How a DUI affects your Insurance Rates

The perils of operating a motor vehicle after drinking or drug use can have a number of serious consequences. As well as putting the lives of other road users and pedestrians at risk, motorists who drive while intoxicated also run the risk of picking up a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction.

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Although DUI cases are handled differently from state to state, most motorists will be expected to complete a form issued by their insurance company if they are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This form is called a SR-22 and serves as proof that DUI liability insurance has been purchased. A record of purchase will be held with the local Department of Vehicles and the respective insurance company.

Once a SR-22 has been filed against the name of a motorist, insurance rates will usually increase dramatically. Indeed, many major insurers will refuse to cover a motorist with a DUI conviction and although there are a growing number of specialist companies that claim to help those with a less-than-perfect driving record, premiums are normally highly inflated to accommodate the factor of risk associated with DUI drivers.

It is important to note that approximately 20% of all US states don’t use a SR-22 form after a DUI conviction and motorists could be excused for taking out an insurance policy without informing the carrier of their previous driving record. However, most motoring convictions are held on a central database and if evidence arises of a DUI against a motorist, an auto insurance policy can be cancelled with immediate effect and this will make obtaining future coverage even more difficult.

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