Committing any traffic offense will make you a higher liability to your auto insurance company. At no time is this more evident than when you commit a DUI or DWI offense. These are among the most serious offenses that any driver can commit, and if you are one of these offenders, then you will usually see your auto insurance rates rise significantly.
If you see your rates rise following a DUI, it is perfectly reasonable to wonder whether you will have to pay these higher rates forever, or whether there’s something you can do to make your rates more affordable. Luckily, if you commit to being a safer driver, the good news is you can often see your rates become more favorable in the future.
The Risks of DUIs
Drivers who get behind the wheel intoxicated (by any substance) are not in full control of their senses. Therefore, your ability to see clearly, control your reflexes, react, concentrate and make rational decisions will be significantly impaired. At this time, your risk of causing car wrecks, damaging property and harming others will skyrocket. That’s why the penalties for these offenses are so severe.
To car insurers, DUI or DWI charges represent red flags. Even if the driver was caught before they could cause any harm to others, the offense itself will represent to the insurer that the offender has taken significant personal risks behind the wheel.
If this is you, then your insurer will recognize that you have a significant risk of filing a claim on your policy. That is a risk that might cost the insurer more money. To cover the additional cost risk, the insurer might have no choice but to raise your car insurance premium.
Stabilizing Rates After DUIs
You will almost certainly see higher car insurance rates after a DUI. At this time, you might wonder whether it is possible to ever see your rates drop to a more-affordable level.
Indeed, this is possible, and there are several different ways that you might be able to stabilize rates. Sometimes, your car insurer can help you change policies following the DUI. Some car insurance policies will cost less than others, even though you’ll still likely pay more than you would have before the DUI itself. Plus, you will often still qualify for other discounts despite the DUI.
One of the main ways to get lower rates in the future is to avoid reoffending. DUI charges remain on your record, usually for three to five years (or more, depending on your state). After the DUI disappears from your record, your rates might drop. Sometimes, they will even drop before the DUI disappears.
However, the goal is not to get another DUI. If you can demonstrate that you are a safer driver, you can likely keep low rates in the long-term, despite the DUI in your past.