Getting DWI auto insurance after several infractions is difficult, but in order to continue driving legally, the driver is required to have auto insurance, or risk other convictions for uninsured drivers if an accident occurs.
The SR-22 Auto Insurance is available in many states, and in some is the only way for a convicted drunk driver to obtain insurance for their vehicle.
An SR-22 is basically a certificate that the insurance company issues to the DMV that confirms the driver is covered by an insurance policy that conforms to the minimum liability requirements of the state.
This coverage must be maintained for three to five years, depending on the state and the insurer, or the DMV is notified that the insurance has lapsed.
How DWI Affects Insurance Premiums Typically a conviction for drunk driving means that the driver's license is revoked and in many cases involved jail time because it puts others lives at risk.
Insurance rates typically increases because of these drivers are considered to be high risk drivers, and most states have severe penalties for breaking this law.
It's even more critical if someone is injured, or if a child is in the car.
However, there are things that drivers need to know about their insurer:
- Most insurance companies only check the driver's record at a minimum of once a year, and may not find the DWI for even a year or two.
However when they do find out, generally a higher rate is applied to the policy.
- Insurance companies have the right to refuse to renew the policy, or cancel it outright when they find out about the conviction.
- The insurer can also move the policy on the driver to an "assigned risk pool" because the driver has now become higher risk due to the DWI.
- Since the states require insurance to have insurance, if they are placed in a high risk pool, there are options, such as RS-22 insurance, but at much higher premiums.
Check with the insurance company to see if they offer the following:
- Good behavior discounts can be based on the driving record over a period of time, and particularly helpful is if the driver takes a defensive driving or driving safety course, and can help offset the higher cost of the DWI insurance.
- Students with good grades who have had a DWI conviction, yet maintain their good grades are oftentimes able to get a discount because of their "A/B" grade average.
- Discounts available for vehicles that have automatic seat belts, airbags, anti-theft devices, or other safety features.
- If the driver was sentenced to community service as a result of the DWI, ensure the community service is completed in the required timeframe, and get a letter of reference from the community service organization depicting responsible behavior, may actually result in a lowered quote.