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Impact of DUIs on car insurance rates

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Drinking and driving is a destructive decision in more ways than one. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is never the right decision, but many Rhode Island residents don’t realize that DUI convictions often have a long-term impact on their financial situation. Understanding the relationship between auto insurance and DUI convictions should further motivate Rhode Island drivers to avoid driving after having too much to drink.

Your policy may be canceled

While it is rare, car insurance companies do have the legal right to cancel your policy following a DUI conviction. Typically, auto insurance companies terminate your policy at its renewal date. However, if your insurance company chooses to drop your coverage, there is no legal recourse available to you.

Your rates will increase

If your car insurance company agrees to continue providing you with coverage, your insurance rates should increase. If you don’t notice an immediate increase in your insurance rates, you shouldn’t assume that your insurance company isn’t going to respond to your DUI charges. Typically, insurance companies increase insurance rates at the first renewal following the final DUI conviction.

How much will my rates increase?

One of the most common questions that people answer following a DUI conviction involves how high their insurance premiums will go. Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question, as it depends on a number of factors.

Insurance companies begin by considering your previous driving history. If you transition from standard coverage to high-risk coverage, you may notice your rates doubling. However, if you were already a high-risk driver, you may not notice much of an increase.

Avoiding driving under the influence isn’t only the best way to keep yourself and others safe, it is also a sound financial decision. The increase in insurance rates that follows a DUI conviction is often more than people can afford, leaving them unable to afford to drive.