Frequently Asked Questions: DUI and Its Impact on Your Auto Insurance
Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI) or alcohol impaired driving, is not only a legal offense, it can complicate matters concerning your auto insurance policy. If you have a DUI conviction and want to know its impact on your policy, here are frequently asked questions post-DUI.
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1. Does my DUI affect my auto insurance policy?
Yes. A DUI conviction, a speeding ticket, or any other traffic offense will show you up on your driving record. Whenever you apply for a new auto insurance or renew your policy, insurers will pull this record containing your driving history to date to properly determine your insurance rate.
2. How will insurers deal with my DUI?
It’s recommended that you inform your insurance carrier regarding your latest infraction. Upon notice, the insurer will probably take any of the following actions:
- Set a higher insurance rate because the DUI charge will earn you points, the exact number depending on your state; other states take actions instead of the point system in driving. Either way, you will be classified as a higher-risk driver, thus the higher rate.
- Cancel or not renew your policy for more severe cases.
In either case, you may have to enroll in a special DUI insurance coverage or SR-22.
3. What is an SR-22?
Known as Certificate of Financial Responsibility or Certificate of Insurance, an SR-22 is required to reinstate your driving privileges including your licence after DUI, multiple traffic offenses and more.
While not technically an insurance, SR-22 is proof that you purchased an appropriate level of auto coverage as mandated in your state. Your insurer will issue this certificate on your behalf, filing it with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The insurer will also inform your state’s DMV if your policy has lapsed. Indeed, your licence will remain suspended until such time as your insurance policy has been reinstated.
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4. Can I avoid an SR-22 filing?
In most cases, you will be required an SR-22 filing upon the order of the traffic court. This happens when you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated and other serious traffic violations.
It won’t do any good to avoid filing your SR-22 when you are required to do so because your driving record is accessible in all states. The reinstatement of your licence basically depends on it.
5. How much does an SR-22 filing cost?
An SR-22 filing will generally cost a fee of $25. Your insurer could bump up your insurance rate as a result of this SR-22 filing.
And you may be required to pay the filing fee in full if your policy covers an SR-22 filing.
6. For how long will I keep my SR-22 filing?
Notwithstanding varying state requirements, you will need your SR-22 filing for three years. Once the prescribed period is over, you could ask your insurer to remove it from your insurance policy.
7. What about my DUI? Will it remain on my driving records forever?
States differ when it comes to how long a driving under the influence offense should stay on one’s driving record.
But, a DUI will certainly outlive your SR-22 filing, which will have elapsed after three years. Five to ten years is a safe bet but it’s best to check the driving laws of where you live.
DUI violations will also likely stop earning licence points after three years.