To some, being convicted of DUI may seem like a catastrophe that carries life-long penalties. In reality, while the repercussions may seem severe at first, they may be overcome with diligence and the help of an experienced attorney.
Many are aware the it may be more difficult to obtain car insurance in the aftermath of a DUI conviction. In fact, after your DUI, you may need to obtain new car insurance because your prior insurer can terminate your policy based on the DUI or raise your rates so high that they are no longer affordable. And, of course, it is illegal to drive without car insurance in Ohio. In light of this, acquiring car insurance will be critical to returning your life to normal after a DUI conviction.
Coverage Cancellation After DUI
Regardless of your carrier, most car insurance policies are mutual, non-binding contracts. This means that either party can cancel the policy at anytime, for any reason. Your insurance company may now regard you as too high a risk driver based on your DUI and end your policy. Your policy will, however, cover any damage or injuries that occurred in the course of the DUI, even if the policy was cancelled later.
Contest the Charge and Defend Yourself
To avoid having your car insurance cancelled in the first place, hire a qualified DUI attorney to help you fight the DUI charge. It is possible that you may be able to have the charges reduced or stricken completely. If you fight the charge, an insurance company will not be aware of the incident when they search your driving record.
Get Several Quotes
If you do have to obtain new coverage, work with an independent agent who can get you several different price quotes.
Ohio state law governs DUI punishment, but insurance companies are able to set their own rules. Insurance companies issue policies as they see fit and based on the consideration of many factors, which certainly include your DUI conviction. Common considerations taken into account by insurance companies include:
- Age: older drivers pay less
- Credit score: bad credit generates higher rates
- Job: jobs involving a long commute may trigger high rates
- Location: city living or driving can invokes more expensive premiums
- Gender: women tend to have fewer accident and are given cheaper rates
- Driving record and accidents: DUI, speeding tickets and accidents spawn higher rates
SR-22 Proof of Insurance Form
Once you have found an insurance company that will give you a car insurance policy, you will need to fill out a SR-22 form.
The SR-22 proof of insurance form is a form either you or your insurance provider must file with the state of Ohio. It is to verify that you have valid insurance coverage that meets the minimum coverage required by law. SR stands for “safety responsibility” and the form is required to be on file with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles after a DUI or other license suspension. Your driver’s license cannot be validly reinstated without this form.
Your DUI conviction is just one moment in time, but it will have an effect on your ability to obtain car insurance in the future. Realize, too, that obtaining insurance after a DUI may not be a simple process. Insurance companies may not even entertain granting you coverage for at least three years after the violation. And again, each company is different and will evaluate your risk level differently. Because of this, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a skilled attorney if you have been charged with DUI, or if you have been convicted and are looking to get your life back on track.