Why a DUI May Drive Up Your Insurance Costs
DUI charges can cause a driver’s insurance costs to go up. However, many drivers may not understand why this is the case.
Though insurance penalties and lawful penalties differ, they still are often quite interconnected.
Understanding Your DUI Risks in the Eyes of Insurers
Auto insurers use the risks presented by drivers to determine policy rates. For example, age, location, gender and experience may all determine policy prices. A policyholder’s driving record almost universally plays a role in determining premiums.
Drivers with a lot of accidents, tickets or other driving charges often represent higher risks to insurers. On paper, these drivers represent a higher chance of filing a claim and forcing insurers to have to pay. The insurer therefore assumes a higher cost risk by covering the policyholder. So, they might increase premium prices on these high-risk drivers.
DUIs represent impairment while driving. They prove risk of harm to the affected driver, passengers and countless others on the road. Therefore, an insurer may not be able to issue a policy for the driver at standard rates. A DUI charge may drive the policyholder’s insurance costs up.
Yet, some drivers face more insurance penalties than just higher prices when they get a DUI.
DUIs Might Lead to Policy Cancellation
Because DUIs represent a very high cost risk, the cost may become too great for some companies. Certain insurers terminate policies for those who carry DUI charges. A gap in coverage also represents risk in the eyes of many insurance companies. So, it may be harder for DUI recipients to get new coverage following a policy lapse.
Also, a DUI recipient’s existing auto policy may not be adequate for their driving risks. This might mandate that the driver research new a new policy with higher coverage limits. This could lead to an increase in prices.
A Note on North Carolina SR-22 Coverage
Many drivers associate a DUI charge with the need to get a SR-22 certificate. SR-22 certificates show state authorities that you have active, adequate car insurance. Some DUI recipients may have to carry this certificate on their driving record for a couple of years. For this reason, the need for an SR-22 demonstrates risk. This may lead to premium increases and nominal filing costs with your insurer.
North Carolina does not require SR-22 certificates. But, if your move into N.C. from another state, you may have to keep the certificate on file in that state.