Getting insurance after a DUI
If you get a DUI, the state will most likely require you to get what’s commonly referred to as “DUI insurance” to get back on the road. This type of high-risk insurance policy, also known familiarly as SR-22 insurance, is a certificate of insurance you are required to carry if ordered by the state. This is often the result of a serious traffic offense and is used by most state DMVs.
What Is DUI Insurance?
The first thing to note is that “DUI insurance” or “SR-22 insurance” are both misnomers. The real story is that these are simply high-risk policies that include an SR-22, which an insurance company fills out as proof you have insurance and are financially responsible for any damages caused on the road. It also provides the state with an automatic notification if you either change cars or cancel your insurance.
For example, perhaps you have been ordered to carry an SR-22 with your DUI insurance for three years. Your insurer fills the form out and files it with the state. If you lapse on premium payments or cancel your insurance at any point during the three-year period, the state may revoke your license. This starts the SR-22 period over, meaning you will have to go through the process again.
DUI insurance is there to help you get back on the road after committing a serious offense. Think of it as a path forward for high-risk drivers who otherwise may not be able to find insurance. SR-22 Adviser offers all the help you need to find the best SR-22 insurance near you.
Why Is an SR-22 Required?
An SR-22 is the standard in most states when a driver has committed a serious traffic offense. Often a driver can apply for DUI or SR-22 insurance during a period in which they may otherwise not be allowed to drive. In other words, it allows you to begin reinstating your driving privileges after they have been revoked or suspended. The reasons for an SR-22 include:
1. A DUI
Driving under the influence is one of the most prominent causes for an SR-22 requirement, leading to insurance policies commonly referred to as DUI insurance. If you get a DUI or a DWI (driving while intoxicated), most states will mandate an SR-22 before you get back on the road.
A DUI is a traumatic experience. You may have been arrested, had to pay fines and legal fees, and potentially had your professional and personal life affected by the event. That’s why an SR-22 is such an important part of the rebuilding period — it provides a pathway to move forward.
2. Driving With No Insurance
Federal law and state laws alike require that all drivers must be insured, and while a first offense is a misdemeanor charge in many states, subsequent offenses can lead to greater fines and even jail time.
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, the consequences are typically severe. This is particularly true if the accident causes significant property damage, injury, or death to a passenger in another vehicle or your own. In this case, being uninsured can put both you and other parties in significant financial danger.
3. Caught Driving Recklessly
This type of insurance can also be applied to reckless driving or negligent driving charges. An SR-22 will help you get back on the road so you can start to rebuild your driving record following this conviction.
4. A Recently-Suspended or Revoked License
Following a DUI or other serious charge, the state may revoke or suspend your license. If you want to restore your driving privileges, you will need to shop for DUI/SR-22 insurance in your state.
Your state will likely give you certain requirements to meet to reinstate your driver’s license. These may include taking a defensive driving class and passing a test to progress. This can also help lower your insurance rates. Once complete, you can shop for insurance and will need to have your insurance company fill out an SR-22 filing.
For a DUI, you will likely also need to attend alcohol courses. There may be other requirements in place, which will vary by the state and your situation. In the end, you’ll need to pay fees to have your paperwork processed, which are generally higher for alcohol-related offenses.
5. You Have a Hardship License
Following a DUI, you may find your license suspended and/or your vehicle impounded. If you need your vehicle to get to and from work or school, buy groceries, or take kids to and from school, you could be eligible for a “hardship” or restricted license. This allows you to use your car to make trips to and from a specific set of locations even while your full driving privileges are suspended.
Note that there is typically a “hard suspension” period after your offense. This generally lasts one month. During this time, you will not be able to drive at all, and you won’t be able to apply for a hardship license until after this period is over.
Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes
The Good News About DUI Insurance
In general, DUI insurance is expensive and can be stressful. However, it gives you an open door to move toward regaining your driving privileges. SR-22 Adviser is here to help you find the cheapest DUI insurance possible.
It can feel overwhelming as serious legal troubles and state or court rulings begin to pile up. However, neglecting the problems will only prolong them. Being proactive about your court dates, paying your fees, and taking whatever steps the state asks of you will put the process in the rear-view mirror faster than ignoring the problem.
You should also be open and communicative with your insurer, which will ensure you get an accurate policy quote. Make sure you tell them what the charges are and what steps you’re taking to overcome them.
How Long Does an SR-22 Last?
The length of your SR-22 requirement will vary by state. However, it is most common that an SR-22 is required for three years, with longer periods necessary for more serious offenses.
How Much Does DUI Insurance Cost?
DUI insurance is about twice as expensive as regular insurance. The variation in price between states is extreme — for example, SR-22 coverage in Michigan is nearly four times as expensive as it is in Oregon.
No matter where you live, the best way to save on DUI insurance is to spend time researching and shopping around with various insurers. This lets you find the high-risk policy that best suits your needs and your budget.
As you shop around, remember that DUI insurance may be billed as high-risk insurance or SR-22 insurance — all of these refer to policies for drivers coming off a serious traffic offense, and you should see comparable prices based on your specific driving record.
What Is the Cheapest DUI Insurance?
For help finding the most affordable SR-22 insurance in your state, contact us. We specialize in helping our customers navigate the wide variety of different insurers to find the best and most affordable option.
If you don’t currently own a car, you should also consider non-owners SR-22 insurance as a way to save money. This type of policy is, as the name implies — it provides those who don’t own a car a DUI insurance policy with SR-22 backing.
To qualify, you cannot own a car. Many motorists sell their cars after a DUI since their license is often suspended. This type of policy also stipulates that no one living in your household can own a car either — the insurers can only offer the lower rates of these policies if access to the car isn’t too immediate. Ideally, a friend or family member who is willing can loan you a car now and then to take care of essential tasks.
Finally, you are not allowed to have a non-owners DUI insurance policy if the state has ordered you to use an ignition interlock breathalyzer device.
Non-owners SR-22 insurance is the cheapest option for anyone with a serious conviction. It is more affordable because the less time you spend on the road, the lower your risk of getting in an accident. That translates to lower premiums due to a smaller number of insurance claims. See how non-owner policies compare as you shop around for the best option.
Contact Us for Nationwide DUI Insurance
We recommend checking out different DUI schools and learning more about organizations like MADD and SafeRide America. Be clear about what is required of you, and take that next important step toward regaining your mobility.
At SR-22 Adviser, it is our mission to help you get back on the road and on your way toward re-earning your driving privileges. Dealing with the fallout of a DUI can be extremely stressful on your mental health, finances, personal relationships, and even your professional life — let us help make the process easier by providing trustworthy DUI insurance. Contact us today to get a quote.