Can I get Car Insurance with a DUI?
Car insurance after a DUI conviction can be both expensive and challenging to obtain. Car insurance rates are based on risk and any driver convicted of a DUI or DWI charge is considered extremely high risk by most car insurance companies. Many of the well known brands will deny your application for car insurance if your DUI conviction is relatively new while some higher risk car insurance companies will provide coverage but your policy options are limited and premiums high. The costs of being convicted for driving under the influence are very expensive when it comes to car insurance (not to mention the fines, alternative transportation costs and other penalties imposed by the state).
Why is DUI Car Insurance so Expensive?
It all comes down to risk. Would you loan money to someone who has a high risk habit like gambling? Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination which is both illegal and life threatening to the driver, passengers and anybody else on the road. Car insurance companies have no obligation to insure everyone so you can imagine any driver seen as too high of a risk they simply will decline coverage.
How do Car Insurance Companies know I have a DUI conviction?
Any driver convicted of a DUI is automatically reported to the DMV (department of Motor Vehicles) and car insurance companies monitor DMV records when renewing policies and/or issuing new ones. Most drivers convicted are also subject to a mandatory SR-22 form filing requirement. This form can only be completed a car insurance company – individual drivers can not file this form. Since states require only licensed auto insurers to file this form you will have to disclose the SR-22 filing requirement to your current or new car insurance company or else be in breach of your legal obligations to the court.
While the SR-22 form is not just for DUI drivers the mere fact of having a mandatory filing requirement puts you in the high-risk category to car insurance companies and many auto insurers simply do not insure any driver with a SR-22 filing requirement.
What is the SR-22 Form?
The SR-22 form is a proof of financial responsibility form that must be filed with the DMV (or state equivalent) if a court considers you to be operating a vehicle without regard for others. Most common in DUI convictions, the SR-22 form requirement can also be imposed by a court to drivers who were involved in a car accident while operating a vehicle with no car insurance, those who have a record of driving recklessly or any other reason a judge seems fit. The point of the form is to show the State you at least have sufficient financial liability protection for damages caused to others.
If you do not file a SR-22 form as ordered by the court your license will be suspended and you will not be able to re-instate or renew your license until the form filing requirement is met.
Is the SR-22 a type of Insurance?
No. The SR-22 is not a type of car insurance but simply a form detailing you have adequate financial means of covering damages in a car accident. Adequate financial means can be defined as an auto insurance policy, verified funds in a CD or even proof of funds on deposit with the State Treasurer. The amount of adequate financial protection and your options to provide sufficient financial means will depend on where you live but a car insurance policy is always an option.
Can I complete the SR-22 form?
No. A car insurance company must file the SR-22 form on your behalf. This is one of the ways car insurance companies always find out about your DUI conviction as when your licenses is suspended you can not get your driving privileges back until a form is filed. This means you have to call your existing car insurance company and confess up simply to get your drivers license restored.
Who has the Best DUI Car Insurance Rates?
Remember that you are now are considered extremely high risk so there is no way you are going to get anywhere close to the cheap car insurance quotes advertised around. In fact your auto insurance options will be extremely limited after being convicted of drinking and driving. There are high risk car insurance companies around like the General Car Insurance company and others but focus on getting the best coverage you can. Car insurance comparison will be very important and it may even be a little frustrating. If you keep getting denied coverage learn about more about state programs for high risk drivers here.
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