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One of the major factors that influences your car insurance rate is your driving record. DUIs are considered one of the most severe driving infractions, so even a single DUI will likely drive up your cost of auto insurance. On average, Pennsylvania drivers with DUIs pay $3,731 each year for a full coverage car insurance policy. That is about 85 percent higher than the national average cost of full coverage car insurance.
DUI laws in Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence in Pennsylvania carries serious consequences, and exact penalties vary based on blood alcohol content (BAC) and driving history. At a minimum, a DUI in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor. If it’s your first offense and you fall into the “general impairment” category (BAC of 0.08 to 0.099 percent), you may be on probation for up to six months, pay a $300 fine, attend mandatory alcohol highway safety school and possibly need to complete a substance misuse treatment course.
Penalties for a Pennsylvania DUI increase in severity with the number of offenses and BAC at the time of arrest. For higher BAC DUIs, drivers may face fines of up to $10,000 and multiple years in prison.
How a DUI affects your car insurance in Pennsylvania
On top of potential fines and penalties from the state, you may be surprised at how much your auto insurance could increase following even a single DUI. At the national level, car insurance for a driver with a DUI costs an average of 53 percent more for a full coverage policy than it would for a driver with a clean record — but Pennsylvania drivers generally pay even more. According to Bankrate’s analysis of premium data from Quadrant Information Services, the cost of car insurance increases by an average of 83 percent for Pennsylvania drivers with a DUI conviction.
Car insurance carriers typically charge higher rates for drivers with DUIs because they are seen as more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors in the future, including driving under the influence. These behaviors may lead to costly claims, so insurers usually charge higher rates to compensate. However, not all carriers will write policies for drivers with DUIs, so you may need to shop around to find a carrier that will cover high-risk drivers.
If your DUI results in a license suspension, you may also need to file for an SR-22 with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles.
Finding car insurance after a DUI in Pennsylvania
DUI convictions generally correspond to higher insurance rates. If you opt for a minimum coverage policy over full coverage, the increase may not be as drastic. However, minimum coverage does not provide financial protection for your own vehicle.
It may be difficult to find cheap car insurance following a DUI conviction, but comparing personalized quotes may help you find the lowest rates for your circumstances. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team compared average insurance rates after a DUI from some of Pennsylvania’s top insurance companies.
In addition to average rates, we also evaluated providers based on customer and claims support accessibility, financial strength ratings and product availability to give each insurance company a Bankrate Score out of five points. Note that your rates will likely differ from these averages, and not all carriers are guaranteed to write policies for drivers with DUIs.
|Car insurance company||Bankrate Score||Avg. annual minimum coverage premium post-DUI||Avg. annual full coverage premium post-DUI|
Frequently asked questions
There is no one universal best car insurance company for all drivers. The best insurance car insurance company will likely be one that meets your unique insurance needs and offers you a policy at a reasonable price point. Taking the time to research and compare different auto insurance quotes may help you find the best car insurance company for your specific needs and budget.
A Pennsylvania DUI may remain in your criminal record indefinitely unless it is expunged or sealed. To get a DUI expunged, drivers must meet the criteria of Pennsylvania statute §9122. If you maintain a clean criminal record — meaning no arrests or prosecutions — you may request to have the DUI sealed after ten years.
Though not exactly new anymore, Act 24, the Driving Under the Influence Law, was signed into law in 2003. This is when the tiered offense approach was created and also when the legal limit was lowered from 0.10 to 0.08, which is where it stands today.
If you refuse to submit to a breath or chemical test or are suspected of being under the influence of controlled substances, you may be subject to the highest BAC penalties mentioned above.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, 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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base) and single DUI conviction.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.
Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.