DUI Convictions and Your Car Insurance Premiums

DUI Convictions and your Car Insurance Premiums

If you are convicted of a DUI in South Carolina, that DUI will be put on your driving record for ten years.  Once this happens, expect to see an increase in your auto insurance rates.  According to a report in Fox Business, a DUI can cause premium amounts to increase by 30 to 100 percent depending on your carrier and your past driving record.

DUI is seen by auto insurance companies as a serious offense and very risky behavior, so for a DUI conviction you will be paying a lot more for your car insurance premium and will likely lose any preferred customer status you have obtained.  Your insurance company may refuse to renew your policy when it expires.  If so, you will have to find coverage with a company that accepts drivers with DUI convictions on their driving record.

Insurance company guidelines dictate how long your rates will be affected by a DUI conviction.  As with most other traffic violations, a DUI will keep your rates raised for at least three years.  However, South Carolina keeps a DUI conviction on your driving record for 10 years, so it’s common for a DUI to affect your rates five years or more.  Say good-bye to any safe driver discount you may have.  

SR-22 “Insurance”

There really is no such thing as “SR-22 Insurance.”  SR-22 refers to a form that must be filed with the DMV.  The SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that South Carolina requires when you get your license reinstated after a DUI.  These certificates are not limited to just DUI and other alcohol-related driving offenses.  

When you are notified of the need to carry a SR-22, you should be told what the minimum car insurance limits that South Carolina will accept for this filing. When you purchase the required coverage and have your insurer file the SR-22, the form verifies with the state that you have the mandated coverage in place.

In South Carolina you must continue to carry the SR-22 for three years after your license is reinstated.  If you cancel your insurance during this time period the DMV will be notified and usually your license and/or vehicle registration will be suspended.  The SR-22 itself costs only $25 a year to file.  Your increased car insurance premiums, however, increase drastically.

For more information on the effects of a DUI conviction and what can be done to avoid one, contact a DUI lawyer at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC at 843-388-3661.

Charleston DUI Defense Attorneys

Our law firm helps those charged with Driving Under the Influence in the Charleston, SC area. This includes city of Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, James Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, North Charleston, Hanahan, Goose Creek, Summerville and Moncks Corner. If you have been charged with DUI give our Charleston DUI Lawyers a call today. Your consultation is confidential and free of charge.