Can I Get Car Insurance With Convictions On My Driving Record?

As you already know, in order to drive you are required to carry auto insurance on your vehicle; but you may be asking if you can get car insurance with convictions on your record. The answer to that is based on many factors, including what type of convictions and how many you have.

Can I Get Car Insurance With Convictions On My Driving Record

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When you cause an accident, you are under a great deal of stress. What’s worse, you will also face getting a ticket and eventually a conviction on your driving record. Read: Average Car Insurance Rates by Age and Gender

There are all sorts of convictions that range from being less serious, such as running a stop sign, to very serious, such as driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). If you have numerous convictions, then you could face losing your insurance, which in turn means that you would be unable to drive your vehicle.

Getting Car Insurance with Convictions: What happens if I have a DUI?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol not only puts you at risk, but it puts every other person on the road with you at risk as well. That is why DUI offences carry such heavy fines, suspended licenses and even loss of auto insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, every 45 minutes there is death in the US caused by a drunk driver. This kind of accident costs insurance companies plenty, which is why some insurance companies will see you as a high risk driver and may not insure you at all if you have a DUI conviction.

If your insurance company does choose to keep you after a DUI accident, you can expect your insurance rates to nearly triple. Typically, it takes 3 to 5 years for an insurance company to lower your rates after a DUI conviction.

Car Insurance with Convictions and the SR-22

Interestingly, if you live in Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma or Pennsylvania it could take years for your insurance company to learn about your DUI. That is because these states don’t require you to provide proof of insurance via an SR-22.

A SR-22 is a from that you have to provide to your insurance company not only informing them of your DUI, but also informing them that they are now required by law to immediately inform the state if your insurance lapses for any reason.

Even though the states specified above don’t require you to fill out an SR-22, eventually they will discover your DUI conviction. When they do, they are legally able to raise your rates at the time of discovery or even cancel your insurance because you did not inform them of your conviction.

The states that do require you to file an SR-22 usually charge fees for the form. In addition, you will be required to file an SR-22 for at least three years, regardless of how clean you keep your record after the fact.

In many cases you can have a DUI conviction removed from your driving record if you take specific classes assigned by the state. In this case you may not be required to file an SR-22 and, because the conviction doesn’t actually exist any longer, your insurance rates won’t increase.

If you have more than one DUI, however, don’t expect to have the option of taking a class to forgive your conviction. In addition, you could face a suspended license, something your insurance company will receive notice of.

Some insurance companies will still allow you to have liability insurance through their company if you have multiple DUIs but not comprehensive coverage. Your costs will still be very high, but not as high as having every type of coverage on your vehicle.

This could pose a problem if your vehicle is leased or financed as your lender will require you to maintain a certain level of insurance that includes collision and comprehensive coverage. If you can’t purchase insurance due to your DUIs your bank will purchase insurance naming themselves the beneficiary of the policy.
You will still be billed the premiums for this policy; however, the bank receives any payments for your vehicle if you cause an accident. They want to ensure that they receive payment for your vehicle if you become uninsurable.

Incidentally, when the bank purchases a car insurance policy for your vehicle, the premiums are typically at least 2 times more expensive than if you were to buy it on your own.

Getting Car Insurance with Convictions: Do I need to worry about other types of convictions?

While a DUI is very serious, it isn’t the worst conviction that you could get while driving, such as causing an accident that kills someone. If you are convicted of negligence, it could lead to a manslaughter conviction and actual jail time.

However, there are many different types of convictions that are very minor. Any type of conviction will affect your insurance premiums, but minor offenses, especially ones that don’t lead to an insurance claim, will not lead to extreme insurance price hikes. However you should still expect to pay rates that are higher than monthly car insurance average premiums.
The exception to this is if you have a long history of convictions on your driving record. Basically, if you have a lot of spending tickets, then the insurance company is going to increase your risk value. In other words, insuring you is riskier because you are a careless driver and as such you rates will increase.

While there are classes that you can take to reduce the amount of points you accrue on your license, every state has their limit of how many classes you can take. In addition, these classes cost money, sometimes as much as $100.

Getting Car Insurance with Conventions: What do I do if my insurer drops me?

It isn’t the end of the world if your current insurer drops you as a client, there are other options. First you need to visit your states Department of Insurance website and see if there is a state sponsored program you can join. Again, this will be more expensive, but at least you will be able to drive your vehicle.

You will have to face the fact that if your convictions were serious enough for your insurance company to drop you, then you are going to have fewer options than someone with a clean driving record. In addition, you will pay much higher premiums.

You should take the time to get car insurance quotes from several companies as well. During the questioning process, you will be asked how many driving convictions you have, how many accidents, how long ago the accidents occurred and so on. If the insurance company can’t insure you, you will receive a message that you aren’t eligible for their auto insurance.

If you don’t want to face that kind of rejection and you want to save time, then you should use a quote tool that allows you to compare the rates between several companies at once. You won’t be shown companies that won’t provide you with insurance, only those that you qualify for.

When using a quote tool, it is important to be honest about your convictions as this is the only way to get an accurate quote. A quote isn’t a guarantee of services and if you exclude anything, then you will be rejected on the back end of the quote, which is when you contact the insurance company.

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