Insurance for DUIs FAQs



Driving under the influence leaves a black mark on your driving record that stays with you long after you’ve learned from the mistake. It’s a pretty serious offense, and will definitely affect your policy in a major way. Here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed on the issue.


DUI Facts

  1. Is driving under the influence a crime? According to the Governors Highway Safety Association or GHSA, all states classify driving with an alcohol level above 0.08 percent to be a crime. Penalties and laws, though, vary depending on the state you live in. You’ll also have to deal with DUI penalties, which include the following:


  • Your license will be suspended or revoked.
  • You’ll have to pay the fines along with a bevy of court costs.
  • You’ll serve time in jail.
  • You’ll need to attend DUI school and pay for the cost, along with other associated expenses, out of pocket.
  • You’ll have to deal with high insurance rates for a long, long time.


  1. Is there a difference between a DUI and DWI? Many states often use Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, interchangeably with Driving While Intoxicated, or DWI. Some states also use Operating Under the Influence, or OUI. Make sure to read up on your state’s laws to see how your government handles DUI cases. Some make a distinction between the two by using DUI to refer to alcohol-related accidents while DWI is used when one’s driving ability is impaired by narcotic use.


  1. How will the DUI offense affect my insurance? CoverHound explains that insurance for DUI cases aren’t altogether pleasant. Your insurance premiums are likely to rise upwards of 94 percent after a DUI-related accident. Depending on which state you were apprehended in, you might need to file an SR-22 form through your insurance company as well as to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your license back. There is no way to lower the premiums if you want your driving privileges restored.


  1. Will the insurance company cover any of the damage? This depends on the collision and comprehensive coverage of your policy. In a drunk driving incident, some companies cover damages to you and the other driver. However, many insurers have a clause in their policies that exclude them from any responsibility should you be found driving beyond the accepted alcohol level or if you get behind the wheel while on drugs. That’s because alcohol exclusion laws make it possible for insurance carriers to refuse payment for your treatment if you’re the guilty party.


  1. What happens if I continue making payments without informing my insurance carrier I’ve had a DUI? If a crash happens and your insurance carrier finds out about the DUI, the company may decide not to insure the crash. That means you’ll have to pay for all the expenses—property damage costs to the other driver, car replacement for you in case it gets totaled, along with your medical bills—all on your own.


  1. Will my insurance carrier terminate my policy? The company won’t end it but it might choose not to renew your policy when the length of your contract expires.


  1. As a driver with a DUI or DWI, where can I get insurance coverage? These are special cases and your only hope of getting coverage is to seek out non-standard insurance providers that have more experience in handling DUI or DWI coverage.


Reasons You Shouldn’t Drink and Drive


  1. High fatality rate. Every year, thousands of people die due to drunk driving collisions. In 2013 alone, 10,076 people perished in car crashes in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) making up one-third, or 31 percent of fatalities tied to road accidents in the country.


  1. Everyone’s safety on the road. When you get behind the wheel while you’re drunk or under the influence of other drugs, you’re not going to be in full control of yourself and are likely to get into an accident. If you have passengers, you’re not only putting yours and their lives on the line—you’re risking the lives of every innocent bystander, passing pedestrian or fellow driver on the road.


  1. Liability Costs. Surviving a DUI or DWI related accident isn’t the worse of it. There’s medical costs to worry about aside from damage costs to your car. And if you turn out to be responsible for the accident, you won’t just have to worry about your medical bills, you might have to shoulder all the medical as well as property damage costs to the other party.


The simple solution to all this? Don’t drink—or get high—and drive. It’s much safer and cost-effective in the long run.


About the Author

Financial professional and online entrepreneur, I'm best known as The Financial Blogger. I want to make money because I like enjoying life the way it should be; with a lot of great food and wine! I also love to spend time with my lovely wife and 3 kids!