DUI Insurance: Is cheap auto insurance with a DUI possible?

While there is no DUI insurance trick to save money after you're convicted of a serious offense like this, there are ways to save money. It's critical to find all the savings you can, since insurance typically increases by 74% after a DUI.

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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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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 11, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • DUIs increase insurance rates by an average of 74%
  • If the DUI is severe or you have several infractions on your record, your company might revoke your policy
  • You can save money by taking advantage of discounts, shopping for other quotes, and keeping your driving record clean

Getting a DUI can feel like the end of life as you know it, especially if you hurt someone with a reckless decision. Aside from legal and financial trouble, DUIs typically come with feelings of shame or guilt.

When you’re dealing with the consequences of a DUI, the last thing you want to worry about is car insurance. However, you need insurance if you plan on driving.

Unfortunately, finding insurance after a DUI conviction can be a challenge. At the very least, your rates will increase. Depending on the severity of the conviction, you might be denied insurance altogether.

It’s not impossible to find coverage after a conviction, but there’s no DUI insurance trick to find cheap car insurance rates. Read on to learn more about DUI insurance rates, then compare quotes with as many companies as possible to find the best rate for you.

Looking to find affordable DUI auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code into our free auto insurance comparison tool to compare DUI auto insurance rates.

How much does insurance cost after a DUI?

Along with hit-and-run accidents, DUIs will increase your insurance rates more than any other traffic violation. Insurance companies are wary of drivers with a DUI on their record because they often lead to deadly results.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol often leads to injury and death on the road — more than 10,000 people died in 2019 in a collision with a drunk driver. 

Drivers are also more likely to engage in risky behavior once they’ve already done it. With that in mind, it’s no wonder insurance companies are hesitant to provide coverage for drivers with a DUI on their record.

Some insurance companies refuse to cover a driver with a DUI on their record, even if they were a previous customer. Companies that do work with DUI drivers increase rates by an average of 74%. However, some companies will raise your rates by much more.

Aside from the chance that you could hurt yourself or someone else, the price hike in your insurance is a strong incentive to avoid driving while intoxicated. DUIs stay on your record for a long time (permanently in some states), and they can affect your insurance for years.

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How long does a DUI affect your insurance rates?

The amount of time a DUI stays on your record is different depending on  your driving history, your insurance, and the state you live in. Typically, a DUI stays on your record with the DMV for about 10 years, though you can check your state below.

State Time DUI stays on record
Alabama 5 years
Alaska Life
Arizona 5 years
Arkansas 5 years
California 10 years
Colorado 10 years
Connecticut 10 years
Delaware 5 years
Florida 75 years
Georgia 10 years
Hawaii 5 years
Idaho Life
Illinois Life
Indiana Life
Iowa 12 years
Kansas Life
Kentucky 5 years
Louisiana 10 years
Maine Life
Maryland 5 years
Massachusetts 10 years
Michigan 7 years
Minnesota 10 years
Mississippi 5 years
Missouri 10 years
Montana 5 years
Nebraska 12 years
Nevada 7 years
New Hampshire 10 years
New Jersey 10 years
New Mexico 55 years
New York 15 years
North Carolina 7 years
North Dakota 7 years
Ohio Life
Oklahoma 10 years
Oregon Life
Pennsylvania 10 years
Rhode Island 5 years
South Carolina 10 years
South Dakota 10 years
Tennessee Life
Texas Life
Utah 10 years
Vermont Life
Virginia 11 years
Washington 15 years
West Virginia 10 years
Wisconsin 10 years
Wyoming 10 years

Insurance companies typically consider the last three to five years when crafting a quote for a driver, though some look as far back as 10 years.

Your rates aren’t the only thing affected by a DUI. Insurance companies can’t offer you a good driver discount for 10 years after a DUI conviction in states like California.

If you keep your record clean after a DUI, your rates will gradually drop even if the conviction is still on your record. However, you’ll have to wait at least a year before your rates begin to lower.

What companies provide DUI insurance?

Most major insurance companies will still work with people with one DUI on their record. As with other factors, each company places a different emphasis on DUIs — some will increase your rates by a small margin, while others might triple them.

To understand how major companies treat DUIs, consider the average monthly rates below.

Company With a DUI Without a DUI
State Farm $185 $102
GEICO $223 $87
Nationwide $215 $109
Farmers $201 $131
Travelers $263 $127
Progressive $177 $115
Allstate $222 $112
USAA $151 $73

While USAA offers the cheapest rates, only active and retired military or their families are eligible for coverage.

Remember that these rates are the national average and may change at a state level. For example, although Progressive has the best national rates for DUI drivers, State Farm is the cheapest option in many states.

You can see the importance of shopping for quotes after getting a DUI in the graph above. GEICO customers enjoy some of the lowest rates in the nation, as long as their records are clean. However, GEICO penalizes DUIs harsher than other companies, and its rates are higher. 

What is high-risk insurance?

If you have multiple DUIs on your record or a DUI with other serious driving infractions, you risk being classified as a high-risk driver. Many companies refuse to offer insurance to high-risk drivers because of the heightened risk that they’ll file (or cause) claims.

Many insurance companies drop high-risk drivers, even if they were customers for years before. However, everyone needs insurance, and there are companies that work specifically with high-risk drivers.

High-risk companies are usually regional or local providers. A few national providers are: 

  • The General 
  • Safe Auto 
  • National General 

High-risk insurance companies tend to have much higher rates, and usually don’t offer as many options.

If you can’t find any insurance company that will work with you, you can access your state’s Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office (AIPSO). AIPSO offers coverage for people that can’t find insurance anywhere else.

AIPSO coverage is the bare necessity you need to drive legally. Your vehicle won’t be covered if you get in an accident, but it will help you pay for the property or bodily damage you cause.

How can you save money on insurance after a DUI?

While you’ll definitely pay more for insurance after a DUI, there are a few steps you can take to save as much money as possible. Consider the following options:

  • Ask for discounts. While you won’t qualify for a good driver discount, there are many others you can take advantage of. Ask your agent to check for every discount possible.
  • Keep your record clean. After a DUI, it’s important to follow traffic laws and avoid further infractions.
  • Shop for new insurance. You might be able to find a better price for insurance with another company. Since there’s usually no penalty for canceling your coverage, you should switch if you can find a better price.

If your insurance increases by more than you can afford and you can’t find a better rate for the same product, you can lower your coverage options. For example, if you get rid of comprehensive and collision insurance, your rates will significantly drop.

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Find the Best Rates After a DUI

Although the consequences of a DUI are severe and long-lasting, there are ways you can save money on your car insurance. Your rates will eventually decrease as long as you avoid adding more infractions to your driving record.

Unfortunately, there is no DUI insurance trick that will get you cheap rates, but you can still save money by comparing quotes with as many companies as possible.

Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to find auto insurance quotes after a DUI now.

References

  1. https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

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