Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with consequences that can follow you for years and years. One thing that is guaranteed to be affected is your auto insurance premiums.
Auto insurance premiums after a drinking and driving conviction can get insanely expensive. Fortunately, there are still ways to save money on insurance. While not all discounts are available after a DUI, some can help you take a little break from your premiums.
How Does a DUI Affect Auto Insurance?
Not only will you face legal penalties as a result of a DUI, but issues will arise with your auto insurance coverage as well. Your insurer can completely abandon you, especially if this is not your first major traffic violation.
If you’re lucky and your coverage isn’t canceled, your insurance premiums are bound to go up. Your monthly premiums could jump hundreds of dollars following a DUI. Typically, these increased rates don’t last forever, but they can still be financially damaging.
SR22 insurance after a DUI conviction
Chances are, following a drinking and driving conviction, you will need to purchase SR-22 vehicle insurance. SR22 insurance is not a type of insurance but documentation that proves to the state that you have at least the minimum compulsory insurance amount. It is generally required for drivers labeled as high risk.
Being convicted of a DUI is just one of the ways you can be hit with an SR22 filing requirement. If this is the case for you, you will need to alert your insurance company, who will file it for you. If your insurer doesn’t offer this service, you’ll need to look for one that does. An SR22 deposit may incur additional charges, so you should be aware of this.
Insurance discounts for drivers with a DUI
Following a conviction for impaired driving, any good driver / safe driving discount offered by your insurer is immediately available to you. This is probably obvious given that driving under the influence is the opposite of safe driving.
However, there are still several discounts you may be eligible for. You may have to shop around to find the right ones for you, but it will be worth it as insurance premiums skyrocket after a DUI. Below are some auto insurance discounts that you can use even with the DUI fault on your driving record.
Many insurance companies reward you for being their customer for an extended period of time.
The number of years you need to be with a supplier to receive a loyalty discount varies by company.
Some start after five years, others require you to wait a decade. Some insurers also don’t offer traditional discounts and will instead offer long-time customers an accident-on-an-accident discount, but that may not be on the table given your DUI belief. Regarding cash discounts, savings range from 2% to 10%.
Bundling is the process of purchasing two or more insurance policies from the same company. For example, if you are a renter and own a vehicle, you can choose to purchase renters insurance and auto insurance from the same provider.
In doing so, insurance companies will give you a break from your premiums. This is still a viable option for you, even with a DUI on your record, since you need insurance no matter what. Bundling can also help you save considerably.
If you bundle your home and auto insurance together, you could get a discount of up to 25%.
If you are financially able to do this, try paying your premiums up front after signing a policy.
Sometimes insurers will give you a small discount for paying the premiums in full. This route also eliminates the hassle of having to pay your premiums monthly, leaving you less likely to fall behind on payments.
Missing payments are one of the main reasons insurers abandon their customers, so by removing this risk you won’t lose coverage. Discounts paid in full might only be around 15%, but it’s always worth trying.
Discount on security and anti-theft functions
Installing certain security and anti-theft features in your vehicle can help save you money.
Insurers like to see these features because they believe they will allow you to make fewer claims. Installing items such as alarms and GPS systems may give you a discount. The amount you’ll save varies by company, and not all vendors offer such a discount, but the savings can be up to 25%.
Having your vehicle identification number (VIN) engraved on your windows (a process known as VIN engraving) can also save you money as it deters thieves. Regarding discounts on safety devices, installing an anti-lock braking system (ABS) in your vehicle will allow you to benefit from a discount on your collision coverage.
Doing all of these things and more shows your insurance company that you are taking steps to be a safer, smarter driver after a DUI.
Defensive driving discount
Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who take a defensive driving course. Defensive Driving Courses share a number of valuable driving tips, such as managing road hazards, knowing other drivers, and dealing with extreme weather conditions.
If this option seems the right way to go, check with your insurance agent about your eligibility.
Many insurers only offer this discount for older and senior drivers, but a number of other providers encourage drivers convicted of a DUI to take a driving course. You could save up to 15% after taking a defensive driving course.
If you are an active duty military or veteran, you will likely qualify for a military discount.
Almost all insurance companies offer discounts to military and veterans. You can also search for insurance companies that specialize in offering various insurance policies for military and veterans. These providers usually have the cheapest rates.
If you are covered by a traditional auto insurance company, military discounts can be as high as 15%. Be sure to speak to your insurance agent to see if your military status qualifies you for this discount.
Professional / organization discount
Membership in a specific organization or having a certain job may entitle you to a reduction. Insurers usually give discounts to members of professional organizations or groups of former university students.
Sometimes a company will offer you this type of discount if you are in a federal government position. A complete list of organizations and jobs recognized by your insurance company can be found by speaking with your insurance agent.
The amount you can save varies, but it tends to be less, with average savings ranging from 2-10%. Still, there is nothing to overlook.
Other ways to save after a DUI
A DUI conviction can stay with you for years. Even though it will eventually go away, you still want to save some money during this unfortunate time.
Insurance discounts can only help up to a point, so it’s best to look at other ways to save on coverage after a DUI. Here are some tips and tricks to save on your auto insurance premiums:
- Compare the prices – The best way to find affordable auto insurance is to shop around and get quotes from local and national companies. Local companies may be of more benefit to you as they tend to cover high risk drivers, who you will no doubt be considered as a result of a drinking and driving conviction. Make sure you don’t wait to buy auto insurance. Your supplier can drop you off, and you want to get a new policy as soon as possible. Interruptions in coverage will not be properly settled with your new provider.
- Practice safe driving – If this is your first offense, try to keep it alone offense by adopting smart and safe driving habits. This can help regain the confidence of your insurer. Your rates will also eventually go down and you want to keep them low. Good drivers pay some of the lowest insurance rates in the country. Driving safely means obeying traffic lights, being aware of other drivers, and eliminating all distractions.
Consider adjusting your insurance policy – Reassessing your insurance policy can help you lower your premiums.
Maybe your vehicle is aging and you no longer have collision coverage.
You can easily drop it and your rates should go down. You can also adjust the coverage limits, but be sure to keep them above the minimums required by the state. Raising your deductible can also help your premiums.