Auto Insurance Basics

How Does a DUI Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Find the Cheapest Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently Insured?

In the information age, the dangers and repercussions of drunk driving have become ubiquitous. Nonetheless, people do continue to drink and drive, and those fortunate enough to survive the ordeal with only a conviction by authorities will need insurance again in the future. In the eyes of insurance companies, however, these drivers pose a greater risk, and greater risks are costlier to insure, and require greater premiums. There is no such thing as DUI insurance, but below we explore how your quotes for auto insurance will be affected by a past conviction of a driving while intoxicated. 

How Much a DUI Can Raise Your Car Insurance Rates

How much is auto insurance after a DUI? To determine the impact of a drunk driving conviction on rates, we took a look at quotes for a driver living in New York, New York, Atlanta, Georgia and Roselle, Illinois before and after a DUI as a sample. We used the profile of a 30-year-old single man and drives a 2014 Toyota Corolla as a benchmark. Below you can see the graphs for our sample driver's rates in New York City. Premiums in New York City are already expensive, but can increase on average by $1,098 with a single DUI conviction, based on our motorist's experience.

nyc

Roselle, a small Chicago suburb, represents a random sample in exploring this trend. Nonetheless, our findings were consistent between the cities. Though rates were overall cheaper than in the Big Apple, they rose by a similar percentage for our driver -- 44% in Roselle to 36% in New York. 

roselle

Our un-graphed Atlanta data also showed a consistent increase of 31% rates -- showing where you live could have a big influence on how hard a DUI affects your rates.

Other Factors that Influence Your Auto Insurance after a DUI 

In our example, we used a 30-year-old man with a Toyota Corolla as our model profile, but there are actually several other factors in conjunction with driving under the influence that could increase the impact on your rates. We already showed how where you live has a big effect, but for more factors, we looked at how GEICO calculates car insurance rates in Utah as a benchmark.

Age: One factor we found was age. An 18-year old with a driving under the influence conviction 12 months previous, would have his Property Damage Insurance premiums be about 5% higher than a 30-year old with the same profile. In fact, for anyone under the age of 19, a single DUI within a year will be at least 5% costlier than for anyone older. The youngest of drivers will suffer the most in terms of insurance with a driving under the influence charge.

Time: Other factors include the time that has passed since a DUI. Insurance companies generally look at the five or three years to judge your driving record and calculate your quote. For DUI violations, at least for GEICO, a minimum of 35 months of clean driving is required to not have your premiums affected. For example, someone who had a DUI four years ago however would have their Underinsured Motorist premium be 18% less than someone who had a DUI in the prior 12 months, all else equal.

Number of DUIs: Finally, the most important factor is the number of DUIs a driver has in three years. A 30 year-old with four DUIs can expect their Bodily Injury premium to be about 58% more expensive than someone with one DUI (if they even still have their license). According to GEICO, an 18-year old in Utah with 4+ DUIs within the past year could be paying 116% more than an 18-year old with a clean driving record.

Companies: Different companies will also have different rules for handling a drunk driving charge. We examined the GEICO manual, but our quote experiment showed that different insurance companies will count DUIs more heavily than others as you can see in the table below. 

CompanyWithout DUIWith DUIPercent Difference
State Farm $1,616 $1,960 31.3%
Allstate $2,388 $3,198 33.9%
Nationwide $3,072 $4,516 47.0%

Final Thoughts 

A DUI is troubling for many more reasons than just your insurance. If however, you are fortunate enough for it to be a problem, it will be an expensive one (not even including the cost of an SR-22). Depending on your age, the number of incidents you already have accrued, the time that has passed, along with the other associated risks with driving, you could see your premiums increase dramatically. Comparing rates can get you cheaper car insurance, but in the end, starting a new record of responsible driving will be the only way to get your rates back to normal. 

Comments and Questions