Premium hikes after a DUI conviction can sober you down


shutterstock_2087672A DUI conviction can have a sobering effect and no matter what you do, the insurance premiums are likely to go up steeply.  The DUI conviction changes everything even if you have had a clean slate before.  These are some of the reasons:

To get the license back

You will have to file an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility Form if you have to get your license reinstated.  This is because auto insurance post DUI conviction is an expensive affair and to keep you from avoiding the system by carrying insurance just for the period until you get your license back and then dumping the coverage.  Now you will have to have the insurance company file the SR-22 form along with the DMV and proving that you have insurance.

With the SR-22 form, if for some reason your car insurance is cancelled the DMV will get notified from the insurance company and the license would be suspended.  You also cannot do away without informing your insurance company about the DUI conviction, as the SR-22 form will make that impossible.

Auto insurance after DUI

Auto insurance comes in 3 flavors – the standard market, secondary market, and the assigned risk pool.  The standard market providers cover the standard risk pool and don’t include the ones convicted for DUI and the other SR-22 filers.  The current insurance provider will either cancel or non-renew the insurance policy and you will have to go looking for coverage from the secondary market.

The drivers in the secondary market are the high risk ones and suffer bigger losses and hence the premiums are also much higher.  To this you could add the cost of filing the SR-22 form and the premiums get even higher.  After a DUI conviction you would end up paying at least thrice or four times of what you would have paid earlier.

The third category which is the assigned risk pool is meant for those that cannot get auto insurance from any other place.  The cost is high while the coverage is limited and no one wishes to land here.  However, if your insurance gets suspended or canceled again then the state’s assigned risk pool might be the only option.

Some useful tips post DUI conviction:

Shop around for an option that suits you.

Buy a car which is cheaper and older and one that will not require collision or comprehensive coverage.

Get to know the law regarding the DUI conviction.