Will your car insurance be affected if you are charged with a DUI offense? You can be certain that it will. Even if you have been with the same company for years, you can rest assured that a DUI conviction will have serious consequences on your insurance, either immediately or several years after the incident has occurred. Listed below are the ways that car insurance will be affected by a DUI conviction.
You will pay higher premiums, anywhere from 20% to 50% more. If you are budgeting your money every month and just getting by, an increase in your insurance is going to hurt. With a DUI charge on your record, you are now considered a higher risk as a driver, and your premiums are going to reflect this fact. A DUI can affect your premiums for up to seven years or even longer after the incident, depending on state laws. This is a long time to be required to pay a higher premium for your car insurance.
Your premium may not be affected immediately. If you have had a DUI conviction and your premium remains the same, you may think that you will not suffer any consequences. Do not be so sure. Insurance companies may check driving records every three years. If they find a DUI conviction on your record a few years after it actually occurred, your premium will go up due to the fact that you are now considered a high risk driver. Just because your premium may not increase immediately after a DUI incident does not mean that you are off the hook.
There will be no negotiating with the insurance company when your rates increase. The issue of a DUI conviction, once it has occurred, cannot be fixed with your auto insurer. You will be required to pay a higher premium for a certain number of years, and there really is not anything that you will be able to do to get a lower rate before that specific period of time has elapsed. This can present quite a financial hardship if your rate has increased by a considerable amount.
Possible Loss of Insurance
You may even be dropped by your insurance company. Some companies will not want to continue insuring an individual with a DUI conviction. If this happens, you may find yourself without auto coverage and in need of locating another company to insure you. If your driving record shows that you have had one or more DUI offenses, you may very well have a difficult time finding another auto insurer. When you do, it may be an insurance company that only insures high risk drivers. You will be paying a higher premium for this type of coverage.
DUI offenses will certainly have a negative effect on your car insurance with higher premiums or even a loss of coverage. These repercussions can last for a number of years and will incur considerable expense on your part. With a safe driving record, you will not need to face these issues.
This is a guest post from Paula Hackworth, a contributing writer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. Visit their website if you need an Orlando DUI Lawyer or want to know more about Florida DUI penalties and their effect on car insurance.