Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 8, 2019

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime that is punishable by jail time, fines, confiscation of your tag and suspension of your driver’s license. You may have to pay substantial fines and reinstatement fees, court costs, and even hire an attorney to help you deal with the charge.

As if this were not bad enough you will find your auto insurance rates climb sharply, or your coverage may be cancelled altogether.

All of these are good reasons to avoid a DUI, but if you have already received one, warnings are not much good. You need solid advice on how to find reasonable auto insurance rates.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!

Understand Your State Requirements after a DUI

First, find out what your state’s requirements are for reinstatement of your license and insurance. Many states require convicted DUI offenders to provide a document called an SR-22. The SR-22 is a document filed with the state by the driver’s insurance company, guaranteeing that you are insured for a period of time.

However, some auto insurance companies do not offer SR-22 coverage, as this is issued to drivers considered “high risk.” If your state requires an SR-22, it will limit the number of insurance companies with which you can do business.

Talk to your current Auto Insurance Company

After you have determined your state’s requirements, talk to your insurance company. It is most unlikely that they will not know about the DUI, but occasionally this does happen.

Auto insurance companies usually review state motor vehicle records just prior to your renewal period, so if your DUI happens close to this time, it may be the next renewal period before your insurance rates go up.

It is possible that the insurance company might “miss” the DUI altogether, especially if it occurs just prior to your renewal, but this is honestly quite rare.

What is a SR-22 ?

If your insurance company has discovered your DUI, you will see the rate increase on your next premium notice, or you will receive a notice that your insurance is being cancelled. You can at this point talk with your provider about your rate, and see if there is any way to lower it.

It is somewhat possible, if you have been a loyal customer for many years and have no other violations or claims on your record, that you will be able to keep your present insurance without a rate increase.

However, this is highly unusual, and you should be prepared for a rate increase or outright cancellation.

Shop around for Auto Insurance

If you are not able to keep your present carrier, you can visit a few other companies and compare their rates. While AAA, Allstate, and Geico do not give SR-22’s, State Farm and Progressive will – for a price. You will have to shop around at several agencies to find the best price, and that may take some work.

An independent agent who represents several different companies is probably a good place to start.

Online search engines can also help you find agencies, although online quotes can be misleading when you have a major violation such as a DUI. It is usually better to get your quotes straight from the agent or company.

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How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?

The length of time a DUI stays on your record depends on your particular state’s laws. The average period is ten years, although in Alaska a DUI never disappears from your record. Some states have a reporting period of as little as three years.

Interestingly, there is no gradual reduction of your rates from the time you get your DUI until the state stops reporting; you will see an immediate rate decrease right after the DUI comes off your record.

How much is auto insurance after a DUI?

Although it is impossible to give a precise figure as to how much your insurance will increase, you can expect anywhere from a 20-50% jump in price over your current insurance rates. The average increase is about 30%.

In other words, if you are currently paying the national average of $1,400 per year for your car insurance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,680 to $2,100 for your insurance, with an average rate of around $1,820.

However, rates are so individual, and depend so much on your individual factors, that prediction is almost impossible. Generally, if you have a clean record and this is your first DUI, these figures will hold true.

If you have other violations, at-fault accidents, or previous DUIs, it will become harder to find companies to insure you, and those which are willing to will charge exorbitant rates for their coverage.

In order to keep your rates manageable, discuss options with your auto insurance company and compare other providers. It may be that you can sacrifice some coverage to keep your costs down, or increase your deductibles.

Understand that if you do this, you will need to set aside some money to pay these costs if you are involved in an accident, even if you are not at fault.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!