If you make the mistake of driving intoxicated, there are certain consequences you'll have to deal with. Driving under the influence is one of the most dangerous things a person can do behind the wheel. Taking this risk has serious repercussions and make driving again in the future difficult.
If you've been charged with a DUI or DWI, your car insurance rates will likely increase. Finding affordable car insurance can become extremely difficult.
While many companies will look at you as a "high-risk" driver and others may cancel or refuse coverage altogether, it's still possible to find affordable coverage. We're covering two need-to-know tips to find affordable North Carolina auto insurance for drivers after a DUI. Read on to see what we uncovered.
How Long Does a Drunk Driving Conviction Affect Your Insurance
If the authorities have convicted you of driving under the influence (DUI), the offense will be on your driving record permanently. The good news, however, is that it will usually only affect your car insurance quotes for five to seven years. Your rates after that should return to normal, as long as you avoid incurring additional driving infractions.
If you find that your DUI conviction is still affecting your policy rates after the seventh year, consider having the violation expunged. Alternatively, you can have the offense listed under your sealed records. Convictions that are on this record will only be available to law enforcement officers. This prevents your DUI offense from affecting your policy negatively.
Taking The Proper Steps
You won't have a DUI on your license forever, so it's imperative that you take all the right steps to remove the penalties from your record in a timely manner.
There may be various penalties associated with a DUI charge. These can include educational courses, a court appearance, or community service. To find the best rates for North Carolina auto insurance after a DUI, you should address all of these penalties as quickly as possible.
Perhaps more importantly, a driver with a DUI needs to reconsider their driving habits. While the results of just one DUI can have a tremendous impact on your ability to drive, multiple DUIs can result in a loss of driving permanently.
As more time passes since your DUI was charged, the rate of your car insurance will continue to drop. While you're waiting for the rates to continue dropping, take care to drive as safely as possible to avoid more infractions in the future.
Compare Your Options
If you've been charged with a DUI, sticking with your original car insurance provider may not be an option. If they agree to keep you insured at all, the cost of your premium may become unmanageable.
If you're trying to find a more affordable coverage option, you may need to shop around. Using quote comparison tools is one way to compare your choices.
Quote comparison tools are generally no obligation rates that help you understand the basic cost of being insured by one company compared to another. This will also help you understand how various levels of coverage can affect the total cost.
If full coverage is too expensive, you may want to consider reduced coverage to help lower your rates. There are pro and cons to reducing the overall coverage of your premium, it will likely lower your overall rates as well.
Saving Money on Your Car Insurance after a DUI Conviction
While avoiding a hike in your auto insurance rates is next to impossible, you can take steps to keep your premiums as affordable as possible. Keep these strategies in mind to save on car insurance following a DUI conviction:
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Depending on your specific charges and motor vehicle record, the court may order you to sign up for a defensive driving course. People usually enroll in this six-hour class to reduce the points they incurred on their driver’s license and decrease the policy rates on their auto insurance. You have the option to take this course online or offline.
If the court does not require you to enroll in defensive driving, you should still consider taking up this class. You can save between 5 and 15 percent of your car insurance bill. If you want to find out the exact amount you can save with your enrollment, get in touch with your insurance provider.
After taking the course, reach out to your insurer to obtain a discount for three years. If you want to continue saving money, retake the course once the discount period is over.
Raise Your Deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you will have to shell out in an insurance claim before the coverage takes effect and the insurer begins paying you. It can range from $0 to $1,000 or higher. A lower deductible usually translates into higher insurance premiums. If your policy rates rose after a DUI conviction, you may opt to lower them by paying a higher deductible.
Lower Your Coverage
The type of auto insurance coverage you carry and their limits will affect your insurance rate. Consider opting for less coverage if you want to reduce your premium after a DUI offense.
Install Safety Features in Your Vehicle
Some insurers offer a discount if your car has certain safety features installed. These devices minimize your likelihood of getting into an auto accident and costing the insurance company thousands of dollars in car accident or personal injury settlements.
A few of the safety features insurers look for are:
- Ignition Device Lock
- Steering Wheel Lock
- Automated Seatbelts
- Anti-Lock Brakes
- Car Alarm
If your vehicle lacks a safety feature, get in touch with your insurance provider and inquire how much you can save by installing a particular safety device. This way, you can find out if it’s worth your money, time, and effort to have a safety feature installed.
North Carolina Auto Insurance
No matter what type of insurance you need, Amistad Insurance Services has the solutions you need. Our auto insurance coverage helps protect you in the event of an accident and our competitive rates make coverage fair and affordable.
Finding the right rate means understanding all of your options. At Amistad Insurance Services, we know educating our customers is one of the most important services we provide. To learn more, visit us online at Amistad Insurance Services today.