Just the sheer humiliation of getting a DUI conviction may seem like the worst thing, but it is far from over at that point. The cost of time and money in paying fines, doing community service and the suspension of your driving privileges can pale in comparison to both finding and being able to afford car insurance again. It can haunt you for up to three years after a conviction.
There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for the journey and make getting car insurance after a DUI possible.
- Understand there is no overnight cure. It may be a struggle to complete all of the demands of the court and locate a car insurance company that is willing to insure you after the conviction. There will be many companies that will not cover you for at least 3 years with a clean record.
- Understand that the process will be expensive. High risk insurance is not cheap, no matter who you can find coverage from. The combination of insurance costs, mandatory alcohol treatment and fines can be quite costly.
- Fight the DUI charge. You need to get a good lawyer involved quickly, especially if there is a chance that you can get the charges dropped or reduced. The faster you can do this the chances are great that your insurance company will never even know about it. If the charges are simply reduced, it will most likely show up on your record. It is best to be honest about it unless the charges are quickly dropped.
- Get coverage with a nationally recognized carrier if possible. The coverage will generally be better and the rates will at least be competitive. You will be looking at a high price tag no matter who you go with, but at least you can be sure the coverage will be good.
- Follow through with all of the court obligations. Do not miss hearings, complete all community service and pay all fines. If you are seen as cooperative it makes it easier to get car insurance after a DUI.
- Know your SR-22 and make sure it fits the requirements of liability for your state. Make sure that the paperwork is done correctly and that it is accepted by your state agency. You normally have about 6 months to get this done, but that really depends on how restricted your driving is made and when you can get your privileges back.
- Do comparison shopping. It is not always about who is the least expensive. You want to make sure that the company will help you with the paperwork for the SR-22 and that they will do it timely. You want the best coverage, the most help and the best price in that order. It will be indicative of whether you want to stick with them once your DUI can be taken off the table and you can have normal car insurance once again.
Getting Out from Under
It may seem like a lot of work and expense to regain your driving privileges and get insurance coverage again. But if you steer clear of any more DUI’s, keep up your premium payments faithfully and follow through with your court commitments, you will be back to a sense of normalcy before you know it.
It is not a pleasant lesson to learn, but it is designed to make people feel enough financial impact and bother that the idea of drinking and driving will never cross your mind again. Just don’t do it!
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Tags: MI Insurance Coverage