Best States for Affordable DUI Auto Insurance (2021)

The best states for affordable DUI auto insurance have low rates and a lot of options to choose from if you need to buy high-risk auto insurance. Cheap DUI car insurance can be hard to find, but the best states provide options from both standard and non-standard insurers. As part of the penalties for a DUI, your auto insurance rates will go up, but shopping around can help keep rates affordable.

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: May 2, 2021

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Things to Remember

  • DUI auto insurance is more expensive because insurance companies take on a higher risk of a claim
  • If you have more than one DUI or a DUI combined with other violations, you may need high-risk insurance
  • DUI insurance rates may go down on each renewal as long as you have no additional convictions in the meantime

A DUI conviction brings with it a host of penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. All of the penalties will vary depending on where you live, including how much your auto insurance will go up. The best states for affordable DUI auto insurance make it a little easier to make up for your DUI.

No matter where you live, your car insurance rates will definitely go up after a DUI. While there are a lot of factors that affect auto insurance rates, few of them affect what you pay more than your driving record. A DUI places you in a high-risk category for insurance companies, and as a result, they will charge you more.

There are a lot of different rules for a DUI conviction from state to state, and some places are better for riding out a DUI than others. We’ve gathered information on insurance rates, high-risk auto insurance companies, and state DUI requirements like SR-22 filings to determine which states are best for drivers with a DUI.

While your best bet is to be extra cautious in avoiding a DUI (it doesn’t take much alcohol to be over the limit in most states) by finding a different way to get home if you’re planning to drink, it does happen. And below you will find the best places to ride out the penalties.

The Best States for Cheap High-Risk Auto Insurance

DUI auto insurance is expensive. With an average of 28 deaths each day in the U.S. due to drunk driving, DUI drivers present a huge risk to insurance companies. There’s no way around the increase in rates, but some places have it worse than others. We looked at the average cost of car insurance for a driver with a DUI in each state to determine which states are more affordable.

Of course, rates differ from company to company with a DUI as well, so we listed the cheapest company in each state. If it’s your first DUI, odds are good you will be able to get insurance with one of the top insurance companies, even if you need an SR-22 or similar filing.

Drivers with more than one DUI or other driving record issues in addition to a DUI may need to get insurance from a non-standard insurance company specializing in high-risk drivers.

How long a DUI will affect your record depends on the insurance company and your state laws. On average, you can expect your rates to be higher for three years. Some companies may reduce the surcharge for the DUI each year until your rates return to normal. Shopping around and asking questions about rating practices is key to making DUI insurance affordable.

What state has the lowest car insurance rates for someone with a DUI? Read on to find out.

The Top 10 Most Affordable States for Drivers After a DUI

These states have lower average rates for drivers with a DUI, even from the top car insurance companies we compared. USAA auto insurance is sometimes the most affordable option for drivers with a DUI. For those who don’t qualify for USAA membership, we’ve listed the second-cheapest in those states as well.

#10 – Vermont

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $306
Number of High-Risk Providers: 14
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Providers: USAA & Nationwide

Fall foliage, maple syrup, and affordable DUI auto insurance: Vermont really does have a lot to offer. At $306 a month, drivers with a DUI will still manage to pay less than a teenager for their insurance here, and additional discounts can qualify you for an even lower rate.

USAA is the cheapest option for Vermont auto insurance, but if you don’t qualify, Nationwide is a close second.

If you have a DUI you will have to file an SR-22 for three years, and that’s the average amount of time during which the insurance company will surcharge you. With just one DUI, you’ll have your pick of insurance companies, but if you have any other convictions you might need to look at high-risk companies. Vermont has 14 for you to choose from.

#9 – New Hampshire

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $305
Number of High-Risk Providers: 14
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: GEICO

New Hampshire sneaks in just a bit higher on our list, barely beating Vermont for the average cost of DUI car insurance. New Hampshire law refers to a DUI as a DWI or Driving While Intoxicated. It’s a little easier to get cheap coverage from a big company here; rather than USAA, the cheapest coverage for a driver with a DWI is available from GEICO.

If you don’t qualify for a standard company like GEICO, there are other options. With 14 high-risk insurance companies to choose from, you can shop around to compare rates, even for high-risk DUI coverage.

#8 – Iowa

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $297
Number of High-Risk Providers: 22
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 2 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: Progressive

Iowa has a shorter SR-22 filing period than many other states. That doesn’t necessarily mean your Iowa auto insurance rates will go down after two years, but it does mean you won’t have to worry about the filing fees.

Needing an SR-22 doesn’t directly affect your car insurance costs; it’s the violation for which the SR-22 is required that causes your rates to go up.

In Iowa, the offense is called OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), and Progressive is the cheapest of the major insurance companies if have an OWI on your record. But if you need a high-risk insurance company, you have a lot of choices. There are 22 non-standard insurance companies offering high-risk coverage to drivers in Iowa.

#7 – Idaho

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: 296
Number of High-Risk Providers: 14
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 1-3 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: State Farm

Idaho’s SR-22 filing requirements range from one to three years, but as we mentioned above, that doesn’t mean your rates will go down sooner. Insurance companies make their own determination regarding how long they will charge you for a DUI.

There are plenty of companies to choose from here if you need high-risk insurance, but if you only have one DUI, odds are good you can get coverage from State Farm. It’s the cheapest option for DUI auto insurance in Idaho and also the biggest insurance company in the country.

#6 – Washington

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $290
Number of High-Risk Providers: 19
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: State Farm

Washington state auto insurance rates for a DUI are relatively low. Of the top companies, your cheapest option here is State Farm. That’s good news since it’s a top-rated company. That said, if you have more than one DUI or other issues on your driving record, you’ll likely have to look to a non-standard insurance company.

There are 19 different options for high-risk insurance in Washington state. That makes it easier to shop around. While high-risk drivers pay expensive rates, the more competition there is for your business, the more likely you’ll be able to find a better rate.

#5 – Ohio

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $274
Number of High-Risk Providers: 26
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3-5 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: American Family

Ohio auto insurance for a DWI (Ohio does not use the term DUI) is affordable with an average monthly rate of $274, and the cheapest option here is American Family. The SR-22 filing can be required for up to five years, but that doesn’t mean you will be charged extra on your rates for all of those years. That will depend on what is on your record and the insurance company.

If you do need high-risk insurance, Ohio is tied for the best place on our list for the selection of non-standard insurance companies. There are 26 available for you to choose from, making it easier to get a lower rate.

#4 – Wisconsin

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $273
Number of High-Risk Providers: 22
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: American Family

Wisconsin auto insurance is pretty similar to Ohio in terms of rates, but the length of the SR-22 filing requirement maxes out at three years here and Wisconsin calls the violation an OWI. American Family is the cheapest of the major companies here, much like in Ohio.

While there are fewer non-standard insurance companies in Wisconsin, 22 is still a long list of options. The more choice you have, the more competition, and the better your chances of getting an affordable DUI auto insurance rate.

#3 – Alaska

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $271
Number of High-Risk Providers: 10
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 5 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: State Farm

Alaska auto insurance rates are generally affordable, which means a lower cost of insurance even if you have a DUI. State law requires an SR-22 filing for five years on your first DUI (or DWI as it’s called in Alaska), which is a long time. That said, many insurance companies stop surcharging you after three years, so you may only have to pay the filing fee at that point.

In Alaska the requirement for an SR-22 filing gets longer with every subsequent conviction, and after a fourth conviction you will be required to carry it for life.

Alaska has fewer high-risk insurance companies operating, but there are fewer insurers in Alaska in general, so that’s not surprising. Along with the next state on our list, Alaska has high minimum coverage requirements at 50/100/25. That means even with a basic policy, you’re getting more for your money.

#2 – Maine

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $257
Number of High-Risk Providers: 15
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Providers: USAA & State Farm

Maine auto insurance is the cheapest in the nation overall, so it’s not surprising that it’s also among the cheapest for DUI insurance, called OUI (Operating Under the Influence) here. As a bonus, Maine’s minimum car insurance requirements, which are the same as Alaska’s, are really high. So that low price you’re paying is actually buying you a pretty decent policy.

USAA is the cheapest car insurance company in Maine, but you have to be a member of the military or a veteran to qualify. State Farm DUI insurance provides the cheapest option if you don’t meet those requirements. And if you don’t qualify for standard insurance at all, there are 15 different high-risk companies to serve your needs.

#1 – Virginia

Monthly Cost for DUI insurance: $232
Number of High-Risk Providers: 26
SR-22 Filing Period Covered: 3 years
Cheapest Insurance Provider: State Farm

Virginia’s average monthly rate for auto insurance with a DWI (like other states, the term DUI is not used here) is only $212 a month. That’s pretty reasonable, and shopping around could get that down even more. You’ll need an SR-22 for three years here.

State Farm stands out among the top companies as the cheapest option for drivers with a DWI, but if you need to go with a non-standard company you have a lot to choose from. At 26 companies, Virginia ties with Ohio for the most high-risk auto insurance options.

Being convicted of a DUI is never a good thing, but if you have to pay DUI insurance rates, Virginia auto insurance is the cheapest.

Full Results: All States Ranked by Cost for DUI Auto Insurance

Where you live can have a big impact on your auto insurance rates after a DUI. The map below shows the range of average DUI rates in every state.

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It’s not at all surprising that Michigan is the most expensive state for a DUI. That’s because Michigan’s no-fault system and high personal injury protection (PIP) limits have made it the most expensive state overall for car insurance. Changes to the laws in the past few years have resulted in lower rates, but Michigan is still one of the most expensive states for drivers.

These numbers may leave you wondering “How can I lower my car insurance after a DUI?” You’re not alone. First of all, keep a clean record as you wait out the DUI surcharge period. And shop around for a better rate, as DUI auto insurance rates differ vastly from company to company.

Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance and DUI

If you have further questions about car insurance for DUI offenders, take a look below for answers.

#1 – How do insurance companies find out about a DUI?

Your insurance company runs your driving record with the DMV on regular basis. If you’re considering not telling insurance about your DUI, unfortunately, it won’t do you much good. There’s no DUI insurance trick to prevent your insurance company from finding out and charging you.

#2 – How long does a DUI stay on your insurance?

On average, your insurance company will charge you for a DUI for three years, but that can vary.  It’s important to note that your rate increase usually starts on the first renewal after the DUI appears on your record, and will not fall off until the next renewal after the DUI is no longer chargeable. That means the three-year anniversary of getting the DUI may not be the day your rates go down.

#3 – Can you get commercial auto insurance with a DUI?

As with all auto insurance, there are generally ways to get covered even with a DUI. When it comes to commercial insurance, where rates are already higher than personal insurance, a DUI will have a big impact on rates.

#4 – What insurance companies cover DUI?

If your insurance is paid up and in force at the time of your DUI, your insurance company will cover an accident that happens as a result. Whether an insurance company will continue to cover you depends on a lot of factors. Will GEICO drop you for a DUI, for example? What about State Farm? If it’s your first DUI, there was no claim (you were just pulled over) and you had a clean record before the conviction, probably not, but every situation is different.

Methodology: Ranking States by DUI Insurance Coverage

To rank the states based on the cost of DUI auto insurance, we started with the average rates for each state for drivers with a DUI. This data was provided by Quadrant Data Solutions. We also used this data to determine the cheapest car insurance company for a DUI in each state.

We then used the insurance company listings from Clearsurance to count the number of high-risk insurance companies in each state.

Finally, we looked at each state’s Department of Insurance and DMV pages to find out what the SR-22 requirements are in that state.

DUI Insurance by State: Cost & Availability
DUI Insurance by State: Cost & Availability