October 5, 2010

Securing Auto Insurance After A DUI Conviction

There are many factors that affect auto insurance premiums including the type of vehicle, the annual distance driven, the territory of residence, and the number of tickets, accidents, or suspensions accumulated by the driver. One type of driving infraction that can seriously affect auto insurance quotes is a DUI conviction.

If a driver has received a DUI conviction, it can be very difficult to secure an auto insurance policy. Drivers should start by researching various insurance companies to obtain a variety of quotes. If their original insurance company is willing to retain their business, then they will require the driver to apply for a SR-22 insurance form. An SR-22 is a document required in most states that provides proof that the driver carries the minimum required limits of liability coverage. This form is required in order to reinstate driving privileges after a DUI conviction or another serious traffic infraction. If the SR-22 is cancelled, expired, or has lapsed, then the DMV must be notified and all driving privileges will be revoked.

Insurance brokers often offer premiums from several different insurance companies, and therefore, can pass along various options to a driver who has been convicted of a DUI. When a driver is applying for auto insurance after a DUI conviction, it is important to be completely honest and divulge all pertinent information. Insurance companies will ask a driver to present a driver's license, the vehicle identification number (VIN), Social Security number, proof of prior insurance, and any lien holder information. Insurance companies thoroughly check out a driver's information, and if anything has been omitted or if the driver has provided false information, the policy may be denied or cancelled.

When it comes to auto insurance quotes, consider not just the premiums, but also the coverages. Liability is usually mandatory in every state but there are also optional coverages that can be added. Such coverages include collision and comprehensive, which cover physical damages to the driver's vehicle in the case of a collision, theft, vandalism, fire, or hail. Always review the insurance documents and if there are any questions or concerns, promptly discuss them with an insurance agent. This way, there will be no unexpected surprises should a claim need to be filed.

Being charged with a DUI is a serious offence that is not taken lightly by insurance companies. If a driver has a DUI conviction on their driving record, then insurance companies will consider them to be a higher risk and will naturally charge higher premiums. Once a certain amount of time has passed, insurance rates will become less expensive as long as the driver does not accumulate any more tickets, suspensions, or accidents.