Getting Insured After a Drunk Driving Conviction: What You Need to Know
No one’s perfect and we all make mistakes, but certain errors, such as being convicted of a drunk driving offense, can make it nearly impossible to get insured after the fact. Perhaps that’s because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one-third of people who are arrested or convicted of drunk driving have been in that same kind of trouble in the past. However, if you’ve had some issues in the past and are ready to redeem yourself as a driver who’s now committed to navigating the roads safely and without the influence of alcohol or drugs, all hope is not lost. Keep reading to learn more about some of the challenges you may face, and more importantly, how to overcome them when negotiating insurance coverage options.
Some Things Are Constant
Firstly, it’s important not to subscribe to the common misconception that, as a person with a DUI conviction, the requirements for the level of insurance you’re required to have will be higher than other drivers. Coverage requirements vary by state, but the stipulations for the amount of coverage a driver must have won’t rise or fall depending on behaviors behind the wheel.
Although you won’t have to cope with extra coverage requirements because of past faults, you may find insurers are quick to view you as a “risk factor,” largely because of the statistic mentioned above. After all, even if you have the best intentions of putting your past behind you and starting fresh, how can an insurance provider verify that attitude?
The SR-22 Form
Anyone who has been served with a DUI conviction or had his or her driving privileges temporarily taken away for another reason must request that an insurer file an SR-22 form with the relevant state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The SR-22 form acts as proof of insurance coverage, and an insurer must give updated notifications if you cancel your insurance coverage or switch providers.
Shop Around, Don’t Settle
A DUI offense can certainly be an embarrassing occurrence you’d much rather forget, but always remember to keep things in perspective. For example, an insurance company would likely place you into a high-risk category if you had a history of things like speeding tickets or falling asleep at the wheel prior to a first DUI offense. On the other hand, if you had a pristine driving record before you got on the road under the influence of alcohol, that fact will be much more likely to swing things in your favor when you’re checking out insurance options.
Whether your conviction happened in Indianapolis or New York City, take time to evaluate offers from all available providers. Doing research online can be very helpful, but it’s also worthwhile to meet with insurance providers in person to explain your situation. When you’re feeling desperate to get coverage so you can drive legally and safely again, it can be tempting to go with the first provider who promises to offer coverage. Avoid doing that and instead be patient by allowing yourself time to study all the choices and come to an informed conclusion.
The split-second decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking a little too much can have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. Fortunately, it’s not a mistake that has to define the rest of your life. Use the suggestions above if you’re ready to take to the roads again, but in a much more responsible manner.
Writer Deanna Ford is a professional blogger. Check out her writing on auto insurance indianapolis world climate for more insurance tips.