When you’re stopped by the police and end up under arrest for drunk driving, your thoughts may jump to wondering how you’re going to keep your license and how much this could cost you. While your priority will be to defend against the charges, a conviction is still something you have to be concerned about.
If you are convicted, the conviction will be reported to your insurance agency. Your car insurance agency then has two choices: It can drop your policy or offer you a higher rate.
How much will your insurance costs increase due to drunk driving?
The increase varies based on your state. If you are in Virginia, then you should expect your insurance rate to jump around 63% as a result of a DUI conviction. According to a chart of DUI insurance rates by state, Virginia residents have an average rate of $993 annually for car insurance. With a DUI, that rate increases to $1,619 on average. That’s an additional $626 spent just because of a conviction.
The cost of insurance will vary based on the insurer you’re working with and your traffic violation history as well. For example, Nationwide Insurance has an average annual rate of $1,586 while Geico has an average annual rate of $1,016. With a DUI, those rates increase to $3,563 and $2,966, a 125% and 193% increase, respectively. Compared to State Farm or Progressive, drivers with Geico or Nationwide may find they’re overpaying. State Farm charges an average of $1,633 for DUI rates while Progressive offers an average rate of $2,019.
Those rates may be higher if you have other traffic violations on your driving record or if this is not your first DUI. Remember, the insurance company can increase your rate by a significant amount because this is non-standard coverage. It’s a high risk to keep insuring someone with a DUI, so many insurers will drop those policyholders or ask that they pay astronomical rates to keep their insurance. This is why your first line of defense should be to argue against the charges and fight to prevent a DUI conviction.