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DUI and Insurance Rates: How a Conviction Affects Your Premiums in California

Serving Families Throughout Fresno

At Sawl Law Group, we understand that a DUI conviction can have significant consequences beyond the legal realm. One area that often gets overlooked is its impact on your insurance premiums. In California, a DUI conviction can result in higher insurance rates and other related expenses. This blog post will discuss how a DUI conviction affects your premiums and provide valuable information to help you navigate this challenging situation.

Understanding DUI and Insurance Rates

When you are convicted of a DUI in California, it becomes a red flag for insurance companies. Insurers consider DUI convictions as a sign of increased risk, making you more likely to be involved in accidents or violations in the future. As a result, they adjust your insurance premiums to reflect this higher risk.

Increased Insurance Premiums

One of the most immediate impacts of a DUI conviction is increased insurance premiums. California law requires insurance companies to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when they issue a policy or make any changes to an existing policy for a driver with a DUI conviction. Consequently, your insurer will likely reevaluate your risk profile and adjust your premiums accordingly.

The exact increase in premiums will vary depending on several factors, such as the insurance company, your driving history, the details of your DUI conviction, and any previous offenses. However, it is common for premiums to rise by several hundred dollars per year or more. This increase can be a considerable financial burden, mainly if you already deal with legal fees and other DUI-related expenses.

SR-22 Requirement

In addition to increased premiums, a DUI conviction in California typically triggers the requirement for an SR-22 filing. An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that verifies you have the minimum liability insurance coverage required by the state. Your insurance company must file this certificate with the DMV as proof of coverage.

The SR-22 requirement adds an extra layer of administrative burden and expense. Not all insurance companies provide SR-22 filings, so you may need to shop for a new insurer or pay additional fees to your current provider for this service. Additionally, the SR-22 requirement usually remains in effect for three years from the date of your DUI conviction.

Options for Minimizing the Impact

While a DUI conviction will undoubtedly have an impact on your insurance premiums, there are steps you can take to mitigate the long-term effects. Here are a few options to consider:

Completion of a DUI program: In California, completing a state-approved DUI program can demonstrate to insurance companies that you are taking steps to address the issue and reduce the risk of future offenses. This may result in more favorable premium rates.

  • Shopping for competitive rates: After a DUI conviction, comparing quotes from different insurance providers becomes even more crucial. Some companies specialize in providing coverage for high-risk drivers and may offer more competitive rates than others.
  • Exploring non-standard insurance options: Non-standard insurance providers cater to drivers with DUI convictions and other high-risk profiles. While the premiums may still be higher than average, these companies may offer more affordable rates than traditional insurers.

A DUI conviction in California can have far-reaching consequences, including increased insurance premiums and the requirement for an SR-22 filing. At Sawl Law Group, we understand the challenges you may face after a DUI conviction, and we are here to help. You can minimize the impact on your insurance rates by exploring your options, working with an experienced attorney, and addressing the underlying issues. Remember, with time, a clean driving record, and responsible behavior, you can regain control of your insurance premiums and confidently move forward.

Contact Sawl Law Group today to learn more!

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