What should you be worried about most if you are charged with DUI? Should you be scared of potential jail time? Should you be anxious over the suspension of your driver’s license? Should you be concerned that you might lose your job?
If you are facing DUI charges, you are likely worried about all of these things. But what you may not realize is a DUI conviction holds another devastating penalty that lasts longer than a jail sentence, and that penalty is the dramatic increase in the cost of your auto insurance.
WalletHub, a site that helps people manage their personal finances, recently released the results of a study in which it ranked each state based on the strictness of its DUI laws. California ranked 34th overall, but the state has the second-highest average increase in auto insurance premiums for people convicted of a DUI, with an average increase of 103% in insurance costs (only North Carolina was higher at 112%).1
How a DUI Affects Your Auto Insurance
If you are convicted of DUI, the conviction will show on both your criminal record and your driving record with the DMV. You are not required to notify your auto insurance provider of your conviction, but the carrier will likely do a check of your DMV record when your policy is up for renewal.
Your insurance company cannot cancel your policy or raise your premiums in the middle of a policy term, but can do so at the end of your term.
How much your premiums will increase depends on a lot of factors. When insurers evaluate a driver, they consider factors such as the driver’s age, experience and employment status. Regardless of all these factors, you will likely see a dramatic increase in your insurance costs if you have been convicted of DUI.
What Happens Next?
You may find that your insurance carrier will refuse to renew your coverage, which means you will need to find a new company to cover you before you can drive again. This means that any discounts you received from being a loyal customer of your insurance carrier will disappear.
You might have previously been eligible for discounts on your insurance for being a “good driver.” Those discounts will be removed, which could increase your premium by up to 30%. You will likely not become eligible to receive those discounts again until the DUI is off your record, which could be as long as ten years after your conviction.
In order to get your driving privilege back after it has been suspended, you will need to obtain an SR22 certificate from your insurance provider. An SR22 is proof that you meet the minimum insurance coverage requirements in California. This also means that you will be considered a “high-risk” driver, which will add to your insurance costs.
Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
A DUI conviction carries serious penalties that could total up to $16,000, according to reports. That is why you need to speak to a skilled DUI attorney immediately if you have been accused of DUI.
At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges. We can help you prepare the best possible defense to the charges against you.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego and Torrance, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI lawyer available near you no matter where you are located.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1.Alina Comoreanu, “Strictest And Most Lenient States On DUI,” WalletHub.com, August 10, 2016, available at https://wallethub.com/edu/dui-penalties-by-state/13549/ href=”#ref1″>↩