A DUI in North Carolina can affect insurance for up to 10 years, depending on how far back the insurance company checks a driver’s record. Most insurers look at the past 3-5 years on a driver’s motor vehicle record when calculating premiums, but some look even further for major violations like DUI. Even if the DUI no longer affects your rate directly, it may still affect your ability to qualify for discounts related to good driving, depending on your insurer.
On average, a DUI raises insurance rates in North Carolina by 278%. The exact amount that your rate will go up depends on your insurance company, since each insurer uses a different algorithm to calculate premiums.
If you can’t afford your rate after a DUI, you should shop around for a new policy and compare quotes from at least three different insurers to see if you can get a better deal. In North Carolina, the cheapest car insurance companies after a DUI are AmTrust Financial, NC Farm Bureau, and Erie Insurance.
Insurance companies find out about DUI by checking a driver’s record before selling or renewing a policy. Drivers are not legally obligated to inform their insurance company when they are convicted of DUI, and the insurer will not receive a notification from the state DMV. However, once a DUI is on a driving record, an insurance company is certain to find out about it, so it’s always best to upfront after being convicted.… read full answer
Whenever you’re looking to buy a new insurance policy or renew an existing one, the insurance company will check your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), which is a report of your driving history from your state’s department of motor vehicles. Exactly when your insurance company will find out about your DUI depends on when and how often they run your record, but they’ll eventually see it. Your insurer will also find out about your DUI if you require an SR-22 or FR-44, which are state-issued forms that serve as verification of insurance for extremely high-risk drivers.
As tempting as it might be to keep quiet about your DUI conviction, you should contact your insurer to find out what to do moving forward. If your current insurance company decides not to renew your policy, you’ll need to look for high-risk coverage elsewhere. Since high-risk insurance costs more than a normal policy, it’s best to get as many quotes as possible. If you struggle to find a company that will insure you, you might need to temporarily get a policy through a nonstandard insurer or your state’s assigned-risk pool while your driving record improves.
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.… read full answer
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.
A DUI affects insurance rates for 3-10 years, depending on the driver’s state and insurance company. Most insurance companies look back 3-5 years for infractions on a driving record, but some look back as far as seven years. And even if a DUI doesn’t cause a driver’s rates to skyrocket long-term, it can have a lingering effect on costs. For example, insurance companies in California legally can’t offer you a good driver discount for 10 years after a DUI conviction.… read full answer
During the period in which it directly affects premiums, a DUI conviction causes insurance rates to rise by about 80% on average, although each insurer and state is different. If you practice good habits in the years following a DUI, however, you’ll eventually see your rates fall back down.
Since every insurance company has its own lookback period for driving records, you’ll need to check with your insurer to know exactly how long your rates will be affected by a DUI. But keep in mind that even after your costs go down, a DUI will likely appear on your driving record for much longer, depending on your state. While some states like Maryland and Hawaii only require it to remain for five years, others such as Texas and Oregon keep it on your record for life.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by WalletHub.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.