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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 there was an alcohol-related traffic fatality in the United States every 51 minutes. Driving under the influence of alcohol can have serious consequences and penalties, not to mention the added risk of injuring yourself and others. Because of the potential devastating consequences of drunk driving, insurance companies take these infractions very seriously.

How A DUI Affects Insurance RatesFor some insurance policies a DUI conviction may mean a premium hike or a cancellation of your policy. Attempting to search for a new insurance policy with a DUI and a cancellation on your record is not a positive combination. Laws regarding DUIs and car insurance coverage vary by state, but generally you can bet your license will be suspended upon conviction. In order to get your license renewed most states require DUI offenders to get a form called an SR-22.

The SR-22 requires you to notify your insurance company of your offense because you must provide it to the DMV prove that you have liability insurance. It also requires your insurance company to notify your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) if it cancels your auto insurance for any reason. On the other hand, some car insurance companies don't offer SR-22 policies which would force you to find a new company that will accept an SR-22 policy.

A serious infraction such as a DUI will most definitely classify you as a high risk driver to your current insurance company and any other companies you attempt to sign with. It will be up to you to contact your car insurance carrier to obtain an SR-22 and obtain a valid car insurance policy at their new rates or find a new car insurance company that has a minimum rate you can afford given your DUI.

For states that do not require the SR-22, your insurance company might not find out about your DUI until they pull your driving record which may be anywhere from every six months to once every three years. If you get your DUI charge reduced in a plea bargain or have a limited license suspension, such as 30 days, it's also very unlikely your insurer will find out about your conviction.

However, if the DUI is on your permanent record you may find yourself paying double or triple your old rates, or worse, having no insurance at all. In some states, insurers can't cut you off in the middle of the policy term, but the regulations vary from state to state so be sure to check on the laws where you live if your car insurance company denies you the SR22 insurance form that you need to get your license reinstated.

If your policy is properly canceled or non-renewed you will still be able to find car insurance from a different carrier, but the rates will most certainly be higher because you are a high risk car insurance driver. Keep in mind that when you have a DUI conviction it doesn't end with car insurance. Your conviction will follow you if you apply for life insurance and could affect your premiums there, too.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 1:56 PM  View Comments

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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc.
6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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