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DUI Conviction Means Higher Cost for Auto Insurance

By Jim Greene

on October 29, 2010

A conviction for driving under the influence will increase your car insurance premiums and could reduce the amount of coverage available to you. Once you’ve been convicted, you represent a bigger liability to insurance carriers, and they will treat your accordingly.

Insurance companies are in business to make money. Their success is based on paying out less to settle claims than they collect in premiums. Once you’ve been convicted of DUI, the industry assumes you are a greater risk to its profitability.

Companies Can Raise Rates, Lower or Drop Coverage

To remain profitable, the industry’s options are to charge you more for premiums, reduce the amount that will be paid on a claim, or drop you altogether. In most cases, insurance companies are not allowed to raise rates or reduce or eliminate coverage during the term of the policy, but those options are available to them when it’s time to renew the policy.

If your insurance company refuses to renew your coverage, you’ll have to find another carrier. Driving without insurance is not only a big financial risk; it’s illegal in most states. There is no shortage of companies that are willing to insure those convicted of DUI; in fact, there are companies that specialize in it. Just be prepared to pay more and get less.

Reduced Coverage Can Bring Financial Hardship

Because premium rates are higher for those convicted of DUI, you may not be able to afford much more than the minimum coverage required by the state. This usually means that, in case of an accident, the other party will be taken care of, but you will have to pay most of your expenses out of pocket. If the other party is not satisfied with the compensation available through your policy, you may be sued for additional compensation.

If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence, you may be headed for financial disaster. That’s why it’s vital to contact an experienced DUI attorney. You’ll need the best possible representation in court, to make sure you take full advantage of your rights as a defendant. Your financial future may depend on it.

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