How A DUI Affects Your Auto Insurance
Most people know that there are consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia. They may understand that a DUI conviction could lead to the loss of driving privileges and possible jail time. But few people are aware of the financial consequences of a DUI conviction.
The court can order DUI defendants to pay fines as part of their sentence. However, this isn’t the only expense that DUI defendants will need to pay after a conviction. Being convicted of DUI can also increase your auto insurance premiums. Here’s why:
High-Risk Driver Classification
If you are convicted of DUI, insurance companies will automatically classify you as a high-risk driver. Insurance companies view high-risk drivers as greater liabilities since they are more likely to get involved in trouble in on the road.
Being classified as a high-risk driver can affect your insurance coverage. Some insurance companies will not provide coverage to high-risk drivers, which means you could lose your auto insurance if you are convicted of DUI. Others will continue to provide coverage, but they will charge you much higher premiums.
FR-44 Certification After A DUI Conviction
You cannot restore your driving privileges after a DUI conviction without an FR-44 Certificate of Financial Responsibility. This certificate, which is issued by your insurance company, serves as proof that you have met these insurance coverage requirements:
- A minimum of $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury or death of one person
- A minimum of $100,000 in coverage for bodily injury or death of two or more persons
- A minimum of $40,000 in coverage for property damage
These minimum coverage requirements are much higher than the minimum requirements for other drivers. But DUI offenders have no choice but to pay for this extra coverage in order to reinstate their driver’s license. This is another reason why DUI offenders should expect to pay higher insurance premiums following a conviction.
How Long Will A DUI Conviction Impact Your Insurance?
The law requires DUI offenders to maintain FR-44 coverage for three to four years from the date their driver’s license revocation ended. You will have to pay for the additional coverage that is required to maintain a FR-44 Certification during this three- to four-year period. Therefore, DUI offenders will typically have to pay higher insurance premiums for at least three to four years.
Don’t expect your insurance premiums to drop down after this three- to four-year period is over. Your DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 11 years. Insurance companies can see your driving record—in fact, they use this information to determine how much to charge you for coverage. This means insurance companies may charge you higher premiums for a DUI that occurred a decade ago!
In the end, a DUI conviction could cost you thousands of dollars in higher insurance premiums.
Meet With Our DUI Defense Attorneys to Discuss Your Legal Options
Higher insurance premiums are one of many consequences of a DUI conviction. If you are arrested for DUI, fight the charges with the help of the DUI defense attorneys at Johnson Law Firm. James Johnson is committed to helping every DUI client reach the best possible outcome in their case. Let him work tirelessly to protect your rights and your freedom.
Discuss your legal options with the team at Johnson Law Firm today. To schedule your free case review, call (703) 670-0761 today.