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Can Your Car Insurance Be Canceled at the Time of DUI Arrest?

Posted on April 21, 2023 in DUI

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in many penalties and consequences. Some occur immediately, such as the immediate loss of your driving privilege. Others appear later, after an individual has been convicted of DUI and receives a sentence. One possible consequence of being arrested for DUI is getting dropped by your car insurance company.

How Does a DUI Arrest Affect Car Insurance?

Car insurance companies choose to accept or reject clients based on how great a financial risk the driver appears to be. An insurance company will use information such as the applicant’s driving record, accident history and criminal record to decide if offering coverage is in the company’s best interest. Since car insurance companies operate as for-profit businesses, they may reject coverage for a driver that is viewed as high risk for accidents and altercations, including a driver with a DUI conviction. 

If a driver who is otherwise in good standing with his or her car insurance company gets arrested for driving under the influence, this can be enough to get the driver dropped from his or her insurance policy. In most cases, a DUI must involve a car accident for the car insurance company to drop the policyholder. A car insurance provider may pay for the damages caused by its policyholder after a DUI accident, then cancel the insurance policy or drop the client. 

A DUI arrest or even a conviction does not always lead to the loss of a driver’s car insurance, however. The car insurance company may choose not to cancel the policy if this is the driver’s first offense or if the driver gets acquitted (found not guilty) of the crime. In other cases, the insurance company may simply increase the driver’s rate or policy premium. The consequences of a DUI arrest can vary based on the circumstances, the state’s insurance laws and the severity of the driver’s actions.

Buying Car Insurance After a DUI Arrest

If your car insurance provider drops you as a client after being arrested or convicted of a DUI in Arizona, you may find that purchasing additional coverage comes at a higher price than before. It is more difficult to obtain car insurance after a DUI conviction. Car insurance companies will view you as a higher-risk client, especially if your DUI conviction involved reckless driving or a car accident.

You may need to search for coverage from a high-risk insurance company. This is an insurance carrier that specializes in providing coverage for people who otherwise cannot get insurance due to their driving or criminal records. Unfortunately, the price of this coverage may not be a competitive rate. High-risk insurance companies generally have higher premiums than other car insurance providers.

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Some DUI convictions in Arizona come with a sentence that stipulates that the driver must carry SR-22 insurance for a specific amount of time. SR-22 is a certificate filed by an insurance carrier that confirms that you are meeting Arizona’s minimum liability coverage requirements. It is a form that must be submitted by an insurance company after its policyholder commits a serious traffic violation. Obtaining a special SR-22 certificate can be expensive and add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your insurance premiums annually. Many drivers who are convicted of DUIs are required to file SR-22 certificates for one to three years.

If you need assistance reapplying for car insurance after a DUI, understanding the effects that a DUI arrest or conviction could have on your insurance policy, or reducing your insurance costs, contact a Tempe DUI defense attorney in Arizona for advice. An attorney can help minimize the insurance consequences that you face for a DUI arrest.

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