Car insurance companies will cover DUI accidents in most cases. The amount the car insurance company will pay for and the impact the DUI accident has on your premium will depend on the auto insurance company, your specific coverage levels, and your state’s laws.
Some states like, New York and Michigan, explicitly allow insurance companies to exclude DUI from certain policies. These exclusions usually apply to anything beyond liability coverage, which means if you cause a DUI-related accident, your insurance company may refuse to pay for any costs that you incur but will cover injuries and damage you inflict on other drivers and their vehicles, up to the policy’s limit. With that being said, if you cause an accident while under the influence and your insurance company won’t cover your expenses based on a policy exclusion, you’ll want to get a written copy of your policy and make sure that the exclusion applies to your exact situation.
Although insurance companies will usually end up paying for DUI accidents, they might try to deny your claim in certain other situations, too. In general, insurance companies only accept claims for unintentional events, so while they won’t pay if you set your car on fire, for example, you’re covered in the event of a legitimate accident. DUI is generally considered to be an unintentional accident, but your insurance company might argue that by knowingly putting yourself behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, you intentionally caused the wreck. If they deny your claim as a result, then you’ll need to get a lawyer to fight the decision.
Even if your DUI accident is fully covered by your policy, you’ll almost certainly face repercussions from your insurance company. At the very least, you should expect your insurance premiums to skyrocket as a result of your increased risk. You might also be dropped from your policy entirely, although some states – California and North Carolina, for example – prevent insurance companies from doing that before the policy’s expiration.
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