Car insurance rates are already climbing up a high ladder, almost crossing the roof, and getting affordable auto insurance policies is as rare as finding a box of gold in your house’s attic. This price hike is majorly due to the opening of offices and other workplaces, an increased number of drivers, and an increase in the number of road accidents. But in the world of expensive car insurance policies, you might end up paying a fortune if you get a DUI charge.
There are many reasons why you do not want to drive under the influence, and paying an enormous amount of money for auto insurance policies is one of the mildest reasons. Let’s take a look at how DUIs affect your auto insurance, and why you should avoid them at all costs.
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What’s a DUI charge
For the people who don’t know, a DUI charge stands for driving under the influence. Different states have different names for this offense. Some states call it driving while intoxicated (DWI). Whatever the name, if you are caught driving a car while drunk or under the influence of any drug, you’ll get a DUI charge.
Driving under the influence makes you a lot more likely to be in an accident, and hence it is a criminal offense. There are dozens of consequences of driving while you are drunk. Let’s take a look at what happens if you are caught doing so, and why you should prefer taking a cab while you’ve had your favorite booze.
DUI’s Affect on Auto Insurance Rates
Auto insurance companies are already very critical when selling your car insurance policies. They consider your driving record, past insurance claims, age, location, gender, credit score, and a lot of other internal factors to determine the price of the policy. All of this is done to assess the risk involved in selling you the policies. This includes all the policies such as collision coverage, liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, etc.
The higher the risk associated with you as a driver, the higher the price of the coverage. People with a poor driving record, poor credit score, past insurance claims, speeding tickets, points on their driving license, etc are considered high-risk individuals and are charged more.
Something is minor as a speeding ticket can increase your insurance rates by as much as 40%, depending on the state you are in and the auto insurance company. But out of all the traffic violations, auto insurance companies consider DUIs the worst.
DUI Charges Increase Insurance Rates
If the auto insurance companies see you as a high-risk individual, they’ll charge you more for the policies. This applies to every car insurance policy, from collision damage waiver to liability insurance. How much does the price increase? That depends on the insurance company and the state you live in. Here are some examples to give you a rough idea.
Let’s say that you live in Michigan, and you get caught driving under the influence. Firstly, we’ll be sorry for you because the price hike is unbelievable. You could get a price hike of almost $10,000. This is the highest price hike for a DUI charge in the US.
But don’t get excited. Even in states with the lowest price hike, expect no less than a $600 increment in your auto insurance rates, which is not worth it. Only two or three states have below $700 increment rates. For every other state, the price hike is close to $1,000. Imagine paying $1,000 more just because you couldn’t take a cab while drunk.
Take Georgia for example. When it comes to price hikes in auto insurance, it sits somewhere in the middle, meaning that the price hike is average. Even at that, it is 110%. So make sure you choose a car insurance company that saves you money while giving great coverage.
Look for the cheapest auto insurance rates in Georgia and select the best policy that fits your needs. Remember that it is not always about the price, but about the price-to-feature ratio. Get great coverage at a lower price for the most perks and benefits.
When it comes to car insurance companies, Geico and Allstate are the most sensitive to a high price hike, with Geico increasing the rates by almost 140% while other companies’ price hike ranges from anywhere between 40% to 80%.
DUI Charges can Get Your Claim Rejected
Getting in a car accident while drunk is very common. But if you think that after the accident, your claim process would be quick and simple, think again. Auto insurance companies are very serious about any claims that involve a DUI charge.
The authorities will take legal action against you if you get in a car accident while under the influence. This can include heavy fines, suspension of your driving license, or even some prison time if the accident is serious and someone gets injured. This will be mounted by a lawsuit by the other person involved in the accident.
While you’d expect your car insurance company to pay for the damages and medical treatments, they might reject your claim, even though you own the policy. The claim process can turn very messy and you’ll need to hire a lawyer if you want the claim to be accepted and even then the chances are low.
Your auto insurance company can reject your claim based on intentional damage to the car or causing the accident. This gives them the legal right to reject your claim. Whether you get the claim approved or not depends on a lot of factors, but what’s for certain is that you’ll end up spending a fortune, and might get your license suspended, and this would be the best-case scenario.
So avoid mixing drinking and driving and save yourself from a lot of legal and financial trouble.