Your driving record and your insurance premium are connected at the hip. The worse your history looks, the more you’re going to pay for coverage and vice versa. Add a DUI into the mix, and you can expect your insurance premium to skyrocket. Here’s how a DUI affects your premium and why.
The Risk Factor
For insurance companies, premiums are determined by the driver’s risk factor. Risk is simple the likelihood of you being involved in an accident, which means the company would have to pay to cover everything from damages to injuries.
It’s a betting game for insurance companies. They hope you’ll pay into insurance for a lifetime and that they will never have to pay out. That’s how they make their money. So, the compile a list of factors to determine your level of risk.
Pre-existing conditions that cause impairments, speeding tickets, and the length of time you’ve been a driver all play a part. That’s why new drivers without a history of being behind the wheel, like teens, pay a higher premium.
Accidents and Risk
Just one accident is enough to make your insurance premium skyrocket. While your cost may return to normal after five years, every accident in that timeframe compounds to increase your premium yet again. Every accident also increases your risk level, as do DUIs.
DUIs and Risk
While the factors surrounding an accident can make you risk level vary, a DUI places you at high risk immediately. Any auto insurance agency knows how incredibly dangerous driving while intoxicated is since it affects the central nervous system and impacts your ability to drive at all.
Even if it was a one-time mistake, your insurance company is going to assume you drink and drive often. They don’t want to take the chance that you’ll do again. So, they charge you a higher premium to help cover any future costs associated with drinking and driving.
Lowering Your Premium
After a DUI, time is the best way to lower your premium again. It can take years to get your cost back to normal, not to mention repair your driving record. Each DUI after your first is going to make this process take longer.
You can, however, work with legal representation to help lessen the consequences. You might rely on an attorney for a second DUI to lessen court costs, time spent without your license, and possibly keep your premium from skyrocketing.
The Dreaded DUI
When law enforcement agencies say you can’t afford a DUI, they mean it. The costs associated with this infraction are astronomical, and that’s outside of an increase in your insurance premium. The best way to keep your monthly or yearly bill down is to practice safe driving every time you’re behind the wheel.
As for drinking, don’t assume you’ll be fine to drive. You alone can tell how intoxicated you are, and that should let you know when you’re not alright to drive. Stick with the legal limit and use a rideshare service like Uber when you must. It’s better than getting a DUI.