Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is an offense and depending on the state you live in, the level of punishment will vary. In the worst case scenario, you could be sent to jail as well. Plus, the car insurance premium will go up. In this article I will discuss how DUI affect your car insurance rate and what to do to get a lower rate in this situation.
How a DUI affects Premiums?
Although it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much your insurance will increase, some people have reported increases of up to $5,000 dollars a year. This is extremely expensive after you’ve already spent money on bail, towing, a lawyer, court fines, educational classes, licensing fees, ignition locks, etc. The bottom line is to expect that your insurance rates are about to go through the roof.
Don’t panic, though, because we have a few tips on how you can keep this monster from growing out of control.
How to Lower Your Premium After a DUI?
There are multiple ways to lower your premium after a DUI. Generally, they are going to involve you becoming a more responsible driver.
- Drive Safely
This is easy. Avoid rolling through stop signs. Don’t speed in a school zone. If you can keep a clean record, you’re going a long way towards lowering your premium. No claims bonus is available to those who don’t claim for a 5 consecutive years.
- Take a Course
There are multiple opportunities available online or at a location near you to take defensive driving courses. These are usually relatively inexpensive (less than $60) and will usually lower your premium anywhere from 5-15%. But make sure, the course you wish to attend is authorized by your insurance provider.
- Bump Up Your Deductible
Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible can increase your savings on collision and comprehensive plan. Expect, however, to pay more out of pocket for a visit to the shop.
- Change Vehicles
Driving a vehicle that will have a lower attached premium may be your best option at this point. After all, we’re focusing on lowering that bottom line. Trading your vehicle may be a viable route.
- Improve Your Credit
Make all your payments on time. Having a strong credit score can positively affect your car insurance rates across the board. When your credit score is poor, this is a signal that you are not going to pay premium on time and there is a possibility of lapses which the insurance companies don’t want to happen.
Finding a decent quote after a DUI or watching your rates sky-rocket can be disconcerting. Follow these 5 steps to help keep you insurance rates under control.