How Does a DUI Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

How Does a DUI Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

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Getting a DUI will raise your car insurance rates by an average of 83%, or an increase of $1,484 per year. A drunk driving citation can affect your rates for several years, up to five in some states. Whether the charge is DUI, DWI or DWAI, you will often have to get an SR-22 form to regain your driver's license.

Car insurance rates go up after a DUI because a driver convicted of driving under the influence is more likely to file an insurance claim in the future. Your state's DMV will notify your insurance company when you get a DUI, so it's a good idea to contact your insurance company in advance so you can file an SR-22 form and get back to driving.

How much can a DUI raise your car insurance rates?

On average, a DUI increases the price of full coverage car insurance by $1,484 per year. That's 83% more expensive. In nine states, a single DUI more than doubles the price of car insurance, and in North Carolina and Hawaii, a drunk driving conviction triples it.

Some companies charge higher rates for a DUI than others. Progressive's rates only increase by $41 per month, while Geico's rise by $214, on average.

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DUI car insurance rates by state

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Which states have the highest DUI car insurance rates?

North Carolina drivers see the largest average increase in car insurance rates after a DUI, by 255%.

Michigan already has the highest car insurance rates in the country, so it's no surprise that rates in Michigan increase the most after a DUI, by $458 per month. Pennsylvania has the smallest increase, at only $59 per month.

State
Monthly rate
DUI rate
Change
Michigan$399$857$458
Hawaii$156$485$329
North Carolina$109$387$278
California$146$397$251
Connecticut$171$380$209
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Other factors that influence your auto insurance after a DUI

A wide range of factors will affect your rates after a DUI, also called a DWI or DWAI in some states. Location plays a big part, as do age, gender, company and how recently you were convicted.

Age: Car insurance companies generally see younger drivers as riskier to insure, so age plays a big role in how much your premium increases after a DUI conviction. Insurance for an 18-year-old who had a DUI in the past 12 months would cost an average of 47% more.

Time since conviction: Rates are also influenced by the amount of time that's passed since your most recent DUI conviction. Insurance companies generally focus on the past three to five years to judge your driving record and calculate your DUI insurance quote. Geico requires a minimum of 35 months' worth of clean driving before you qualify for standard, cheaper rates after a DUI.

Number of DUIs: An important factor is the number of DUIs a driver has had in the past three years. A 30-year-old with four DUIs can expect full coverage rates to be 52% more expensive than rates for someone with one DUI.

Companies: Every insurance company has a different calculation for setting rates, so comparing quotes from multiple companies can help ensure you get the cheapest car insurance rates after a DUI. Rate increases are partly based on your driving history, so the cheapest insurer after a DUI may not be the same for every driver.

How do insurance companies find out about a DUI?

Your insurance company might find out about your DUI conviction when it's time to renew your policy. Insurance companies typically check your driving record at this time to decide what your new quote will be, and your record will show recent DUI convictions. Not telling your insurance company about a DUI will not prevent rate increases, and your insurance company may drop your policy entirely.

But your DMV might alert your insurance company before your next renewal. The best thing you can do is be honest with your insurance company because you may need to ask your insurer to file an SR-22 or FR-44 form on your behalf. This form proves to the DMV you have the state's minimum liability car insurance, which is required if you want to keep or reinstate your driving privileges.

In 42 states and Washington, D.C., you're required to get an SR-22 or FR-44 form to maintain car insurance after a major traffic incident like a DUI.

When you ask your insurance company to file the SR-22 or FR-44 form, you will need to pay a fee ranging from $15 to $50. You may need to keep the form on file for three to five years, depending on your state. Some insurance companies won't file these for you — and if you have a long record of traffic violations, your insurance company may terminate your policy altogether. You might need to turn to a high-risk car insurance company instead, but expect to pay even higher car insurance rates.

How long does a DUI stay on your insurance?

A DUI most often affects your insurance for three to five years, depending on your state.

And you may need to keep an SR-22 form on file for three to five years. A drunk driving infraction can stay on your driving record for five to 10 years, and in some cases longer, but likely won't impact your rates for that long.

For example, Geico won't let drivers qualify for their lowest rates for 35 months after a violation like a DUI.

Three years after the DUI, your rates may return to their normal levels, depending on your insurance company. It's a good idea to shop for new rates at this point.

Methodology

Rates are based on millions of quotes collected from every ZIP code in the United States. Quotes are for a 30-year-old man with a 2015 Honda Civic and good credit. The driver had a clean driving record outside the specified infractions.

The coverage limits in the study were for a full coverage policy with liability, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Coverage type
Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible

Rates for 18-year-olds and multiple DUIs were from the five largest states in the country.

Quadrant Information Services was used to compile the insurance rate data for the analysis. The data is publicly sourced from insurer filings. Rates should be used for comparative purposes only, as your quotes may be different.

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