Finding cheap car insurance after being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a challenge that may require a lot of research and careful consideration. Car insurance companies take DUI convictions very seriously and may raise your premiums heavily after you receive one. However, it is possible to find a cheaper policy by doing some research and taking a few simple steps. Understanding these may help you identify the best policy for your needs and avoid spending too much money insuring your car.
How Much Your Insurance May Increase
After you are convicted for a DUI, insurers will likely consider you a high-risk driver. As a result, they may increase your premium rates considerably, although the exact amount may vary depending on your provider and their guidelines. However, you can expect an average increase of 80% on your policy. So, if you’re paying $162 per month before a DUI and earn an 80% increase, you’d pay $129.60 more per month or $291.60 total.
That said, some companies may raise your premium by as much as 371%. These increases may be more likely after you earn multiple DUI convictions. This increase may make your policy very hard to pay. For example, a 371% increase on a $162 premium would be $601.02 per month or a yearly increase from $1,944 to $7,212.34.
Cheap Car Insurance Options With a DUI Conviction
Finding cheap car insurance after a DUI requires identifying companies that provide reasonable rates. Note that your policy will increase even with cheaper insurance companies, so make sure that you shop carefully. Here are some inexpensive insurance rates after earning a DUI:
- Fred Loya: $136.50 per month or $1,638 per year
- Concord General: $164 per month or $1,968 per year
- Mutual of Enumclaw: $174 per month or $2,088 per year
- State Farm: $188 per month or $2,266 per year
- Wadena: $197 per month or $2,375 per year
- Grange: $200 per month or $2,404 per year
- Alfa: $203 per month or $2,441 per year
- Mercury: $204 per month or $2,454 per year
- Country Preferred: $208 per month or $2,500 per year
- USAA: $209 per month or $2,517 per year
- Erie: $220 per month or $2,647 per year
- Progressive: $238 per month or $2,858 per year
These price increases include jumps from as little as 20% to as high as 95% from the pre-DUI payments. Other factors may also affect these increases, such as the insurance company’s stance on DUI convictions and state laws.
Rates Vary Based On the State
When gauging how much your car insurance will cost, it is important to know how your state affects your premium increase after a DUI. Some regions have stricter driving and auto laws than others, which changes how your provider increases your insurance rates. For example, State Farm provides the cheapest DUI policy in 32 states, though Farm Bureau and Progressive also offer lower rates. Florida has the lowest percentage increase in insurance payments at 27%, while Nebraska increases by 32%. Other low-increase states include Missouri (43%) and New York (42%).
Other states have very high percentage increases, with North Carolina increasing costs by 300%. That’s a difference between an annual cost of $1,505 to $6,020. Connecticut has a 102% increase or a jump from $2,753 to $5,553. Michigan, however, has by far the largest increase of any state. At 199%, the state’s average annual cost of $9,071 jumps up to $27,120 per year. This heavy increase is because of Michigan’s stricter insurance laws and higher insurance prices. It is by far the most expensive state to buy insurance in, especially after a DUI conviction.
How Insurance Companies Discover DUI Convictions
When trying to figure out why your car insurance is so expensive after a DUI, it is important to know how your provider discovers your conviction. Typically, they check your records periodically for any infractions, especially when renewing your policy. They contact your state’s DMV to learn more about your conviction.
After discovering it, they may increase your rates without explaining why. Some companies may even cancel your policy if you don’t inform them of your DUI. Therefore, it is important to be honest with your provider, even if it results in a higher premium.
Finding Inexpensive Car Insurance Policies After a DUI
While it isn’t always easy to find inexpensive car insurance policies when you have a DUI on your record, it is possible. There are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of finding cheap car insurance with a DUI. Just a few actions you can take include:
- Finishing driving school. Completing a defensive driving course may decrease your insurance premiums by as much as 10%. Some states may also reduce your license points and fines after taking a defensive driving course, which may help reduce your costs further.
- Finding other discounts. Talk to your insurance company about any discounts that may apply to you. For example, senior citizens may receive some discounts, as may former military members.
- Drive safely. After your DUI conviction, drive safely and avoid tickets and infractions. Some companies may provide you with a safe driver discount after three years without infractions. Note that some states may set a period during which you cannot earn this discount.
- Work with your provider. Some insurance companies may work with you to provide a cheaper insurance option if you cannot afford their current policy. You may plead financial hardship and get some discounts, depending on the provider.
You may also shop around and identify providers with more reasonable insurance rates for your needs. For example, some providers may have special high-risk insurance programs for people with limited resources. Some may also provide forgiveness programs for minor DUI convictions, though this availability may vary depending on the provider and state guidelines.
If you have a DUI conviction on your record, take the steps discussed above to lower your rates and minimize your expenses. Programs like defensive driving schools are available in every state and can help you take control of your insurance costs. Note that a safe driving record after a DUI can help decrease your insurance rates, especially when your DUI conviction comes off your record.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.