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How Does a DUI or DWI Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Takeaways:

  • Our study indicates that drivers with a DUI pay about 42% more for car insurance than drivers with a clean record.
  • Every car insurance company we surveyed charges higher premiums for drivers with a DUI.
  • Your car insurance company might drop you as a policyholder if you are convicted of DUI.
  • You may be able to save money by comparing car insurance rates from multiple providers and by asking your insurance company about available discounts. Check out our blog about car insurance discounts that many drivers overlook. You can also review our state-by-state study that outlines the cheapest insurance companies for drivers with a DUI.

Study: How Much Will My Car Insurance Increase After a DUI?

In 2012, the average driver in the United States paid about $800 per year for car insurance. Those rates have only increased since, and in states like California and Florida, drivers can expect to pay well over $1,000 in annual premiums for minimum liability coverage—and that’s assuming they have a clean driving record. Drivers with a DUI, in particular, can expect their premiums to increase substantially for several years following their conviction.

 

How Does a DUI or DWI Affect Car Insurance Rates?

A DUI conviction can result in a significant increase in car insurance premiums–even if your record is otherwise clean.

To estimate how much car insurance rates increase after a DUI, our team compared insurance premiums for male and female motorists with clean records from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and drivers with a one recent DUI from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Our research indicates that a driver with a DUI conviction can expect to pay approximately 42% higher car insurance premiums than a driver with the same profile who has a clean record.

The test driver in our study was 29 years old and drove 12,000 miles per year. Our car insurance liability coverage included $50,000 for injuries to one person, $100,000 for total bodily injuries per accident,  and $25,000 for property damage liability. The same limits were included in uninsured motorist coverage. The vehicle in our study was a 2014 Toyota Corolla.

There are dozens of factors that influence car insurance premiums after a DUI including location, the car insurance provider, the driver’s age, and the policyholder’s driving record before the conviction. Although these factors will vary from one driver to the next, one thing is certain: A DUI conviction will most likely translate into higher auto Insurance rates.

Can My Insurance Company Discontinue My Policy After a DUI Conviction?

Probably. In most cases, a car insurance company has the right to discontinue a policy if the policyholder commits certain offenses. Because drunk driving is associated with a much higher risk of car accidents, your insurer might drop you if it believes you are too much of a liability to cover. Alternatively, your insurer might refuse to renew your policy.

Do All Insurance Companies Charge Drivers with a DUI More for Coverage?

Each insurance company takes a different approach to calculating premiums; however, you can expect to pay more for coverage after a DUI conviction no matter which insurance company you use.

If you were recently convicted of a DUI, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers. Some insurers are more lenient than others, and switching to a company that caters to policyholders with your driver profile could save you several thousand dollars over the next few years.

Besides comparing car insurance providers, there are several other steps you can take that may allow you to get your premiums reduced. Contact your insurance provider and ask about discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts to students, drivers who invest in automotive safety features, and drivers who install telematics to track their driving behavior.

At the end of the day, the best way to get your premiums reduced is to maintain a clean driving record for several consecutive years. Take steps to reduce your likelihood of driving under the influence such as forming a rotating DD schedule with friends, installing a rideshare app and, if necessary, getting treatment for substance abuse.

 

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