New Information About the Effect of DUI Accidents on Insurance

The Consumer Federation of America recently released a report comparing insurance rates for upper-income motorists with moderate-income motorists. The report found that GEICO and Progressive penalized moderate and lower-income drivers the worst, while State Firm was found to be the best. The study found that in 70% of the cases where a comparison was possible, a moderate income driver with a perfect record was charged more for basic liability insurance than a high-income driver with a recent DUI.

This reports is of significant importance for motorists in the Atlanta area because Atlanta was one of the top 15 cities studied in this analysis. The study also highlighted the difficulty that many motorists who have received a DUI have in obtaining any type of insurance. While a DUI in Georgia can result in jail times and significant fines, individuals often fail to consider that a DUI in Georgia will also result in significant obstacles in obtaining insurance and most likely result in raised insurance expenses for a driver.

Georgia Law Regarding Insurance

Law in the state of Georgia requires every motor vehicle driver to have automobile insurance. Insurance companies determine an individual’s insurance rate on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Various factors including a driver’s age, location, vehicle make, and driving history can greatly influence an individual’s insurance rate. When an individual has a driving record that includes a DUI related charge, the insurance agency will categorize the individual as “high risk” to insure.

High risk refers to the likelihood that an individual will cause an accident. The Georgia Office of Highway Safety reports that motor vehicle drivers with a blood alcohol content above .09 are 11 times more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident. Based on how often the insurance company renews policies, an individual can expect the insurance company to take a DUI into consideration when determining the next policy period.

SR-22 Forms

The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles requires insurance companies file SR-22 forms to show that an individual who receives a DUI is adequately insured. Drivers with a DUI are required to have a SR-22 policy for at least three years after receiving a DUI conviction.  

While an individual might be released from this requirement after three years, an individual’s insurance rate often remains high for quite some time after.

Available Options

Due to the risk that Georgia perceives to be presented by drivers with DUIs, individuals who are convicted of DUI in Georgia often discover that their monthly automobile insurance is tripled for the next three to seven years. Drivers who receive a “safe driver” discount can also expect to lose this benefit if the driver receives a DUI.

There is often simply no way in avoiding an insurance increase if an individual receives a DUI related charge. If individuals with these types of charges would like to continue driving lawfully, a driver must have insurance which means that an individual DUI must pay this disproportionately high insurance rate. In order to remain eligible to even obtain insurance after receiving a DUI, insurance companies, many individuals are required to attend defensive driving classes.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta DUI Attorney

As a result of the many negative consequences that can arise from a DUI including increased insurance rates, motor vehicle drivers faced with a DUI often find that consulting with an attorney to discuss the potentially charges and how to respond to these charges is a wise idea. The legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert has significant experience helping individuals minimize the negative consequences of a DUI charge.