Can I Still Get Auto Insurance with a DUI or DWI on My Record?
To answer the question, “Can I still get auto insurance with a DUI or DWI?”, let’s turn to Mike, somebody who has been recently convicted of a DUI to hear his story.
Mike: “One night I had a couple too many drinks while I was at a buddy’s bachelor party. It’s not like I’m an alcoholic or anything. One night I just partied too hard. I’m sure that you’ve gotten behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink, but you were lucky enough not to get pulled over.
So there I was, trying to follow the white lines alongside the road. I was doing just fine – until they led me right to a sobriety checkpoint! The next thing I know, I’m down at the police station drying out. What an experience! I had to pay some hefty fines and schedule a court date.
After I was convicted of a DUI, my immediate concern was ‘What’s going to happen to my insurance rates? Will I even be able to drive again?’
Well, I was happy to find out that my insurance company couldn’t drop me or raise my rates immediately. But the bad news was that they decided not to renew my policy.
See, I had to complete a form called a SR-22. That was filed with my state. Not only does this show that you’ve been convicted of a DUI, it proves to the state that you have at least the state-required minimums for auto insurance coverage. My license was suspended until the state received the completed form.
Well, my insurance company did not handle any policies that required the SR-22 form, so they had to drop me. Fortunately, I was able to find an independent insurance agent who could help. Independent insurance agents represent many insurance companies, so my agent was able to locate an insurance company that would cover me.
That was the good news. The bad news was that because I was now considered a high risk, I could no longer qualify for any standard insurance policy. I had to go for what is known as “non-standard” insurance. As you can imagine, the rates were non-standard, too! I am now paying double what I had been paying for my standard auto insurance policy.
All because of a few extra drinks. It’s not worth it, I tell you. And it certainly won’t be worth it if I am convicted of another DUI. In that case, I doubt if I’ll ever find an insurance company who will cover me, even with the help of my independent insurance agent.
I’m trying to do things right. I attended driving school, I’m paying my insurance on time, I’m keeping my credit scores up and I’m obeying all of the speed limits and the other rules of the road. Because I am already classified as ‘high risk,’ I certainly don’t want additional strikes against me.
My independent insurance agent told me that if I fly right, my DUI could fall off my record in 5-7 years and I’d be able to qualify for standard insurance rates again. In the meantime, I’m trying to do things right. Oh. And I’ll be staying away from any bachelor parties . . . for a long time.”
A good tip: realize that insurance policies and laws surrounding DUI and DWI are complex. Insurance coverage varies wildly from company to company. Laws are vastly different from state to state. Your independent agent is educated as to the law and has a wide range of companies to provide coverage options.
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