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.