DUI and Insurance (Form SR – 22)

A DUI/DWI conviction can affect your insurance rates. This is one of the non legal consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction. DUI and Insurance (Form SR-22)

Increased Risk

Insurance is a business of risk. The higher the risk, the higher the premium. Insurance companies view drivers with a DUI/DWI conviction as a high risk group.

First Offense

Even a first time DUI/DWI conviction will result in an increase in the insurance premium. There are no exceptions.

Amount of Increase in Premium

The amount of increase in the premium will depend on the internal polices of the insurance company and your circumstances. If it is your first time and you have an absolutely clean driving record, then the increase may be marginal. However if you are a repeat offender or your driving record is not clean, the increase can be substantial.

Termination of the Policy

Read your insurance policy carefully. Some insurance policies have a term that clearly states that the policy shall stand terminated in the event of a DUI conviction. Once the policy is terminated, you cannot operate the vehicle without getting a new policy.

Changing the Carrier

You cannot prevent the increase in your insurance premium by changing the insurance company. When you approach an insurance company for a policy, the insurance company will do a background check on you. A DUI/DWI conviction will appear on your record and will be reflected in the background check.

Continuing with the same carrier but not disclosing the DUI/DWI conviction

Even if you do not disclose your DUI/DWI conviction, your insurance company will come to know of it. Generally the terms of the policy may require you to inform the insurance company if you have been convicted of DUI/DWI. However even if you do not inform the insurance company, the company will subsequently come to know of your conviction. Insurance companies generally run a background check on existing customers when they renew their insurance polices. The background check will reveal your conviction. In many states, you must get a SR-22 form signed by your insurance company to have your driving privileges restored after a DUI/DWI arrest. So they will automatically come to know that you have been arrested for DUI/DWI.

Form SR-22

For DUI / DWI offenders who have lost their driving privileges, the Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV)  may impose the offender to get an  SR – 22 following an uninsured automobile accident or conviction on any traffic-related offense  to reinstate his / her driving privileges. The SR – 22 is a liability insurance for vehicles, it provides evidence that the vehicle’s insurance covers the minimum required insurance coverage for the particular state. For DUI offenders, they maybe required to maintain the SR – 22 for 5 years. In the event of expiration or cancellation of the SR – 22, an SR – 26 must be issued by the insurance company to show proof / to certify that the SR – 22 was cancelled.

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