Can You Get Car Insurance With a DUI?


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: JULY 25, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you will likely find it more difficult to obtain car insurance. A DUI means you’ve been caught driving under alcohol or drugs. If you’ve made the mistake of getting behind the wheel intoxicated, read on to learn how to keep or get car insurance with a DUI.

Quicklinks: Can You Get Insurance With a DUI?

How Do You Get Car Insurance With a DUI?

Car insurance companies look at the risk of getting into an accident to figure out your rates. Some insurance companies won’t insure you if you have a history of driving under the influence.

After being convicted of a DUI, you’ll likely have your license suspended. The duration of the suspension varies from state to state. For example, drunk driving in California will get you a four-month suspension. While some states, like Pennsylvania, don’t have mandatory license suspensions.

Some states allow insurance companies to cancel your insurance if you’re convicted of a DUI. In those states, after your suspension is lifted, you will need to look at getting insurance again.

Shop around for car insurance for DUI drivers

Some insurance companies don’t offer coverage if you have a DUI, while others might require you to carry an SR-22. If you have a DUI conviction, it’s important to compare car insurance rates for numerous insurers to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Consider non-owner car insurance.

Non-owner car insurance is a cheaper alternative. This is appropriate if you no longer own a vehicle but will be using someone else’s from time to time.

Get an SR-22

To get insurance with a DUI, the state may require you to get SR-22 insurance. This isn’t an insurance policy but proof that you have enough coverage to satisfy the state. 

Ignition interlock device

Some insurance companies let you get insurance coverage with a DUI if you agree to install an ignition interlock device. This device will measure your blood alcohol concentration and only allow the car to start if yours is lower than a set limit.

How Do Insurance Companies Find Out About a DUI?

Firstly, you need to tell them. You could, in theory, not tell them, but that has several consequences.

  1. They will find out when they check your driving record before your next renewal.
  2. It can invalidate your current insurance should you need to make a claim.
  3. They could drop you as a customer mid-way through your policy, leaving you without insurance and potentially unable to find coverage.

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance With a DUI

A DUI can cause your insurance premium to skyrocket, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t still try to get the best deal available.

Compare car insurance rates.

Different insurance companies will offer different rates. Some will be prohibitively expensive, but others may be able to offer you discounts even with a DUI on your record. Make sure you shop around to get the best price.

Make driving a priority safely.

The more traffic violations you have, your car insurance premium is likely to be higher. After a certain amount of time, providing you keep a clean driving record, you should see a decrease in your premiums.

FAQs: Car Insurance With a DUI

How much do car insurance rates go up after a DUI?

According to Forbes, you could pay an average of 74% higher premiums with a DUI than drivers without one.

It varies by the insurance provider, but some insurers will increase premiums by over 150%.

How long does a DUI stay on your insurance record?

Your driving record will likely show your DUI for three to five years, just like any other traffic violation. However, in some states, like New York, it can be 15 years from the date of conviction. A driving record differs from a criminal record; your DUI conviction will likely remain on your criminal record for life.

What’s the difference between a DUI and a DWI?

DUI means driving under the influence, while DWI means driving while intoxicated. These terms are used interchangeably in some states, but others make a distinction.  A DUI is the lesser charge in the states that have separate crimes. The distinction is often made depending on a person’s blood alcohol concentration.

How do I get SR-22 insurance?

To get SR-22 insurance, you must find an insurance company willing to insure you. They will submit a request for an SR-22 certificate to the state on your behalf.

What’s the best car insurance for DUI drivers?

This depends on several factors that include more than just your driving record. The best car insurance for you will vary depending on your state and other circumstances. Always compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Getting Car Insurance With a DUI

Driving under the influence or while intoxicated is a bad idea, and not just because it’s illegal. It has many ramifications, one of which involves your car insurance. Some insurance companies will refuse to insure you, while others will hike your rate. It’s important to compare car insurance quotes to ensure you‘re getting the best rates, whatever your circumstances.