DUI & Car Insurance
A DUI conviction comes with many penalties and life consequences – many of which can come as a surprise. One such consequence is increased car insurance rates. Once you have a DUI, insurance can be hard to get. You may even have to change car insurance companies. If you do find new insurance, it’ll be much more expensive than your previous policy. The reason for this is that insurance companies view people convicted of DUI as high-risk drivers. They assume that someone who drinks and drives once is likely to do so again.
In the long run, the effect of increased auto insurance premiums can have a greater effect on your financial situation than your criminal fines. This is one more reason to not plead guilty to your charges, and to fight back against the system with the help of a Chicago DUI lawyer.
For more information on how we can help you, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706.
Factors that Affect Car Insurance After a DUI
Not everyone is affected the same by car insurance rate hikes after a DUI conviction. Your rates will increase based on the following factors:
- Insurance company – Some companies take DUIs more seriously than others. Because of this, rate increases are not the same across the board.
- Age – Younger drivers tend to pay higher insurance rates than older drivers, especially after a DUI. This is because younger drivers have less experience and are already a higher risk to insurance companies.
- Number of DUIs – Multiple convictions leads to much higher insurance rates because the more DUIs you receive, the more of a risk you are to your insurance company.
- Time – The more time that has passed, the lower your rates will be.
While safe drivers can easily switch insurance companies to save money and take advantage of promotions, motorists with DUI convictions on their records do not have that luxury. Most insurance companies will not accept new clients with DUIs on their records. If they do, the drivers must go through a lot of red tape and pay increased premiums in order to keep their level of insurance.
What Is the SR-22 for Risky Drivers?
With increased risks come increased premiums for drivers. While there is no specific DUI insurance available, there is a certificate called an SR-22. This is not insurance; instead, it’s a certificate that verifies you have coverage. Basically, it shows the court that your insurance company is vouching for you and allowing you to have insurance despite the risks involved.
Not everyone needs an SR-22. The court will let you know if you need one. Typically, people with DUIs and serious moving violations need one. If you do need one, you’ll have to request it from your insurance company. An SR-22 can usually be taken off your insurance policy after several years.
Are there Less Expensive Alternatives?
There are a couple options to consider if you are facing insurance hikes. You can get rid of your car and insurance policy and instead get what is called non-owner car insurance. You won’t need a traditional policy because you have no car to insure. However, you’ll still have insurance so you can drive when you need to, whether you’re renting a car or borrowing a car belonging to a friend or family member.
How O’Meara Law Help
After a DUI conviction, getting car insurance can be a complicated process. Your conviction will stay on your record for life, and for many years you will see inflated prices for premiums.
The best way to avoid increased auto insurance premiums is to avoid a DUI conviction. With no conviction on your record, insurance companies won’t have a reason to raise your rates. You may think that fighting the system and winning your DUI case is out of reach, but there may be several defenses applicable to your case.
To find out more, call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.