How Will a Drinking and Driving Conviction Affect My Car Insurance?
There is a long list of things which can affect your car insurance. A drinking and driving conviction is a major traffic violation and it will without a doubt have a negative affect. No insurance company offers an "out" for such a major violation.
Rates Will Go Up
Assuming your car insurance carrier has decided to keep your business, your rate will go up. It will typically happen at the first renewal after the conviction is final. This means if your policy renews January 1st and your conviction is final January 2nd, you probably won't see a rate increase for another six months. It is possible to be with a company with super strict underwriters who might have the authority to make a more immediate change.
How Much Will It Go Up?
This question is tricky to answer. It is going to make a big difference depending your prior driving history. If you are moving out of a preferred driver status into this new high risk driver status, you are going to see a huge change. In some cases you could be looking at double your current price and possibly worse. If you were already a high risk driver, it may not make such a huge impact. Some insurance pools for high risk drivers do not even run driving records. You still pay a high rate, but if you were already paying it, you may not see much of a change in price.
Mostly your high risk status will be starting over and you will be paying the high rate that much longer.
Can your car insurance carrier really cancel your policy for a drinking and driving conviction? An actual cancellation happens mid policy and is very rare. Most insurance carriers will let you ride it out until your renewal date.
Then they most definitely can non-renew your car insurance policy. They are called preferred insurance carriers for a reason and that is because they do not allow drivers with major traffic violations to continue as clients. Often, thirty to forty-five days before your actual renewal date you will receive a notice of non-renewal.
If you receive a notice of non-renewal, it is a good idea to talk with your insurance agent. Ask if there are any other options for you. It is important to speak with your agent especially if you have an independent agent. An independent insurance agent will most likely have another insurance company to place your business in. Then you can keep your same familiar and hopefully great agent.
How Long Will a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance
Drinking and driving hit your car insurance for three to five years. A typical preferred carrier may make it so you are eligible to get insurance with them after the conviction is three years old, however you will still be paying a surcharge for an additional two years. Insurance companies each make up their own rules for how they handle DUI convictions. The standard is that the violation will affect your car insurance rate for five years.
Many states will require a SR22 filing in order to monitor your car insurance active status. Basically because you have raised red flags about your judgement behind the wheel, the state wants verification you maintain insurance coverage. With an SR22 filing applied to your car insurance policy, the insurance carrier will automatically notify the state of any changes to your policy most importantly whether the policy is in active or cancelled status. SR22 is not very expensive, but at this point any increase to your policy is a lot to bare.
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