Your life changes when police officers pull you over and charge you with driving under the influence. A DUI can result in the loss of your license. You might face a significant fine. And you’ll have a serious crime on your record. But what are the effects of driving under the influence on your auto insurance rates?
In short, you’ll pay more for car insurance if you have a DUI on your driving record. And the odds are good that you’ll pay a lot more.
Insurance companies charge higher rates to drivers whom they consider to be high-risk. This makes financial sense; high-risk drivers are more likely to suffer serious car accidents that require big payouts from their auto insurers. Insurance companies view drivers with DUIs on their driving records as high-risk drivers, and will charge them higher rates.
The more difficult question to answer? How high will your particular rate climb after a DUI? Insurance companies consider several factors when determining how much each of their customers pay for insurance. Customers’ driving records are just one part of a bigger equation.
For instance, auto insurers tend to charge drivers less if they install a security system on their vehicles. Others provide lower rates for customers who leave their cars at home during the week and take public transportation to work. Drivers who live in zip codes with less car thefts will pay lower rates, too.
If you want to know the exact effects of driving under the influence on your specific auto insurance policy, you’ll need to call your insurer. Only by talking with your insurance agent they will you get an accurate picture of how your auto insurance rates will change.
One thing is certain, though; once your DUI becomes official, you can expect your auto insurance rates to rise as your insurance company moves you into the high-risk-driver category.
You might know that you have plenty of resources at your fingertips to help you find fast and easy online quotes for car insurance, but how do you know when you’re overdue to compare auto quotes? That answer’s easy. Any time one of the following scenarios comes to fruition, you know it’s high time to shop around:
• A moving violation or accident has fallen off your record and your rates haven’t dropped.
• You’ve been with your insurer for a few years and are still paying the same introductory premiums.
Moving violations and accidents usually fall off your driving record after 3 years. The reason it’s important to track precisely when these infractions fall off your record is because their presence (as well as their absence) can have a significant impact on the amount of money you pay for auto insurance.
Remember, auto insurers aren’t complacent. They compete for your business—some better than others. A big part of this competition hinges on their ability to give you the most competitive rates around. If your current insurer isn’t on the ball ready to offer you lower rates, it’s time to compare auto quotes and see who is.
Your ability to compare auto quotes quickly and conveniently is determined in large part by your level of preparedness. If you’re the kind of person who’ll never have to worry about being labeled “over prepared,” then the information below is especially for you.
- Are you the only driver you’re insuring, or are there others in your family you’re looking to obtain coverage for? If that’s the case, you’ll need to have their name, date of birth, and information about their driving record.
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle or vehicles you want to insure, including the VIN number for each, the current odometer reading, and an estimate on how many miles a year they’re driven.
- Your driver’s license. Auto insurers like to know the people they insure are licensed to operate a moving vehicle.
- Whether your car is equipped with air bags, anti-lock brakes, and an anti-theft device. In a lot of cases, website comparison tools will pre-populate information that’s a given (like whether your make and model of vehicle came equipped with ABS by default) but it’s best to know all of this ahead of time, just in case.
- Information on your current auto insurer, as well as details on who’s financing your car.
Getting a quick car insurance quote is also dependent on your ability to process the information you’re being given. If you’re not familiar with car insurance terms, it might be a good idea to brush up on your insurance vocabulary before you compare auto quotes.