- April 19, 2017
- Posted by: Liam Dai
- Category: Uncategorized
Car Insurance after DUI?
We’ve all made mistakes in our lives, but none can change the course of your life the way a DUI/DWI can. If you’ve driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol and have been determined by police to be a danger to public, you’ve likely been charged with a DUI, driving under the influence, or DWI (driving while intoxicated).
But what happens afterwards when you are trying to be insured for driving afterwards? Your driving record plays a major role in determining what you pay for car insurance. And a prior conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) suggests a risky driving history, which translates to higher car insurance rates. In this article, we’ll take a look at what drivers can expect after a DUI/DWI.
What’s the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?
Before we begin, if you’re asking yourself what’s the difference between a DUI and DWI, the answer is that they’re relatively interchangeable. In fact, some states complicate matters by designating a person as OUI (operating under the influence). Essentially, these designations are reserved for the type of impairment (ie. drugs or alcohol), but to an insurer’s eyes, they all mean the same thing: increased risk. And risk is expensive!
High-risk Driving equals Higher Premiums
The amount you pay on your car insurance premiums depends largely on what your insurance company considers your risk and likelihood of being involved in an accident. No one disputes that drunk driving (or drug-impaired) is incredibly dangerous and risky; more than 10,000 people lose their lives each year (according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), not to mention property damage [ADD LINK TO “What is Homeowners Insurance”] and non-fatal injuries.
Alcohol and other drugs/intoxicants affects the central nervous system, impairing your ability to make precise decision, reducing reaction times and assessing dangerous situations. Research studies have shown that having an blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .09 increases the likelihood of a fatal crash 11 times more than sober drivers! Because of this statistic, every state (and the District of Columbia) has passed legislation that makes it illegal to operate a moving vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher.
The penalties are stiff, with heavy fines, mandatory diversion driving, and/or suspension of driving privileges. Every state is different in the way they handle a DUI/DWI; insurance companies are no exception, nor is there a standard policy. However, you can expect your premium to drastically increase, sometimes as much as a few hundred dollars.
After a Conviction: What Forms Do I Need?
Depending on the state in which you reside, for those who are caught and convicted of DUIs, certain forms may be required to certify insurance coverage. When applying for an insurance policy, be sure to ask your insurer if you are required to provide an SR-22, FR-44, or an FR-19. These forms, sometimes referred to as a certificate of insurance or a financial responsibility filing, are often required by states for a proof of financial responsibility before driving again. These forms essentially state that you carry the state-required amount of car insurance coverage.
Your insurance company typically files these forms on your behalf, with the cost being around $25 (and up). While the SR-22 is the most common, Maryland and Delaware typically require you to file an FR-19; Florida and Virginia typically require an FR-44.
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Getting your life on track after a DUI/DWI is no easy task. It helps to be knowledgeable about what your insurance company may decide to do—some companies refuse outright to cover drivers after an incident like this, while others charge exorbitant rates that play on your desperation.
However, it can be extremely helpful to have an insurance expert guide you towards the best policy. That’s why we recommend you contact the insurance advisors at RiskBlock so can find the most affordable rates and the best coverage.