Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or other major violations can have serious consequences, including a hefty fine, suspension of your driver’s license, and even a criminal record. However, one of the most significant long-term impacts of a DUI or major violation is the difficulty you may face in obtaining car insurance. In this post, we’ll explore the steps you can take to get car insurance after a DUI or other major violation.
Understanding the Impact of a DUI or Major Violation on Your Insurance
Before we dive into the steps to obtain car insurance after a DUI or major violation, it’s important to understand the impact that these violations can have on your insurance.
Insurance companies typically see drivers with a history of DUI or major violations as high-risk drivers. This means that insurance companies may be hesitant to offer coverage or charge significantly higher premiums to compensate for the increased risk.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a DUI or major violation can stay on your driving record for up to 10 years, depending on the state you live in. This means that you may be considered a high-risk driver for a significant amount of time, even after you’ve completed any necessary courses or probationary periods.
Steps to Obtain Car Insurance After a DUI or Major Violation
Step 1: Research Different Insurance Companies
After a DUI or major violation, you may find that your current insurance company either raises your rates significantly or drops your coverage altogether. To obtain car insurance after a DUI or major violation, you’ll need to research different insurance companies to find one that offers coverage to high-risk drivers.
Some insurance companies specialize in offering coverage to high-risk drivers, while others may offer coverage but at a higher cost. When researching insurance companies, be sure to compare rates and coverage options from multiple companies to find the best fit for you.
Step 2: Obtain an SR-22
In some states, drivers with a DUI or major violation may be required to obtain an SR-22, which is a document that proves you have insurance coverage. The SR-22 must be filed with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is typically required for a specified period, such as three years.
Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 coverage, so be sure to ask when researching insurance options. If you’re required to obtain an SR-22 and don’t have insurance, you may face additional penalties or even the suspension of your driver’s license.
Step 3: Be Prepared to Pay Higher Premiums
As we mentioned earlier, insurance companies see drivers with a history of DUI or major violations as high-risk drivers. This means that you’ll likely face higher insurance premiums than you would if you had a clean driving record.
While higher premiums can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that insurance companies use risk assessments to determine their rates. The increased cost of insurance may also be a deterrent to help ensure that you don’t repeat the behavior that led to the DUI or major violation in the first place.
Step 4: Consider Bundling Your Insurance
Some insurance companies offer discounts if you bundle your car insurance with other types of insurance, such as homeowners or renters insurance. Bundling your insurance may help offset the higher cost of car insurance after a DUI or major violation.
Step 5: Practice Safe Driving
Even after a DUI or major violation, you can take steps to improve your driving record and reduce your risk of future violations. Practice safe driving habits, such as obeying traffic laws, avoiding distracted driving, and never driving under the influence. Over time, a clean driving record can help you lower your insurance premiums.
Will my insurance company drop me if I receive a DUI or major violation?
It’s possible that your insurance company may drop you if you receive a DUI or major violation. However, this will depend on your insurance company’s policies and the severity of your violation. If your insurance company does drop you, you may need to shop around for new coverage.
How long will a DUI or major violation stay on my driving record?
A DUI or major violation can stay on your driving record for up to 10 years, depending on the state you live in. During this time, you may be considered a high-risk driver and face higher insurance premiums.
Will completing a DUI or defensive driving course help me obtain car insurance after a major violation?
Completing a DUI or defensive driving course can help you show insurance companies that you’re committed to safe driving. Some insurance companies may even offer discounts to drivers who complete these courses. However, completing a course may not guarantee that you’ll be able to obtain insurance.