You’ve been convicted of DUI. That really sucks.
Your life will probably change drastically over the next few months (or years). Your license will likely be suspended for a while. You’ll have to complete some community service and/or spend some time in jail. And between fines, lawyer fees, and court costs, you’ll have to shell out quite a bit of money.
But like all terrible events, this too shall pass. And you’ll eventually drive again. Which means that you’ll be needing auto insurance, albeit, you may need to find a provider that offer high risk auto insurance. Here are eight suggestions for obtaining car insurance with a DUI on your record.
1. Accept the fact that you’ll have to pay more money for a policy. A lot more. On average, your premiums will increase over 94% during the first year of coverage, and will remain about 63% higher after three years. So you may want to adjust your budget accordingly.
2. Start the process before you can drive again. There’s no use waiting until just before you get your driver’s license back to start researching auto insurance. Chances are, you’ll have some time to sit around while not driving, which you can use to your advantage. That way, you can actually get behind the wheel on the same day your license is reissued.
3. Call your current auto insurance carrier. There’s no getting around it — your insurer will get wind of your DUI. So you might as well be up front about it. Plus, your current carrier might cancel your coverage, so you may want to find that out sooner rather than later. At the very least, you can see what your policy options are with your current insurer.
4. Determine what requirements must be met. Every county, state, and other municipality has its own rules regarding DUIs, so you must figure out what they are. Since you will likely have to get what is known as SR-22 insurance, you may have to contact the courts or another agency as part of the car insurance process.
5. Shop around. Yes, you’ll be paying more for car insurance after a DUI, but you can still compare quotes from different carriers in order to get the best rate. Just be sure to disclose your DUI in the application process so you can obtain quotes that are accurate.
6. Take a driver’s education course. This might be required as part of your DUI sentence anyway. But completing this type of course will give you a discount on your auto insurance policy.
7. Look for other ways to reduce your premiums. There’s no reason you can’t chip away at the higher premium you’ll be paying. So look at everything from mileage driven annually and vehicle safety features to paying up front and multi-policy discounts to see if you can save a little money.
8. Swim in the high-risk pool. Every state maintains what is known as a “high-risk” pool of insurers. This group will issue your auto insurance when no one else will — and you’ll pay through the nose for minimum coverage. So explore this option only as a last resort.