A California conviction for driving under the influence has legal consequences. It also has a substantial impact on auto insurance rates. Understanding how a DUI affects insurance premiums is important for drivers in the Golden State.
From increased rates to potential policy cancellations, the repercussions of a California DUI extend beyond the legal realm. They can also significantly impact one’s financial commitments on the road.
Immediate rate hikes
A DUI conviction in California often leads to an immediate spike in auto insurance rates. Insurers consider driving under the influence a high-risk behavior, prompting them to reevaluate the level of risk associated with covering someone. As a result, drivers with DUIs on their records often see a considerable increase in their insurance premiums.
Potential policy cancellation or non-renewal
In some cases, a DUI conviction may lead to more severe consequences, such as policy cancellation or non-renewal. Insurers periodically reassess policyholders’ risk profiles, and a DUI conviction may prompt them to deem an individual too high of a risk to continue coverage. In such instances, drivers may find themselves seeking new insurance providers, often at significantly higher rates.
Requirement for SR-22 filing
Following a DUI conviction, California may make drivers file an SR-22 form with their insurance providers. This form serves as proof that the driver carries the state-mandated minimum liability insurance. While it does not directly impact insurance rates, the need for an SR-22 filing signals to insurers that the individual is a high-risk driver, which can lead to further rate increases.
Extended period of elevated premiums
A California DUI can have a lasting impact on auto insurance rates. Insurers often consider the offense for several years when determining premium amounts. During this extended period, drivers can expect to pay higher-than-average rates, reflecting the continued perception of elevated risk associated with a DUI.
According to Insure.com, the typical California driver with a first-time DUI pays 186% more per year for car insurance. This amounts to an annual increase of about $3,310.