many car insurance companies will offer you a discount when you opt for paperless billing or automatic payments. You may even earn a discount for paying in full.
- Shop around: Each insurance carrier has its own underwriting guidelines. Some companies will be more willing to insure drivers with DUIs and may have discounts geared toward saving them money.
Talking with a licensed insurance agent about your specific situation may help you find opportunities to save.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best insurance company for someone with a DUI?
The best insurance company will likely be different for each driver. Every driver brings a specific set of rating factors to their insurance search, including their age, the type of car they drive, the coverage options they want to purchase and their overall driving history. Because car insurance tends to be more expensive if you have a DUI, getting quotes from multiple carriers could help you to find the coverage you need at a lower price.
How long does a DUI affect auto insurance premiums?
Every state and insurance company has its own regulations regarding DUIs. Typically, you can expect to pay higher premiums for three to five years after your DUI conviction. If you can maintain a clean driving record during this time, you may be able to avoid additional surcharges on your auto insurance policy. Once your particular company no longer charges you for your DUI, you may see a significant decrease in your premium.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 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 clean driving record or DUI conviction, 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 base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, 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.