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Best cheap insurance after a DUI

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    Being charged with a DUI isn’t just bad for your driving record — it can dramatically increase the cost of your car insurance as well. Not only that, but some insurers may drop policyholders for being too high-risk if they have a DUI listed in their driving history. 

    If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI or have an existing offense on your driving record, there are still plenty of affordable insurance options available for you to stay protected on the road. Coverage lists the best cheap DUI insurance options for drivers with a less-than-perfect record below, along with insight around the impacts of a DUI on insurance.

    What happens to your insurance after a DUI?

    Insurance providers take risk assessment seriously when it comes to insuring policyholders, as it directly correlates to the likelihood a costly claim will occur. Drivers with DUIs on their record are considered high-risk, and may be penalized in a number of different ways. In general, here’s what you can expect to happen to your insurance coverage after receiving a DUI:

    Your premium will increase

    Insurance carriers typically charge higher rates for higher risk drivers. Consequently, drivers with a DUI will typically be charged a higher rate. Following a DUI conviction, the average driver can expect to see an 80% increase in their premium (reflected in the table below). However, some insurance premiums can increase even higher, with some companies’ rates increasing by as much as 371%, on average, following a DUI.

    You may be dropped from your policy

    With a DUI conviction, honesty is always the best policy. While you may not want to report the incident to your insurer for fear of higher rates, it’s better to be upfront and honest. If you fail to report the incident, it may come back to haunt you when it comes time for policy renewal. 

    Your insurer will need to review your driving history and will be able to see any recent DUIs that appear on your record. When this happens and you have not reported the incident, your insurance carrier may drop your policy. Even if you are honest with your insurance provider, you could end up having your policy terminated, especially if this is the latest in a string of DUI or other serious violations.

    You’ll likely need to file an SR-22, FR-44, or FR-19

    Depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to file an SR-22, FR-44 or similar form. These forms serve as proof that you have been insured before the company offers the necessary insurance for you to continue driving. An SR-22 form is known as a “statement of financial responsibility,” which insurance carriers usually file on your behalf. Depending on the specific factors in your DUI case, an SR-22 may not be necessary.

    You may pay more for many years

    A DUI will stay on your record for years to come, and the specific time frame varies from state to state. In most cases, a DUI will drop from your record after three to seven years. However, DUIs are classified as criminal charges, and may never leave your criminal record in some cases. Depending on where you live and which insurance carrier you choose, you may be stuck with an inflated premium for however many years your DUI remains on your driving record.

    Cheapest car insurance after a DUI

    Finding cheap car insurance following a DUI is sometimes an involved task, but an important process to explore if you want to avoid paying incredibly high rates. Drivers can take action to lower rates by taking defensive driving courses, avoiding traffic offenses for three years and avoiding accidents for three years. 

    In addition, some insurance providers offer competitively-priced insurance for high-risk drivers. While the rates won’t be as low as those for drivers without a DUI, securing a cheap DUI insurance policy from an inexpensive provider will soften the blow of inflated rates from other companies.

    Minimum coverage rates by carrier

    Insurance rates for high-risk drivers will differ depending on the insurance carrier and state in which the driver lives. While the table below illustrates a comparative look at average annual minimum coverage rates prior to and following a DUI on record, the actual rates may vary depending on your specific profile as a driver. 

    However, according to a recent report on Access Wire, Erie and American Family are considered the best auto insurance companies for DUI offenders, noting each for its surprisingly low rates, even for drivers convicted of a DUI. Rates for these providers can be compared to others offering competitive rates in the table below. 

    CarrierAverage rateAverage rate with DUIDifference
    AAA$473$1,235$762
    Allstate$705$1,135$430
    American Family$542$949$407
    Amica$460$1,141$681
    Auto-Owners$398$978$580
    Erie$372$927$555
    Farmers$587$1,312$725
    GEICO$416$1,043$627
    MetLife$873$1,764$891
    Nationwide$566$1,240$674

    Quadrant information services, 2020

    Full coverage rates by carrier

    Full auto insurance coverage rates are much higher than minimum coverage, reflecting a higher degree of financial protection; as with minimum coverage, rates also increase significantly with a DUI factored in. The table below outlines how a DUI conviction will increase the rate for full coverage depending on the specific insurance carrier.

    CarrierAverage rateAverage rate with DUIDifference
    AAA$1,948$3,398$1,450
    Allstate$1,896$2,888$992
    American Family$1,218$1,989$771
    Amica$1,449$3,599$2,150
    Auto-Owners$1,308$2,644$1,336
    Erie$1,141$2,409$1,268
    Farmers$1,540$3,381$1,841
    GEICO$1,260$2,880$1,620
    MetLife$1,923$4,002$2,079
    Nationwide$1,533$3,478$1,945

    Quadrant information services, 2020

    Cheapest car insurance companies for drivers after a DUI

    Based on full and minimum coverage rate increases following a DUI, a few insurance carriers stand out from the crowd in offering competitive rates for high-risk drivers. Erie, American Family and Auto-Owners represent the lowest increases to annual minimum and full coverage policies, factoring in a DUI conviction.

    Cheapest for minimum coverage with DUI

    • Erie: $927
    • American Family: $949
    • Auto-Owners: $978

    Cheapest for full coverage with DUI

    • American Family: $1,989
    • Erie: $2,409
    • Auto-Owners: $2,644

    American Family

    Featuring the lowest full coverage rates following a DUI, American Family was also named in the Access Wire report for being one of the best insurance carriers for high-risk drivers. Compared to other insurers that raise rates by an average of 80%, American Family only raises rates by 57% – 61% depending on whether or not the driver elects minimum or full coverage.

    Erie

    Erie insurance isn’t available everywhere, but drivers living in states where this insurer is available should definitely take stock of the company’s low rates for drivers with DUIs. Drivers with minimum coverage and a DUI saw a mere 40% increase to their premiums, on average, while full coverage policyholders saw just a 47% rate increase. This makes Erie easily one of the most affordable DUI insurance options available on the market.

    Auto-Owners

    Another great insurance company for drivers with DUIs to consider is Auto-Owners. Similar to Erie, Auto-Owners features a 40% rate increase for drivers with minimum coverage who have received a DUI. For full coverage policyholders, an increase of 49% can be expected — much lower than the average 80% seen across many other insurance carriers throughout the nation.

    Cheapest states for car insurance rate increases after a DUI

    Rate increases will vary depending on the state in which you live. Each state enforces its own unique laws when it comes to DUI convictions, with some keeping incidents on record for just three years, while in other states, DUIs stay on-record for as long as seven years. 

    In addition, each state places its own financial penalties on DUIs, which may include fines, jail time, community service and other monetary or time expenses. To remain in compliance with state laws surrounding DUIs, insurance carriers may be required to increase rates by a percentage outlined by the state in which the provider operates. On average, the following states top the list for cheapest minimum coverage rates after a DUI.

    Cheapest states for minimum coverage after a DUI

    • Missouri
    • South Dakota
    • North Dakota
    StateAverage rateAverage rate after DUIDifference
    Alabama$435$923$488
    Alaska$467$709$242
    Arizona$482$1,091$609
    Arkansas$458$820$362
    California$611$1,449$838
    Colorado$510$894$384
    Connecticut$790$1,506$716
    Delaware$839$1,357$518
    District of Columbia$678$1,024$346
    Florida$948$1,707$759
    Georgia$640$1,332$692
    Hawaii$354$1,106$752
    Idaho$337$595$258
    Illinois$462$922$460
    Indiana$372$756$384
    Iowa$274$539$265
    Kansas$468$841$373
    Kentucky$738$1,109$371
    Louisiana$765$1,550$785
    Maine$312$615$303
    Maryland$858$1,229$371
    Massachusetts$478$1,108$630
    Michigan$1,219$1,512$293
    Minnesota$625$1,201$576
    Mississippi$482$933$451
    Missouri$688$888$200
    Montana$316$641$325
    Nebraska$389$798$409
    Nevada$836$1,453$617
    New Hampshire$427$828$401
    New Jersey$912$1,458$546
    New Mexico$370$852$482
    New York$1,295$1,611$316
    North Carolina$444$1,683$1,239
    North Dakota$349$567$218
    Ohio$320$714$394
    Oklahoma$445$816$371
    Oregon$578$1,157$579
    Pennsylvania$374$730$356
    Rhode Island$790$1,465$675
    South Carolina$537$1,021$484
    South Dakota$314$526$212
    Tennessee$358$813$455
    Texas$708$944$236
    Utah$536$1,042$506
    Vermont$314$598$284
    Virginia$398$920$522
    Washington$408$993$585
    West Virginia$518$845$327
    Wisconsin$330$686$356
    Wyoming$264$526$262

    Quadrant information services, 2020

    The takeaway

    • DUI impacts to insurance include having your rates increase, your policy may be dropped, or you may have to pay more for coverage for many years to come.
    • Increases to insurance premiums following a DUI vary depending on the specific carrier and state in which you live.
    • Finding the cheapest insurance after a DUI requires careful research and honesty with the selected carrier. However, a few key providers do offer more competitive rates than others for drivers with a DUI.

    Having a DUI on record is not ideal from an insurance perspective, but steps drivers can take will reduce their financial impacts following a conviction. By being honest with your provider, filing the necessary paperwork and taking steps to improve your driving record, you can help reduce rate increases for your policy and avoid being removed from the policy altogether. 

    Rate increases vary depending on your state and selected carrier, so be sure to do your research and understand how state laws may impact your insurance rates following a DUI. Always consult with an insurance agent to discuss your best options when choosing a cheap insurance policy.

    Methodology

    Coverage utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using the top 15 carriers by premiums written by state. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30-year-old male and female driver with a DUI, good credit and the following full coverage details:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.

    *DUI qualifies as > .08 BAC

    These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only – your own quotes may be different.

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