Auto insurance rates are based on a variety of factors, but driving history is the biggest factor in determining the amount someone will pay as their premium. This means that people with a history of accidents and/or speeding tickets typically pay more for their auto insurance than someone with a clean driving history. Small offenses, such as speeding less than 15 mph over the limit will raise premiums less than serious offenses, such as reckless driving. DUI, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is probably the most serious offense in terms of auto insurance.
In most states, being convicted of a DUI has very serious and expensive consequences. Even if there was no accident and/or people or property harmed while someone was driving drunk or under the influence of drugs, the minimum penalties in most states are at least $1000 and having the driver’s license suspended for at least 30 days. Once a suspended license shows up on a driver’s record, the insurance company has no choice but to immediately drop the policy. It is illegal for an insurance company to cover someone who is not legally allowed to drive. Therefore, most people who get a DUI will need to shop for a new policy after their license is reinstated.
Finding a new policy with a DUI on record is very difficult to do. Most major insurance companies simply refuse to write policies for customers with a recent DUI on record. Recent is typically defined as less than twelve months. This is because it has been statistically shown that over half of people who get a DUI will get another one within a year. Some smaller companies will take a chance on writing a policy, but will put several restrictions on the coverage.
First, expect the premiums to be ridiculously high. A 25 year old male with one DUI can expect to pay at least $400 a month for the state minimum required insurance. This will only cover the damage to the other driver’s car in the event of an accident. After paying this much for auto insurance, however, the insurance company will typically impose some or all of the following conditions:
The driver can only operate the vehicle to and from work and school. The insurance company will not pay if the driver’s blood alcohol level is above 0.02 or if illegal drugs are found in his or her system. The policy is canceled in the event of any other traffic violation.
One year after the DUI, if the driver can keep a clean driving record, the premium rates may drop by about 10%. After three years, they will probably drop again by about 25%.