The Cost (and Hassle) of Insurance After a DUI
This article contribution comes to us from Michael Isaac, MBA, owner of Omni Safe Insurance.
If it isn’t obvious, risking a DUI is never worth it. Of course there are the legal consequences, but you are also endangering your life and the lives of others (there is a reason it’s illegal in the first place). In case you need further convincing, here are four of the big costs and hassles you will have to contend with when you’re obtaining insurance after a DUI arrest.
#1. New Insurance Classification
As you can imagine, after a DUI arrest you can no longer be classified as a “good driver.” Really, you won’t even be considered an average one. Instead, a DUI gives you a new title of “high-risk.” Often this new classification will lead you to be immediately dropped from your insurance company. Basically you’ve proven yourself an untrustworthy driver so insurance companies don’t want to deal with the increased chance that you may repeat the offense.
#2. Increase in Insurance Rates
Of course, there are companies out there who will take on the risk of insurance after a DUI — but this is not without cost. It’s estimated that drivers arrested for a DUI stand to pay 3-5 times more for insurance than good drivers. That equals nearly $1,000-$1,500 more a year. This high-risk label lasts a minimum of 3 years, so expect to pay an extra $3,000-$4,500 over the course of this time period.
#3. DMV Errands
After a DUI, plan to spend some time at the DMV. One of the forms you will hear about again and again is an SR-22. This form basically tells the DMV that you have found an agency to insure you. Without this, a license suspension is a guarantee and failure to file this form also means that you won’t be able to apply for a restricted license during your DMV hearing.
#4. Legal Proceedings
There are two parts to any DUI arrest, the DMV and the courts. Both come with their share of paperwork. If you are arrested in California, you must face a DMV hearing. This is not to be confused with the court hearing you will also have to endure. Depending on your state, the DMV hearing might let you request a restricted license, which may come with requirements such as an ignition interlock, and which might mandate limited driving privileges (like to or from work or school only).
But Really, It’s Just Not Worth It
The insurance penalties and DMV hassle alone should dissuade you from driving under the influence. This still doesn’t include the DUI classes, fines, alcohol assessment and treatment, and DUI victim panels that you might have to attend AND pay for. Today there are plenty of options available to get you home safely. Don’t risk it.