DUI and Your Insurance Rates
If you are convicted of DUI, in addition to license suspension, fines, and other penalties, you can also expect an increase in your auto insurance premium. The first question many people ask is how does the insurance company find out? If you are convicted of DUI, you will most likely have your license suspended for a period of time. When you apply to the state to get your license back, the state will require you to provide proof that you have insurance by filing what is called an SR-22 form. The SR-22 form not only informs the state that you have insurance, but also requires your insurance company to notify the state if your insurance lapses.
Insurance Companies Raise Premiums
So now that you have requested an SR-22 form from your insurance company, it knows that you have been convicted of DUI. This will put you in the "high-risk" driver class. The best result is your insurance company will continue to insure you but raise your premium. If you previously received safe-driver discounts, you can expect a hefty premium increase. Premiums that are doubled or even tripled are not uncommon. The worst result is when your insurance company decides not to renew your policy and drops you entirely. Now you have to reenter the insurance market at a point where you are one of the least desirable drivers for insurance companies to insure. Not only do you have a DUI conviction on your record, but now you have a prior insurance policy cancellation as well. Yes, this means it will cost you.
Obtaining Nonowner Insurance
Well, what if you do not have a car and did not have an insurance policy when you were convicted? It does not matter. If you want your driving privileges restored, you have to file an SR-22 form from an insurance company. This means that you now have to obtain a "nonowner" insurance policy. You will have to buy an insurance policy for cars you do not even own. How long must you linger in this limbo of higher insurance rates, having to purchase insurance when you do not even own a car? The shortest time period is three years, sometimes longer. Get a repeat DUI conviction and you can expect an even longer period and higher insurance rates.
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