The sobering truth about post-DUI car insurance

Written by Hank Coleman on May 31, 2011 & Posted in Auto Insurance

For most drivers, the damage to your car insurance rates after being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) has already been done. Now that the arrest is behind you, how do you pick up the pieces? While it will not be easy, there are ways to reduce your car insurance after a DUI.

Car insurance expectations after a DUI

If you are convicted of DUI, your current car insurance company can immediately cancel your insurance policy. You may still be able to sign up for a new policy with the same company that handles your car insurance, but only if they handle high-risk drivers. Most big insurance companies don't. If your insurance company doesn't, you will have to switch to an insurance company that specializes in handling insurance for people considered high risk.

For the next three years, you can expect to pay on average three times what you normally pay for insurance, according to an Insure.com report. After that period, you can also expect to pay double what you had previously been paying for two more years. So, there's no getting around the fact that financial penalties for your post-DUI car insurance will be substantial for at least five years. Once you face that reality, there are some steps you can take to get the cheapest auto insurance.

Take extra care after a DUI

Despite having a DUI on your driving record, you can still reduce your car insurance. Many methods are similar to those you would use under normal circumstances.

One of the easiest things that you can do is maintain a clean post-DUI driving record. You should make every attempt to avoid accidents, speeding tickets or traffic violations. Every ticket, speeding ticket, or claim will be looked at differently. In fact, it is a safe bet that each transgression from now on will carry significantly more weight in the insurance company's eyes. So make a vow to yourself to be careful out there.

3 steps for affordable post-DUI car insurance

Shop around for your car insurance after a DUI. Since your current company is likely to drop you anyway, this is a good time to get quotes for the best possible car insurance rate you can find. Every insurance company has different criteria based on their own formula for determining insurance premiums. You may find that one auto insurance company may not look down so much on a single DUI conviction, especially if you have no other moving violations on your record.

There are plenty of driving courses around the United States that you can take, and sometimes attendance in a defensive driving class will result in reduced auto insurance premiums. There are even a few courses offered online. You should always check with your car insurance company to make sure they accept the certificate you earn from the driving school you plan to attend.

One of the most popular and classic ways to lower your car insurance premium is to increase the amount of your deductible. If you only carry a $250 or $500 deductible, you may want to consider raising your deductible to $1,000. This may save you quite a bit in car insurance after a DUI.

Everyone knows that they should not drink and drive. Anyone who watches television or reads the newspaper cannot help but be inundated by public service announcements proclaiming the dangers and the horrible potential consequences of drunk driving. If you should be convicted of DUI, all is not lost. While your insurance rates will rise, you still have ways to lower post-DUI car insurance.

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