Understanding the Impact of a DUI on Your Car Insurance
Driving under the influence (DUI) will affect more than your ability to operate a vehicle in the future. The record of this conviction will remain and it will potentially impact your ability to get a job and your insurance premiums. A DUI conviction in Arizona remains on a person’s driving record for a period of 10 years. Thus, the consequences of this one offense will be felt in the long run. Let’s take a more thorough look at the impact of a DUI on your car insurance.
The Effect of Arizona DUI on Insurance Premiums
A person who is convicted of driving under the influence in Arizona will see an increase in their insurance premiums.
Every person that gets a DUI conviction will need to follow one and the same procedure.
For a start, SR-22 insurance has to be obtained by everyone who gets their license suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as a result of DUI. The insurance provides liability coverage to demonstrate the financial responsibility of a driver before their license gets reinstated.
After the issuing of SR-22 insurance, an insurance company will reconsider the regular premiums that a person has to pay. All discounts that drivers who have a stellar record benefit from will become non-applicable. The hike in the premium itself will be calculated after the insurance agency examines a number of important factors.
How the Premium Increase is Calculated after a DUI
Certain drivers will see a higher increase in their insurance premiums than others. Insurance agencies are all about risk calculation. Cases that are considered to bring a higher risk to the insurer will result in a bigger premium hike.
First-time DUI offenders will typically see a minimum increase in their premium. Individuals who don’t have prior convictions may even benefit from unchanged insurance (in case they haven’t committed an aggravated or an extreme DUI that has resulted in felony charges).
A clear driving record before the DUI conviction may also be seen as a positive factor that will keep the premium increase minimal.
Whenever a person commits a repeat offense or if driving under the influence has serious consequences (killing a person on the road, for example), however, the hike in the insurance premium will be noticeable.
Several other factors that insurance companies will examine when recalculating the premium include the following:
- The age and the gender of the driver (a younger driver is considered riskier than an older and more experienced vehicle operator)
- The time that has passed since the DUI conviction
- The specific policies of the company (certain insurers tend to be a bit more lenient in their work with clients that have DUI convictions)
Statistics for the entire US suggest that the average car insurance premium for a person who hasn’t committed DUI is 1,872 dollars per year. People who have a DUI on their record can expect to spend an average of 2,664 dollars on car insurance per year. There are regional differences and the change is higher in certain states. The national average, however, provides a clear demonstration of how much is the impact of a DUI on your car insurance.
In Arizona, the average driver who has a DUI conviction on their record sees an increase in car insurance premiums of 1.45 times. In comparison, the biggest increase has been recorded in North Carolina where it is 4.08 times (almost 309 percent of the pre-DUI car insurance rate!).
A DUI conviction will impact your ability to get car insurance in the future and it will also make the acquisition costlier. While being classified as a high risk driver does not last forever, such a status can interfere with your finances for at least several years.