Client Guide – How will this DUI affect my car insurance?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On August 16, 2021

If you’ve read some of our previous blogs, then you know that Reynolds Defense Firm makes it a point to help everyone who calls our office.

Sometimes, people call us for legal help that is outside our DUI law specialty. And sometimes, clients want to know how their DUI arrest is going to affect other important things in their lives. So, we have made it a point to get answers to some of the frequently asked questions that you might even be wondering about, yourself.

One common inquiry that we get, is “How will my DUI arrest impact my car insurance?” But before we begin discussing this topic, there are two important things to highlight:

The information below was not provided by a licensed insurance agent.

Our office spoke with a GEICO representative, who was glad to provide information that is specific to GEICO only. However, the representative did acknowledge that this material is general and standard information, providing good insight into what to expect for other insurance companies; and

You will see mention of “SR-22.”

An SR-22 is often required for a driver to reinstate or maintain their driving privileges after a suspension, following a DUI arrest. SR-22 is a certificate from an insurance company, licensed in Oregon, that certifies that you have purchased liability insurance that meets the minimum required coverage limits.

First, how does the Insurance Company find out that a driver has been convicted of a DUI (or do they)? 

GR: If customers don’t report it, generally insurers find out about DUI’s when the customer is required to provide the DMV with an SR-22 filing.

If the insurance company doesn’t find out, from the DMV or courts, does the person have a requirement to tell the insurance company?

GR: It’s more that the customer should report it so the insurance company can begin doing what they need to do on their end. The insurance company is going to find out about the DUI eventually – when the customer files an SR-22 – and if it is the first time the insurance company is hearing about the DUI there can be complications and delays with the SR-22, which could cause an inconvenience for the customer.

Does the insurance company run driving reports that would lead them to find out about the DUI on their own?

GR: MVR (motor vehicle record) reports are ran at random, so there is always a chance.

If someone is convicted of a DUI, does their car insurance rate go up? If so, typically by how much?

GR: Yes, the rate does increase. The amount of the increase really depends on the customers policy. And, there are many variables that can affect that increase – too many to give an exact amount or range.

Assuming the insurance rates do go up, how long does this have an impact on them – through their probation period, through Diversion, or….? 

GR: The rates are not dependent on the court outcome. They stay increased for a minimum of 3 years and up to five years.

If you’re facing a DUI (or DUII) charge in Oregon, call Reynolds Defense Firm today. Our team has the expertise to handle your criminal case and the understanding to help you on the human-side as well. We hope that you never need to call us, but if you do, we are here. You can contact us for your free consultation by filling out the form on our website or by calling us at 503-223-3422.

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