How Much Will Car Insurance Go Up With a DUI?

How much more insurance will cost after a DUI conviction depends on a variety of factors. Geography is a major one since different states have different requirements for their DUI drivers. Another big factor is how much change to an existing policy is required for compliance with new requirements. Also, penalty point surcharges and underwriting rules are different from each company.

Increased liability limits is a common and costly requirement for DUI drivers, and the amount depends on their state of residence. Florida has the largest increase requiring 100/300/50 split limits or 300,000 combined single limit which is ten times the minimum requirement for drivers without DUI. Evidence of compliance is required by a Florida FR44 Form filing (submission) to the Florida Bureau of Financial Responsibility. Another good example is Virginia where liability requirements for convicted drivers are 50/100/40 which is double for other drivers. Virginia also utilizes the FR44 form as proof of required insurance for DUI drivers.

Many drivers already have elevated liability limits on their policy before a conviction and therefore would incur no additional cost associated with raising limits. For example, anyone leasing a car is required to maintain 100/300/50 liability limits. Drivers who are accredited to carrying minimum limits, which is quite common, experience the greatest increased cost. In addition to coverage amounts, there are different requirements from each state for their DUI convicted drivers. One expensive example of these differenting state requirements is the annual fine for three years of $ 1,000.00 in Texas.

The number of points assigned to a DUI conviction and their incremental rate increase depends on the underwriting rules and guidelines from each company. Consistently this type of conviction triggers the highest risk category. Companies that have no "appetite" for high risk drivers charge astronomical rates in this grouping. However, there are companies in certain areas that desire these policies and provide competitive pricing for them. As a risk group, DUI drivers in Florida and Virginia have recently proven to be especially profitable for insurance companies. This recent revelation has come about, due to the ease of identifying and assigning results to DUI drivers, because as of 2008 they are the only ones required to file FR44 form.

There are companies that will automatically not renew a policy when a driver receives a DUI conviction. Those willing to consider renewal may not do so because of accumulated existing points. Most companies will only extend a cost saving prior insurance discount when a renewal offer has been extended. Other underwriting guidelines and rate tier placement impact the cost of a policy as well, and they are different from each company.

Basically, how much car insurance is going to cost after a DUI comes down to where the driver lives, what company and policy is currently in force, and how successfully a policyholder shops around. Knowing the requirements can help build a strategy to lessen the impact of a rate increase. Fortunately, there are companies that encourage applicants with a DUI conviction by competing with lower cost policies.