Do I Have To Notify My Insurance Company Of A DUI?
Someone could get an impaired driving charge but there could be no accident, when you’re pulled over on a roadside stop, there’s no accident, and the insurance company may not necessarily be notified. In order for your insurance company to find out about your non-accident related DUI charges, the company needs to order a report of your driving record from the Utah DMV, which is typically something that it’ll do when it’s time to renew your policy. And even then, it’s not always guaranteed that this will happen every single year especially if you have an otherwise clean record.
Specifically where you’ve had someone who’s been a client of the same insurance company for a number of years and hasn’t had any accidents or claims, and hasn’t done anything to draw attention to them, the insurance company may not be ordering a report on that driver. if you get into an accident and need to make a claim, that’s an entirely different situation. Claims adjuster will ask about the accident, and seek out details and you can’t lie. At the moment, the Utah police force posts the first and last names of drivers that have been charged with impaired driving, along with their age, location, and crime. Unless there’s a driver’s license number associated with it, there’s nothing the insurance company can do with it.
Unless the police start releasing more information, or they make a concerted effort to work directly with auto insurers, it’s not likely that your insurance company would be able to connect you with the name displayed on the police website. The impaired conviction remains on your Utah driving record for at least three years, and the license suspension that accompanies the conviction remains on your record for up to six years. The Utah car insurance application requires drivers to disclose any license suspensions within the last six years, which will require you to notify the insurer of the impaired driving conviction. To return to paying normal car insurance rates, you’re going to have to wait up to six years after the impaired conviction.
As soon as your auto insurance company learns that you’ve been convicted of driving while intoxicated, they’ll apply a major surcharge to your policy. While this may occur on the first renewal date after your conviction, it’s possible that they’ll levy the charge retroactively to cover the period during which you hid your conviction. Alternatively, your state may require you to notify your provider immediately after your conviction. In most jurisdictions, you need to obtain an SR-22 form from your insurance company in order to retain your driving privileges once your DUI-related license suspension period ends. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to request an SR-22 from your insurer without alerting them of your recent conviction. Once your DUI is a matter of record, you’ll endure years of artificially high premium payments. You won’t be able to do much about this: Whereas safe drivers can switch insurance companies freely to take advantage of promotions, deals and novel policy features, high-risk drivers who wish to switch insurance companies must contend with fees and red tape.
Once you have a DUI on your record, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better deal with another provider. In most states, your DUI will remain visible to your insurance company for five years. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere. In Utah, your DUI conviction will remain active on your driving record for an entire decade. You can mitigate the financial impact of your DUI in several ways. First, figure out exactly when your DUI conviction will drop off of your driving record. Unless you take out a new insurance policy each month, it’s unlikely that this will occur immediately before your policy is up for renewal. To avoid paying hundreds of dollars more than you should, call your insurance company a few days before the five-year anniversary of your conviction and ask your agent to recalculate the cost of your DUI-free policy.
If you sell your car after your conviction, cancel your current policy and obtain operator-only insurance. This type of coverage permits you to drive without permanently tying you to an actual vehicle. Alternatively, you can purchase low-cost proof of insurance from an online provider. While it may not provide much protection in an accident, this type of coverage is legal and may save you hundreds of dollars per year. The costs associated with a DUI or DWI conviction continue long after your court case has finalized. In fact, one of the most significant expenses comes in the form of higher car insurance premiums. Although it’s almost impossible to avoid a hike in your insurance rates after a DUI, there are steps you can take to keep your premiums affordable.
Strategies To Save On Auto Insurance After A DUI
• Take A Defensive Driving Course: Depending on your state, driving record, and your specific charges, you may be ordered by the court to take a defensive driving course. Even if you are not required to do so, it might be a good idea if your insurance company offers discounts for taking such a course. If your current insurer does not offer this discount, try to find a car insurance company that does and perhaps one that is more lenient to drivers who have a recent drunk-driving conviction.
• Bundle Your Insurance: If you have other types of insurance with a company besides your car insurance provider, it may be in your best interest to merge. Many insurers offer multiline discounts to policyholders who have multiple types of insurance with them.
• Increase Your Deductible: Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay after an accident before your insurance company pays out. Deductibles can range from $0 to $1,000 and beyond. Lower deductibles typically translate into higher insurance premiums and vice versa. As such, if your insurance rates increased after being convicted of DUI, you may be able to lower them by opting for a higher deductible. A higher deductible might increase your financial liability, but it’s far better than driving without insurance after a DUI.
• Lower Your Coverage: It goes without saying that the types of coverage you carry and their limits will have a major impact on your insurance rates. If you want to get your premiums reduced after a DUI, consider opting for less coverage.
• Install Safety Features In Your Car: If your car doesn’t already have features like an alarm, antitheft devices, antilock brakes, and automated seat belts, it may be time to look into getting them installed or buying a new car that comes with them. These features lower the risk of filing a claim and reduce the value of the average claim in the event of an accident, so insuring a vehicle with the latest safety features typically costs less.
• Be Careful With Your Driving Moving Forward: Your insurance rates are ultimately determined by the likelihood that you will file a claim. That likelihood statistically increases after a DUI conviction, which is why your premiums increase. If you want to get your rates reduced, you will need to prove to your insurance company that you aren’t a high-risk driver. The easiest way to do this is to avoid accidents and traffic infractions for several consecutive years.
• Opt For Paperless Billing: If you haven’t gone paperless, find out if your insurance company would offer you a discount for doing so. Paperless billing tends to be cheaper for insurance carriers, so many of them offer financial incentive to drivers who make the switch. If you’ve taken these steps but you’re still unhappy with your insurance rates, consider switching to a different provider. Each insurance company takes a different approach to calculating premiums, so you might be able to find a carrier who is more lenient on drivers with a DUI conviction.
As if a DUI arrest isn’t enough trouble, many Utah DUI defendants also have to worry about the effect DUIs will have on their car insurance rates. Here’s the good news: according to Utah law, your auto insurance company can’t cancel a policy or raise premiums midterm. Even if you are convicted of a DUI, your auto insurance provider must wait until the end of your policy’s term to cancel or raise rates. Unfortunately, once your auto insurance policy does end, a drunk driving conviction almost always leads to higher car insurance rates. On top of that, your car insurance is just one of the ripple effects of a DUI arrest, which is exactly why so many people decide to find an experienced DUI attorney.
Unless the DMV has ordered you to obtain an SR 22, a Utah Insurance Proof Certificate, you do not have to report your DUI to your insurance company. Although it might not feel like it right now, you are still innocent until proven guilty. A DUI arrest does not equal a DUI conviction. However, in certain cases, the Utah DMV will require you to provide proof of insurance with an SR 22 form. If your driver’s license was suspended because of a DUI-related offense, you will be required to contact your car insurance company for an SR 22 before it is reinstated. This certificate proves that you meet the state’s minimum auto insurance coverage requirements. Your insurance company will probably charge you a $15 or $20 fee, and then forward the SR 22 to the DMV. While this form satisfies the state’s insurance requirements, it also serves as a red flag for insurance companies.
In all likelihood, merely asking for an SR 22 will immediately get you flagged as a high-risk driver for at least 10 years to come. As described above, your car insurance company can’t immediately raise your rates or drop your policy, but they can and usually will once your policy term ends. If you hire a criminal defense attorney after a DUI arrest, you may hear about the “15/30/5” rule. This refers to the minimum auto insurance coverage you are required to have under Utah insurance law. So what is the 15/30/5 rule?
• Your auto insurance liability coverage must pay at least $15,000 for an individual you injure or kill on the road
• Total payments of $30,000 for accidents with multiple injuries or deaths
• $5,000 for any property damage you cause
it is illegal to drive without car insurance, and the last thing you need right now is to get in more legal trouble. If your auto insurance company refuses to renew your policy, you have to obtain new insurance coverage as soon as possible or stop driving altogether. In fact, it is illegal to even own a car in Utah if you do not have car insurance. Many people do not lose their insurance after a DUI conviction; however, if you had previously taken advantage of good driver discounts, you can expect a significant rate increase. If your car insurance company cancels your good driver policy, make sure to ask if they would be willing to provide another policy instead. Some car companies don’t insure high-risk drivers at all, which can make it hard to find car insurance coverage with a DUI on your record. If you are having trouble finding a new insurance policy, don’t get discouraged. You can find insurance companies that have policies for everyone, including convicted drunk drivers.
In the early 1990s, before ignition interlock devices were used in all 50 states, researchers found that between 50 – 70% of drunk drivers continued to drive on their suspended license. Sadly, many DUI defendants are repeat offenders. Law enforcement agencies believe the average DUI offender drives drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest. Because of this, most DUI laws in Utah were designed with chronic drunk drivers in mind. While this has led to declining drunk driving rates around the country, it has also led to the stigmatization of countless upstanding citizens, who have had their lives turned upside down because a single mistake that ended in a drunk driving arrest. Car insurance companies don’t always find out about an individual’s DUI record. These offenses only stay on your record for 10 years, and you would be surprised how often the infamous Utah bureaucracy renders a DUI offense invisible through things like computer errors. Sometimes cases do slip through the cracks, and the DMV and court system is full of cracks. While you wouldn’t be the first person to have a DUI vanish from your record through a lucky accident, this isn’t something you can count on. Computer records make this increasingly unlikely. If you’re worried about how a DUI arrest will affect your car insurance premiums, employment prospects, criminal record, or any other aspect of your life, you deserve a criminal defense attorney who is willing to fight for you.
DUI Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need legal help to defend against a DUI in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506