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Criminal Defense Denver: How a DUI will Affect Auto Insurance Rates


September 28, 2016

If you are convicted of a DUI, your vehicle insurance rates will likely be increased.  And this can happen immediately – even before your renewal date. So while you may be immediately impacted by your DUI in all sorts of short-term ways, you will also be impacted in the long run with higher auto insurance payments. As your Denver criminal defense attorney focusing my practice on DUI's, I can supply you with some facts to keep you informed.  

Higher insurance rates are a given for a DUI conviction. In most cases, a DUI results in a higher auto insurance premium because your insurer considers you a "high-risk" driver. A DUI conviction adds points to your driving record, and the more points you have on your record, the higher risk they consider you to insure. Some companies don’t even offer coverage to high-risk drivers, and therefore will not insure you at that point.
 

The contract with your insurance company likely has a provision, which allows them to raise your rates even in the middle of a term. So check your related documents to be sure. Because while your insurance is conducted under a contractual agreement, they only agree to insure you for a specific rate under certain conditions. When those conditions are no longer met, they can raise your rates. They are, however, limited as to how high they can raise your rates, and are required by law to provide you with a notification of the increase before hand.

A good history with your insurance company may not help keep your rates lower. But it is worth your time to discuss this with your insurance agent, because he or she may be able to negotiate a lower rate with the insurer due to your positive and long history with them.

If you decide to move to another insurer to get out from under the higher premiums, be aware that your driving record will, of course, follow you. Your driving record will show a DUI conviction; therefore, if you choose to move to another insurer, they too will notice the conviction. Plus, your own insurer may periodically check your driving record – especially at your renewal time – so they will find the DUI even if you do not report it to them.

An SR-22 (insurance) rider is a vehicle liability insurance document that may be required by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for high-risk insurance policies. So you may have to file an SR-22 if you are convicted of a DUI or if your license is suspended by the DMV. An SR-22 serves as proof that you have the proper insurance coverage as a high-risk driver. Your insurance company can file the SR-22 for you, and you may have to have an active SR-22 for several years – depending on your conviction.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, be aware of the long-term consequences too. You need a Denver DUI defense attorney who can help you with your DUI case, and help you navigate the long-term consequences. Schedule a consultation with us today at 303-501-1800.