DUI insurance is a special category of auto insurance that a driver convicted of DUI is required to carry. This is called SR-22 or Proof of Insurance Certificate, and it lets the Department of Motor Vehicles know you have the correct level of insurance coverage on the vehicles you drive.
After your license is suspended, your state requires that you visit an insurance company and buy coverage. Once you have purchased the SR-22 coverage, your insurance company mails the certificate to the DMV, allowing your license to be reinstated. Allowing your policy to lapse means the state can file new criminal charges against you and suspend your license without informing you. Don’t expect your state to request the SR-22 from your insurance company because the DMV is short on resources and time.
Every state in the country requires that drivers buy at least a minimal amount of liability insurance. This liability insurance covers serious injury to other drivers or pedestrians as well as property damage. Liability insurance also pays for the death of anyone a driver injures in a collision.
As a driver convicted of DUI, you have several big issues to deal with, from paying fines and getting your vehicle out of the impound lot, to legal fees and mandatory alcohol or substance abuse treatment. Once your insurance company learns of your DUI arrest and conviction, you will have to grapple with the cancellation of your auto insurance policy. Should your current insurance company not routinely provide the SR-22, you also have to shop around for an insurance company that does do so. Because you are now considered a high-risk driver, you are going to be charged much higher monthly premiums.
After you have made arrangements to have your insurance reinstated and obtain the SR-22, the insurance company should send this to the DMV for you so you can verify you are carrying insurance as required by the laws in your state.
Before you reinstate your policy with your current carrier or buy a policy with a new insurance company, find out if they provide the required SR-22. Ask about the new premium you will be required to pay to maintain your insurance coverage. Regardless of the new expense, you’ll have to find a way of making it affordable. If you do not have coverage or the SR-22, you will be in more legal trouble. In the event the total annual expense is too much for you, consider taking out a loan to pay for the entire year’s premium in one payment.
If you usually do insurance business with a small company, they may not be able to provide the SR-22. Larger carriers that provide coverage throughout the country are better able to do this for you. Should you have problems finding an insurance company, an insurance broker or independent insurance agent may be able to help you find a new insurance provider. When you have more options from which to choose, it may be easier for you to make comparisons among companies and prices before you make your final decision. Remember, auto insurance is mandatory in most states across the country. A DUI conviction does not have to be a bar to keeping your vehicle insured.