“How will a DUI affect my insurance costs?” This is one of the most common questions we get at initial client conferences. I have grown frustrated in trying to give a short answer that sufficiently covers the nuances of the situation, so – here is my long-winded multi-part answer.
How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part I)
Insurance company evaluators look at you as a risk. Your rates are based on a number of super-secret algorithms and proprietary factors. Having a DUI conviction is just one of many things they look at and consider. Depending on their factors, insurers may raise your rates require you to purchase “high risk” insurance, or cancel your coverage. Some insurers rank a drunk driving conviction as a lesser risk than an at-fault accident, multiple moving violations or a bad credit score. Some treat reductions to a lesser charge more favorably than others. One way of understanding this is to know that a DUI offender with a bad credit score and moving violations will pay more than a person with only a DUI conviction. How high your rates go depends on the driver, the company, whether or not you are an existing customer and whether or not you are willing to shop for quotes.
You can help lower your rates following a DUI if you drive for a few years without any moving violations. Improving your credit score, moving to a home in the suburbs, having kids, trading in that sports car for a minivan and simply getting older also help you lower your rates. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is your willingness to shop, shop, shop. My wife always calls at least five companies, gets three quotes and then uses one companies’ quote against the other offer.
How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part II)
It may happen that you are “dropped” by your insurance company. If this happens, the insurance company has made the decision that your circumstances create a risk too high for them to accept. Does this mean that you will be uninsurable? No. Taking action to change your personal risk factors and shopping wisely will help you find a reasonable insurance rate. Some insurers, agents or salesmen may try to convince you that “high-risk” is anyone who has a DUI and that you should accept this and re-up with your company at a higher rate. Don’t believe it! See above.
How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part III)
The most common element a DUI or DWI offender will encounter after their license and driving privileges have been reinstated is the SR-22 form. The SR-22 is a form that your car insurance company files with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The form provides the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with proof of financial responsibility by showing that you have the required insurance coverages in effect. The filing acts as a guarantee to the Ohio BMV that an insurance company has issued at least minimum liability coverage for the person making the filing. An SR-22 also requires the insurance company to notify the Ohio BMV if you cancel your coverage, thus creating a system of continuous monitoring. The BMV usually requires that you file an SR-22 for a period of 3 years from the beginning date of your suspension. Some suspensions may have a 5 year period. The Ohio BMV will accept SR22 filings showing the purchase of either an Auto Liability Insurance Policy, for vehicle owners who want more than the minimum, or a Financial Responsibility Bond, designed for those who want just the minimum coverage.
The minimum mandatory liability insurance coverage required in the state of Ohio for private passenger vehicles is set forth at O.R.C. 4509.51. Ohio mandates the following liability coverage:
- $12,500 bodily injury liability (BIL) per persson
- $25,000 for two or more people in one accidents
- $7,500 property damage liability (PDL) coverage
There are three types of Ohio SR22 certificates available:
- Ohio SR22 Operators Certificate:
This covers the driver for the operation of any non-owned vehicle they have been given permission to drive.
- Ohio SR22 Owners Certificate:
This covers the driver to drive any vehicles owned by the driver. The certificate may be issued with the details of the make and mode of the drivers automobile or it may cover any vehicle owned by the driver.
- Ohio SR22 Operators-Owners Certificate:
This covers any vehicles owned by the driver and any vehicles that are not owned but the driver has been given permission to drive.
Any vehicle that is registered in Ohio falls under Ohio vehicle laws. R.C. 4509.101 requires that a vehicle’s owner maintain insurance or other acceptable form of financial responsibility coverage on a registered vehicle throughout the registration period of that vehicle. If you have an out-of-state license and you have received a suspension in Ohio, Ohio has authority to suspend your right to drive in Ohio. This means you may no longer operate a vehicle in this state. Ohio will post your suspension on the National Driver Registry (NDR) and Problem Driver Pointer System. Your home state may check this Registry for suspensions, and may take its own action against your driver’s license. Some states will run NDR checks at the time of license renewal; others will run checks if a vehicle is stopped and the peace officer decides there may be a reason to run the check. It is up to you to stay on top of all issues related to your SR-22 filing. Most insurance companies send the Bureau SR-22/Bond filings electronically. These filings are usually processed the same day that they are received. Some send paper copies of SR-22/Bonds which can take up to 72 hours to process. We have seen some outrageous delays but it is seldom takes greater than five business days. Sometimes SR-22/Bonds are rejected and returned to the insurance company because information is incomplete or incorrect. To access your BMV records and stay on top of your SR-22, please visit HERE.
It is important that your Ohio DUI attorney show the Court your that you had insurance at the time of your alleged DUI offense. Any driver and/or owner who fails to show proof that financial responsibility was in effect at the time of an accident/offense/random selection, will lose his/her driving and registration privileges for a minimum of 90 days. Per Senate Bill 123, the length of the suspension will be 90 days for the first offense, one year for a second offense and two years for third and subsequent offenses committed within a five-year period, if the offense occurred on or after January 1, 2004. The registration and license plates of the motor vehicle involved may be impounded when the defendant is the owner of the vehicle. In order to regain driving and registration privileges, the individual must comply with the following requirements:
- Serve out the suspension time, as outlined above;
- File and maintain Financial Responsibility Insurance (Form SR-22 or Bond) for three years on a first offense, and five years on a second and subsequent offense;
- Pay Reinstatement Fee. See Reinstatement Fee List for required fee amount.
There is a $50 non-voluntary surrender fee. If registration, license plates and driver license are surrendered within a specified time period (postmarked on or prior to suspension start date), the $50 non-voluntary surrender fee may be deducted from the amount owed. This fee reduction does not apply to individuals driving without a license because their license has expired or has been revoked, or to individuals who have never had a license. Per House Bill 687, effective October 12, 1994, all driver licenses and license plates received by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will be destroyed. Duplicate driver license and license plates must be purchased by the driver and/or owner once suspensions end and all requirements are met. Registration privileges and duplicate license plates can be issued prior to the ending date of the suspension if the necessary fees are paid and Financial Responsibility Insurance is filed. Any party that is going to be placed under a Noncompliance Suspension, resulting from a Crash Report/Accident, UTT Ticket or Random Selection has the option to request an Administrative Hearing.
Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”
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