A DUI conviction can be life-changing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were around 121 million incidents of driving under the influence of alcohol in the United States in 2012. DUI charges can affect many aspects of daily life. Many insurance companies are more hesitant to work with people with DUIs on their records. In most situations, you can still get car insurance, but there are some added stipulations.
Important Auto Insurance Terms
Insurance policies of any kind can be extremely confusing. Automobile insurance is no exception. Before looking at how DUIs affect insurance rates, it is important to have a full awareness of what some of the most significant terms mean.
Your insurance premium is one of the most central aspects of car insurance. A premium is an amount you pay your insurance company for accident coverage. Your insurance company will adjust your premium depending on a variety of factors such as age, type of car, and driving record.
Your deductible is the amount of money you pay for an accident. For example, if your deductible is $500, you will need to pay $500 for your insurance covers the rest of the accident.
The Three Main Types of Coverage
Liability coverage is the baseline requirement for most states. It pays for the other person’s damage in the accident.
Comprehensive coverage covers various types of damage, except damage that comes from a collision.
Which is what collision coverage is for. Unlike liability coverage, most states do not require comprehensive coverage and collision coverage.
Impact on Insurance Rates
If you have a history of impaired driving, insurance companies may see you as a larger risk than a driver who does not have a DUI record. The higher a risk you are, the higher your insurance rates will be. Based on a study of a young man in New York, researchers found that your premium can be an average of $1,098 higher if you have a DUI on your record, depending on the company and the number of DUIs.
Factors that Influence Auto Insurance Rates With a DUI
There are many factors insurance companies consider when assigning rates for someone with a history of impaired driving. One of the factors is age. If you are a younger driver with a DUI conviction, your rates will most likely be higher than an older driver with the same record. For anyone younger than 19, one DUI in a year will raise premiums by at least 5%. The younger you are, the more a DUI will affect your rates.
Insurance companies will also look at how much time has passed since your DUI. They often specifically analyze the three to five years before you apply for a more relevant reference about your driving history. GEICO, for example, requires at least 35 months between a DUI incident and applying for insurance for your rates to not rise.
Unsurprisingly, insurance companies will also consider how many DUIs you have on your record. The number of DUIs you have in the last three years is the most significant factor when insurance companies are deciding rates for someone with a history of impaired driving. For example, a 30-year-old with four DUIs may have rates that are 58% higher than someone of the same age and one DUI.
Another thing to consider is the insurance company you are working with. Different insurance companies have different regulations and policies about people with DUIs. For example, a DUI charge can affect State Farm rates by 31.3%. For Allstate, the difference is 33.9%, and Nationwide’s rates change by as much as 47%.