Your car insurance rates will likely increase after a DUI if you are convicted. Because the DUI (and points on your license) will make you a “high-risk” driver, insurers will charge you a higher premium to recoup potential future losses.
National auto insurer Progressive explains, “Some insurance companies may not even insure you if you have a DUI on your record. Progressive will insure you regardless of whether or not you have a DUI, though we do charge you appropriately for one.” Note the use of the word “appropriately” is a nice way of saying, “Be prepared for an increase.”
Do I have to report my DUI to my insurer?
Do not make the mistake of trying to pull one over on your insurance company. Disclosure of convictions is usually mandatory. Policyholders are typically bound by their policy agreement to inform the insurer of any DUI convictions. If you fail to do so, your insurance company can deny future claims. Plus, whenever you renew your policy or change providers, the insurer will generally review your driving record, so it would find out about your DUI anyway.
While you will need to be forthcoming about your DUI, do not provide more information than required. After your arrest, speak to a DUI attorney at Goldman Wetzel and have her counsel you on how to handle the conversation with your insurer.
To what degree will my DUI affect my insurance rates?
The extent of the increase in your premiums depends on several factors. First, each insurance company is different; some charge higher rates than others for drivers with a DUI on their record, so consider shopping around. Also, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level and the category of your offense may affect the degree of your increase, as well. Those with a higher BAC or with felony charges may see higher rate increases than those with misdemeanor DUIs.
However, your insurance may not increase at all if the state does not find you guilty. For instance, if you are on deferred adjudication, make a plea bargain with the prosecutor for lesser charges, or are accepted into a diversion program, your insurance rates may not change.
So if you are facing DUI charges in St. Petersburg, call Goldman Wetzel now to set up a free consultation: 727-828-3900.