Getting Car Insurance When You’ve Had a DUI

Car insurance after a DUI, or driving under the influence, almost always increases because you’re considered a high-risk driver. While there’s no specific DUI insurance, some companies offer better rates after a DUI conviction than others. Of the national companies, State Farm, USAA, and Progressive offer cheap DUI insurance, but you might also consider looking into smaller or non-standard insurers.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Here's What You Need to Know

  • While there’s technically no specific DUI insurance, some companies increase your rates more than others if you’re convicted for driving under the influence
  • Most companies consider you a high-risk driver if there’s a DUI on your driving record
  • Car insurance rates increase by about 105% on average after a DUI conviction

While there is no official car insurance policy called DUI insurance, it’s a common phrase used to inform drivers that a company insures someone convicted of driving under the influence.

Your driving history and your insurance rates almost always go hand-in-hand.

Below, discover how a DUI impacts your car insurance policy, compare companies that cover high-risk drivers and get tips for how you can secure cheap DUI insurance.

After learning about car insurance after a DUI, remember to enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to receive rates from the top companies near you.

What is DUI insurance?

Some people assume that people with DUIs on their record need a special kind of car insurance. But, technically, there is no specific insurance policy called DUI car insurance.

However, a DUI makes you a high-risk driver to basically all car insurance companies. Driving while intoxicated is very dangerous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people die every day in America from preventable drunk driving car accidents.

Therefore, your insurance rates will be higher than what safe drivers with clean records pay for coverage.

Plus, some companies do not insure people with DUI convictions at all. Companies using the term “DUI insurance” do so to indicate to drivers that it sells policies to people with DUI convictions on their record.

Depending on where you live, it may be referred to as DWI or driving while intoxicated. Other states use the acronyms OMVI for operating a motor vehicle while impaired or OVI for operating a vehicle while impaired.

In some states, you also might need to file SR-22 insurance forms to reinstate your license or act as proof of insurance.

In Florida, you must purchase higher than usual limits and file an FR-44 form as proof of coverage.

Your insurance company typically submits both types of forms to your local department of motor vehicles (DMV).

Other than increased rates and possibly an SR-22 form, you’re still essentially purchasing a basic car insurance policy that meets or exceeds the state minimum requirements where you live.

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How does a DUI impact your car insurance?

No matter what company you use, expect a DUI conviction to cause your car insurance rates to increase. Unfortunately, it also may make it more difficult for you to get car insurance.

On average, car insurance costs go up by about 105% after a single DUI nationally.

The table below compares the average annual car insurance rates for drivers with a clean record versus drivers with a single DUI from some of the top companies.

Average Annual DUI Car Insurance Rates by Company
CompanyRates with Clean recordRates With 1 DUIAverage Percent Increase
Allstate$3,819.90$6,260.7364%
American Family$2,693.61$4,330.2461%
Farmers$3,460.60$4,718.7536%
GEICO$2,145.96$4,875.87127%
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$7,613.4859%
Nationwide$2,746.18$4,543.2065%
Progressive$3,393.09$3,969.6517%
State Farm$2,821.18$3,636.8029%
Travelers$3,447.69$5,741.4067%
USAA$1,933.68$3,506.0381%
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The data above represents company averages, but the state you live in also impacts how a DUI affects your car insurance costs.

So expect DUIs to cause rates to increase by anywhere from 7% to 280% depending on where you live, when it was committed, your age, and your driving record.

How long does a DUI affect your insurance? Typically, DUIs impact your rates for three years.

In states like California, it stays on your record for 10 years.

Also in California, insurance companies cannot legally change your rates or cancel your policy in the middle of your policy term. So you’ll see your car insurance increase when your policy is up for renewal.

Never hesitate to ask an insurance agent about regional DUI laws and how they impact your car insurance where you live.

How do you find cheap car insurance after a DUI?

Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you secure affordable DUI insurance quotes.

First, shop around and compare rates online from multiple companies. Beyond the national insurance companies, consider comparing smaller agencies and non-standard insurers.

That includes companies that specialize in working with high-risk drivers.

Another DUI insurance trick to help mitigate your higher than average car insurance costs is to look into car insurance discounts. Often, these rate reductions are stackable.

Specifically, look into membership or group discounts, military discounts, home and car insurance bundles, or discounts for anti-theft devices or safety features installed on your vehicle.

Lastly, avoid any future driving infractions. Recall that most DUIs stay on your driving record for three years.

During that period, practice safe driving techniques diligently so your rates lower with time.

Plus, you may even earn a safe driver discount or claim-free discount, depending on what state you live in and what company you use.

Unfortunately, if you live in California, you cannot qualify for safe or good driver discounts until your DUI falls off your record after 10 years.

What are the best DUI insurance companies?

So, what is the best DUI insurance company for you? As you’ve learned, DUI insurance rates vary substantially depending on what company you use and what state you live in.

However, some national insurance companies increase rates less significantly after a DUI conviction than others.

Overall, State Farm car insurance company underwrites the cheapest policies on average for drivers with a DUI on their record. Plus, State Farm also offers SR-22 insurance if you speak directly with an agent.

Progressive car insurance company also sells reasonably priced car insurance to people with a DUI. According to the company website, Progressive increases rates by a countrywide average of 13% after your first conviction.

If you’re in the military, USAA car insurance company provides somewhat competitively priced policies to people with DUIs on their records.

However, because it’s a military-only company, civilians must look into other companies for coverage.

But if you have multiple DUIs or other traffic citations on your record, look into the non-standard insurer, The General car insurance company.

Often, non-standard companies offer very basic policies to high-risk drivers lacking the bells and whistles that traditional insurers provide.

Fortunately, that’s not the case with The General. This company provides customers with a user-friendly mobile app, competitive rates, and even includes SR-22 forms with your policy if one is required.

It’s also worth looking into the smaller, regional car insurance companies active near where you live.

So, ultimately, to secure the best DUI insurance rates for you, compare quotes online from the best companies in your region, including companies offering high-risk car insurance.

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How do insurance companies find out about DUIs?

Your insurance company most likely will learn about your DUI conviction from your local DMV or by re-checking your driving history. To maintain proper rates, insurance companies check your driving record at various points throughout your time as a customer.

Some check at intervals, while others re-run your information at the time of your policy renewal.

Your insurance company will find out about any DUI convictions at this time.

Another way companies learn about DUIs is if you’re required to file an SR-22 form. In some states, you need to file an SR-22 to reinstate your license. Usually, your car insurance company files that form with your state’s DMV on your behalf.

It’s not worth hiding your DUI from your car insurance company. If you do, the company may not renew your policy at the end of your term. If that leads to a coverage lapse, your insurance rates increase even more. We recommend telling your insurance company about your DUI as soon as possible to allow you time to plan and evaluate your options.

DUI Insurance: The Bottom Line

Committing a DUI makes you a high-risk driver. If you need to buy DUI insurance, compare quotes online from national companies and smaller, regional insurers in your local area.

Non-standard insurance companies like The General also offer more affordable rates for high-risk drivers.

Plus, if you struggle to secure coverage, every state has a last resort program in place to assist people in need of liability coverage to drive legally. Just know that these assigned-risk programs may be quite expensive.

It’s also better to tell your insurance company up-front about your DUI and any other traffic convictions that appear on your driving record. Keeping quiet could lead to denial of coverage or a policy lapse.

Now that you’ve read about car insurance quotes for drivers with imperfect records, secure the best car insurance for you by entering your ZIP code into our free rate comparison tool below.

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