DUI Conviction: Will it Raise my Car Insurance Rates?

DUI arrests and convictions are very stressful events. If a judge finds you guilty of a DUI, he can impose stiff penalties. For example, you could pay heavy fines or serve lengthy jail terms. Furthermore, you’ll most likely lose your driving rights.

However, A DUI conviction doesn’t only have criminal consequences. Instead, there’s a chance that it’ll affect your insurance policy. This article explains the effect of a DUI conviction on your insurance and how to handle it.

If you are facing a DUI charge, don’t waste time searching for the best DUI defense lawyer near me, and contact our Charleston DUI attorneys .

Can a DUI Conviction Raise My Insurance Rates?

Yes, once the court convicts you for a DUI, you’ll most likely pay higher insurance premiums. This is because insurance companies hope that their clients will drive properly. So, suppose you obey the law and don’t cause accidents. Then, the insurer wouldn’t have to pay out claims from injured victims.

However, a DUI conviction changes everything. It makes you a high-risk policyholder. Therefore, there are greater chances of you getting into car accidents.

Consequently, the insurance company will increase your insurance rates to protect themselves. With higher premiums, they wouldn’t lose much money if they had to pay accident victims or DUI fines. That’s why it’s best to fight against a conviction if the police arrest you for a DUI.

How Much Can a DUI Conviction Add to My Insurance Rates?

We’ve already established that a DUI will increase your insurance premiums. Therefore, it’s vital to understand how much more you’ll have to pay. Notably, a DUI conviction increases your insurance rates depending on your state.

A Forbes report says that a DUI conviction can increase your insurance rates by 50%. Furthermore, state-by-state statistics show that South Carolina drivers may spend an additional $1,190 on their insurance after a DUI conviction. Indeed, it’s lower than what’s obtainable in other states like Michigan. However, $1,190 is still a significant increase.

How Will the Insurance Company Find Out About My DUI?

Some DUI convicts don’t inform their insurance companies about their convictions. They assume their premiums will stay low if the insurer doesn’t find out. However, an insurance company will inevitably discover your DUI conviction.

This usually happens when you have to renew your insurance policy. At this stage, every insurer will conduct a due diligence test. The evaluation involves an analysis of your driving record.

Since a DUI conviction will stay on your driving record in Charleston, your insurer will notice it. Hiding the DUI from them may even result in a cancellation of your policy. However, this depends on the terms.

Submitting an SR-22 Form in Charleston, SC

This is another way your insurer can learn of your DUI conviction. If a Charleston court convicts you for a DUI, you may have to purchase SR-22 insurance. This form merely shows you have the minimum insurance requirements in South Carolina.

In addition, by filing the form, your insurance company undertakes financial responsibility for your actions. Therefore, suppose you hide your DUI conviction, you’ll have to inform your insurer when you need the SR-22 form. This way, they’ll find out about your DUI and increase your insurance rates.

Can an Insurance Company Drop You After a DUI Conviction?

Yes, an insurance company can refuse to renew your policy because of a DUI conviction. As we explained above, a conviction means the insurer may pay significant sums to the injured party or as fines. Therefore, an insurance company may refuse to keep you with the additional risk.

Usually, termination of insurance is higher for people with multiple DUI convictions. However, suppose the company decides to keep the convicted driver. Then, they’ll have to increase the driver’s rates after each sentence. Thus, at some point, the driver will be unable to pay the high insurance premiums.

Can I Reduce My Rates After a DUI Conviction Increase?

Yes, a company can still bring down your insurance premiums after increasing them because of your DUI conviction. Below are three key ways to reduce your rates.

Requesting Discounts

A DUI conviction robs you of your natural discount entitlements. However, you still get lower car insurance rates by:

  • Fully paying your premiums at once
  • Insuring all your vehicles with one company
  • Combining your building and car insurance policies

Once these steps make you eligible for further discounts, demand them from your insurance provider.

Prove That You’re Not a High-Risk Driver

You can also lower your insurance by rebuilding confidence with the insurance company. So, you must show that you’re a safe driver. This includes:

  • Avoiding accidents
  • Preventing events that lead to traffic tickets and citations
  • Avoiding another DUI arrest
  • Keeping your driving and criminal record clean

After a few years, you may then be able to reduce your insurance premiums.

Shop Around 

Finally, if you can’t get reasonable rates from your current insurer, it may be time to try another company. Insurers don’t have a uniform increase model after a DUI conviction. Therefore, some insurance providers may offer better rates. So, you can compare the industry’s available premiums and switch.

How to Avoid a DUI Conviction

Your insurance problems only start if the court convicts you. So, it’ll be best to consider how to avoid a conviction. Our excellent DUI defense lawyers can help you beat a DUI charge with the defenses below.

Challenging Chemical Test Results 

The prosecution cannot win a DUI case without tendering scientific evidence of your intoxication. This refers to the blood alcohol content (BAC) and other things. Therefore, our attorneys can dispute the results by arguing that they were incorrect or were obtained improperly.

Challenging the Arresting Officer’s Testimony

Next, the police officer who arrested you may have to testify in court. So, we can challenge the officer’s version of events. In addition, we can also argue that the police didn’t have probable cause for your arrest. If we win this argument, the court may throw out any evidence they got from the arrest and search.

Explain Your Conduct and Demeanor

Police officers arrest drivers for DUIs because of their conduct. This includes staggering, tiredness, and bloodshot eyes. However, several factors can be responsible for these issues. For example, a sick driver taking prescription drugs may show signs of fatigue. Therefore, if we can offer the court a reasonable explanation, you can escape conviction.

Stop Searching for the Best DUI Defense Lawyer Near Me by Hiring Charleton DUI Guy 

Have the police arrested and charged you for a DUI? Are you worried that a possible conviction will increase your insurance premiums? Then, you need to hire the best DUI defense attorneys in Charleston.

Fortunately, an arrest doesn’t guarantee a DUI conviction. So, our criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, can help you beat the charge. We’ve won several cases for our clients with the DUI defenses above. Thus, we can win your case too. All you have to do is call us today for a FREE consultation.