Insurance Rates after a DUI Conviction in Arizona
DUI convictions will have a wide range of long-lasting consequences. One of the most tangible effects people will experience is the increase in insurance rates after a DUI conviction in Arizona. While some other traffic violations could eventually lead to an insurance premium hike (speeding is one of them), there’s no doubt about the negative impact of a DUI conviction. There’s one more thing that drivers in Arizona need to know – people who have been convicted of impaired driving will be required by law to obtain a certain type of insurance. This insurance policy comes on top of regular auto insurance and it increases the expected expenditure.
How Insurance Premiums Are Determined after a DUI
In the aftermath of a DUI conviction, the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend the license of the driver for a certain period of time. In order to have the license reinstated, the driver will be required to file a certificate for SR-22 liability coverage. This is the additional insurance policy needed by people convicted of driving under the influence in order to regain their vehicle operation rights.
The SR-22 premiums are determined by insurers on an individual basis. Various factors are taken in consideration. Some of these factors include:
- Age of the driver
- Marital status
- Prior driving record and history of offenses
- Place of residence
- Affiliation with professional organizations
A single man in his late 20s, for example, will be considered a high risk client in comparison to a father of two in his 40s who has a well-established career. These two individuals will be given specific SR-22 quotes that will feature different premiums.
The amount of time the SR-22 will remain active depends on both Arizona regulations and the specific circumstances of the DUI. Still, you should be prepared to cover the expenditure for a sufficiently long period of time (several years in some situations).
People who have SR-22 policies are considered high risk clients for the insurance company, regardless of the circumstances. Thus, their regular automobile insurance premium is expected to also increase. Be prepared for such a hike in insurance rates after a DUI conviction in Arizona.
Factors That May Reduce the Auto Insurance Hike
Each insurance company employs a specific formula to determine the premium of an individual client. While a DUI will definitely increase the premiums, there are certain mitigating factors. Such factors make the increase in the cost of automobile insurance a bit more manageable.
A person that has a stellar driving record and a single DUI is probably not going to reoffend. As a result, this person isn’t going to see the steep increase in insurance premiums that will apply to repeat offenders.
Whenever a person enrolls in a defensive driving course, they could also control the insurance premium hike.
Defensive driving courses provide thorough education about traffic laws and ensuring safety on the road. Traffic signs, tackling different conditions and scenarios on the road will all be examined to ensure fair reactions on behalf of the driver in every situation.
Defensive driving courses can be taken online, which simplifies the process for busy individuals. Several courses are approved by the Arizona Supreme Court and you may want to look into these opportunities when researching.
After the license is reinstated, the insurance company can count the DUI as a factor for determining auto premiums for a period of three years. Once this period is over, the DUI can no longer be held against the driver. Thus, even if you can’t control the insurance premium hike at the time being, the situation will go back to normal in three years. If you maintain a stellar record over this period of time, chances are that you’ll be eligible for affordable automobile insurance once again. Consult with experienced DUI lawyer to cover all bases.