Insurance after a DUI
Insurance companies tend to respond in two ways after a DUI conviction. They cancel you or they raise your premiums. They may raise your premiums to a level that you cannot afford. It is possible your premiums could double, triple, or even quadruple. If you are canceled, then you are faced with finding an insurance company who will insure you at rate you can afford. Either of these could certainly impact your ability to work as well as the quality of your life and your family’s.
It is possible they could be in effect for an additional five years before you fall back into the “preferred” category which offers the lowest premiums. This means it would be a total of eight years of high premiums if convicted of driving under the influence.
In California, it is mandatory to have liability insurance in order to register and operate a vehicle. Even if you do not own a vehicle, you must have liability insurance to drive. If you have been convicted of a DUI, then you will need an SR-22 from to file with the Department of Motor Vehicles to prove you have the required liability insurance. An SR22 form is issued by an insurance company which removes a suspension order from the DMV. It provides the guarantee to the DMV that you have obtained at least the minimum liability coverage from an insurance company. Additionally, it lets the DMV known the insurance company will notify them should the insurance ever lapse for any reason. The DMV will not reinstate your driver’s license without proof of the SR-22 form. Normally, the Department of Motor Vehicles requires an SR-22 filing for three years after a license has been suspended for drunk driving.
If you have difficulty finding an insurance carrier, you may need to contact California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP). This is a state sponsored insurance plane for high-risk drivers. They can be reached at (800) 622-0954 for more information.