A DUI can have a dramatic impact on your entire life, for the worse. You could go to jail, lose your vehicle and even pay higher auto insurance rates. How long will your car insurance be affected by a DUI?
Each state has a different set of DUI penalties. If it is your first DUI, you might be facing some fines and the suspension of your license for a short period of time. If you have more than one DUI, then you might spend time in jail and even lose your vehicle.
Your DUI is public record. Your family, boss and insurance company can learn about your conviction. In fact, insurance companies can even learn about arrests without conviction. How?
As a financial institution, they have access to background check information. When they set your rates, they can look up this information to determine how much you should pay for premiums. Unfortunately, once you are arrested for a DUI, you might become a high risk driver.
Governments Work with Insurance Companies
Governments work hand-in-hand with insurance companies. The governments use insurance to create an overall risk management system for society. Therefore, one of the provisions for your release from jail might be that you need to notify your insurance company of your conviction. How can they force you to do this?
Your license suspension period will be set by the state and they will determine what you must do. You might be required to tell your insurance company of your conviction before you can drive again. The government might require you to have your insurance company submit SR-22 form.
Car Insurance Rates
Your car insurance company might levy an immediate surcharge to penalize you for a DUI. They might even punish you retroactively. Your risk level has changed and they will charge you more money due to this change.
All insurance companies share information. Changing insurance companies won’t make much of a difference. You are likely to pay high premiums everywhere because you are now a high risk driver.
Most DUIs will lead to higher insurance rates for at least five years. In Alaska, a DUI will never fall off your record. Each state is different.
What Can You Do?
You could sell your automobile and drop your insurance policy. You could buy a new automobile and get an “operator-only” policy. You will still be high-risk, but your insurance will be cheaper.
There is a great deal of variation in states and insurance companies, but they all share information. Even if you move, the DUI will follow you. The aforementioned is only meant to give you a general idea of the impact of a DUI on your car insurance rates.