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One DUI can nearly double insurance costs, analysis shows

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One DUI can nearly double insurance costs, analysis shows

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(NerdWallet) — Drunk driving can cost you more than you might think.

Drivers with one DUI pay an average of $3,114 per year for full-coverage auto insurance — nearly double what a driver without traffic violations pays — according to NerdWallet 2021 Fee Analysis tarief.

The analysis included drivers with one DUI in all 50 states and Washington, DC. We examined which drivers paid the most (and cheapest) fares and why.

Key findings

  • Rates after a DUI rise dramatically. Auto insurance rates increase by about 96%, or $1,522 per year, on average for a driver with one DUI.
  • Drivers are likely to pay higher fares for three to five years. This means that a DUI could cost an additional $7,600 if left on a driver’s record for five years.
  • But not everyone pays the same rate. On average, drivers with a DUI of $508 to $4,165 could pay more per year for auto insurance.
  • Location can have a big impact on price. Average annual rates in Alaska, Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma increase by less than 50% after a DUI, but more than double for drivers in 11 other states.
  • Don’t ignore smaller insurance companies when shopping. In 34 states and Washington, DC, the most affordable rates after a DUI are not among the nation’s 10 largest insurers.

Expect to pay significantly higher rates after a DUI

Average annual insurance rates after a GERMANY increase of 96%, or $1,522, compared to drivers with no traffic violations. Because a DUI typically affects your rates for a minimum of three to five years, one DUI can cost you more than $7,600 in additional insurance costs over the next five years.

Location helps determine rates

However, these are average rates and the exact cost will depend on where drivers live. For example, auto insurance rates for drivers in Alaska, Florida, Mississippi and Oklahoma are increasing by less than 50% on average. While rates after a DUI in California, Hawaii and Michigan increase by an average of 165% or more.

This means drivers with a DUI can pay an average of $508 to $4,165 more per year.

Why shopping is important

Don’t have a few thousand dollars extra to spend on auto insurance? While your insurance bill is almost guaranteed to rise after a DUI, shopping around can help you find the lowest price possible.

While you may be tempted to stick with your current company, in most states the cheapest insurer for a DUI is not the same after the fact.

Don’t ignore smaller, regional insurers when comparing quotes – they often have lower rates. NerdWallet’s analysis found that in 34 states and Washington, DC, the cheapest rates after a DUI don’t come from one of the nation’s largest insurers.

What you can do after a DUI

It can be hard to find after a DUI conviction cheap car insurance – in fact, you may struggle to get coverage at all. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Go shopping right away. Immediately look for alternative insurance after getting a DUI. Your insurer may cancel your coverage, so you’ll want to have another option available. Be sure to inform insurers of the DUI when you shop to get the most accurate quotes.
  • Avoid other traffic violations. Your insurer will likely increase your rate even further after additional driving violations such as speeding, accidents, or another DUI.
  • Ensure good creditworthiness. Your credit history can play a big part in how much you pay for auto insurance. In some cases, if you have bad credit, your rates may increase more than a DUI. Five states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington — don’t allow insurers to use credit when determining auto insurance rates.
  • Consider lowering your coverage. If you have an older car that isn’t worth much, you may want to drop collision and extended coverage. Compare the value of your vehicle to how much you pay for coverage plus your deductible, which is the amount deducted from a claim payment. If there isn’t much difference, you’re probably paying more than it’s worth.
  • Compare quotes every three to five years. Insurance rates often change three and five years after a DUI. Look around after these milestones to make sure you’re still getting the cheapest rate.
  • Get quotes from non-standard insurance companies. After a DUI, you may need to use an insurer that covers high risk drivers. If you still can’t find coverage, turn to your state’s risk insurance pool through the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office.

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Kayda Norman writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]

The article One DUI can almost double insurance costs, an analysis find originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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