Does Car Insurance Cover Drunk Driving Accidents?
The intersection between car insurance and drunk driving accidents revolves around keeping a look at the consequences of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and the complexities of car insurance coverage.
Driving under the influence is an offense and also increases the likelihood of causing accidents and injuries on the streets. Going while drinking is identified as one of the most significant public safety issues due to the degradation of reaction time, judgment, and motor abilities.
Drunk driving goes beyond just legal penalties as victims, family members, and friends suffer the pain of injuries, death, and long-term problems. This is where the insurance comes into play, and questions like, does car insurance cover drunk driving accidents arise?
Coverage Offered by Car Accident Insurance
It is important for drivers to understand what is included in a standard car insurance policy. According to the best auto accident lawyer a classic car insurance policy usually contains several types of coverage. In order to protect you from different risks, every kind of coverage is designed differently.
This is an integral part of any auto insurance policy and is required by law in most states.
There are two main types of liability coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability: This provides cover for all injuries incurred by your insured person who is involved in an accident. These expenses comprise medical expenditures, lost income, and any lawyers’ fees in case of litigation.
Property Damage Liability: It covers damage caused by your policy holders on other people’s property. It usually involves damages suffered by other vehicles. However, it can be applied to other properties like fences, buildings, etc.
In case of damage of a policyholder’s vehicle in a collision, regardless of fault, the collision coverage takes care of it. Such as an accident with the other automobile or hitting obstacles such as pothole and objects like trees, polls, etc.
Comprehensive coverage differs from collision coverage in that it covers damage to vehicle not caused by collisions. These factors include theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters such as floods and hail, and animal collisions.
Impact of Drunk Driving on Insurance Coverage
Driving while you are drunk has a severe impact on insurance coverage and claims.
Insurers often consider you a high-risk driver after a DUI. This can increase your insurance premiums, sometimes significantly. In some instances, your insurance company may even cancel your policy.
Standard liability coverage pays for damages and injuries. Still, if the accident was caused by driving under the influence (DUI), your insurer may deny coverage for your defense or for any personal injury claims you may have made. This leaves the driver responsible for large expenses.
DUI convictions are accompanied by severe legal penalties such as paying fines, having a suspended driver’s license, and the possibility of getting a jail term. The resulting financial burden is immense because of these legal concerns that are likely to increase insurance rates.
Long-Term Insurance Impact
A DUI conviction typically remains on your driver’s license for several years, which can have a long-term impact on your premiums and coverage options. The length of time a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction stays on your license varies from state to state, but it can have a significant impact on your insurance costs and coverage options.
Liability Coverage in Drunk Driving Accidents
Liability coverage is quite important in drunk driving accidents. It is also crucial to comprehend this protection and its part in damage compensation.
The coverage for liability insurance is normally directed at damages and injuries imposed on another person by the policyholder.
It typically covers both bodily injury liability (which covers medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering suffered by the injured parties) and property damage liability (which covers damage to someone else’s property).
Under the terms and limitations of liability insurance, you may still be covered for damages and injuries sustained by the policyholder in the event of a DUI. What’s important is that the insurance company won’t cover any legal penalties and fines imposed on you as a result of the DUI.
Scenarios Where Car Insurance Coverage Apply and Don’t Apply
The scenarios where the coverage can be applied are:
Damage to Another’s Property: If the intoxicated driver causes an accident that damages property or causes injuries to other people, the liability part of the policy will usually cover these damages up to the limits of the policy.
Legal Defense Cost: In some policies, legal defense is covered in an event where a policyholder gets sued by a third party in an accident they caused while drunk driving.
Scenarios where coverage does not apply include,
Criminal penalties and fines: If you are convicted of DUI, liability insurance will not cover you with any criminal fines or punitive damages.
Personal injuries to the policyholder: If you are injured in a DUI crash, liability coverage will not cover your personal injuries or damage to your vehicle. If you have collision and medical payments coverage, your personal injuries will be covered.
Policy Exclusions: Some policies have exclusions for accidents that happen when the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. These exclusions may result in the insurer denying the claim.
Insurance Premiums and DUI Convictions
DUI conviction has a severe impact on car insurance premiums. If you’ve been convicted of DUI, it’s important to know how much of an effect it has and how long it will have an impact on your insurance rates.
The effect of a DUI conviction on insurance premiums can be seen. Let’s have a look.
- Car insurance premium usually doubles after a DUI conviction. Insurers consider individuals with DUI convictions to be high risks, and this is reflected in increased insurance premiums to cover the anticipated losses.
- The driver risks losing the insurance coverage after a DUI conviction since insurance companies reassess the risk profile. A reassessment of this kind may even transfer the driver into a high-risk insurance segment, which is naturally costlier.
- In most states, drivers who have been convicted of DUI must file an SR-22 (or FR-44, depending on the state) to prove they have the minimum liability coverage required by law. Filing SR-22’s and FR-44’s usually results in higher insurance premiums because they’re a red flag for dangerous drivers.
Timeframe of Impact on Insurance Rates
Some states, however, require you to have insurance for as much time as possible post-DUI. You may have to pay further fines and receive higher rates if you do not maintain the coverage for some period of time after a DUI.
Provided you do not rack up a DUI record and meet other insurance requirements, your premiums might decrease with time. However, it may take several years of responsible driving to witness an appreciable decrease.
The impact of a DUI on one’s insurance rate differs from state to state and among insurers. The effect of an action varies from state to state, and it generally takes three to seven years.
Certain states have specific regulations that limit the amount of time a DUI can have an effect on insurance premiums.
Lawyers at Mokaram Law Firm can help you deal with different insurance options in case of drunk driving cases by using their best possible skills.
Driving under the influence (DUI) can result in significant increases in car insurance premiums. The effects of a DUI conviction can last for years, depending on state laws and insurance company policies. It’s essential for drivers to understand the consequences of a DUI conviction and how to reduce their risks and manage their post-DUI insurance costs.
Mokaram Law Firm to the Rescue!
To get done with the insurance-related issues and to understand the laws better, it is best to hire a lawyer who can help you navigate through your case.
Mokaram Law Firm has the best lawyers to help you with your case. For consultation, dial (281) 609-9224 now.