Drivers facing a DUI/DWI charge in Texas may deal with serious consequences like jail time and heavy fines. Having a DUI on your record also means you’ll pay a much higher insurance rate or even lose your coverage.
If the police detain you for a suspected DUI, call a Texas DUI attorney ASAP. You may also need to consult a law firm focusing specifically on insurance to understand what your policy covers and how to qualify for insurance after a DUI accident.
What Happens to Insurance Rates After DUI?
A DUI conviction automatically turns you into a high-risk driver and hikes up car insurance costs. Your annual auto insurance premiums will likely be several hundred dollars higher after a DUI accident. Auto insurers run thorough background checks on drivers, and there’s no way to hide any DUI or traffic violations on your record.
Your insurer may refuse to continue covering you after a DUI accident. In this case, you’ll need to look for a different insurance provider.
SR-22 Insurance Coverage
If you’re convicted of a DWI in Texas, you’ll need to carry SR-22, a type of insurance coverage for high-risk drivers. SR-22 includes a minimum coverage of $30,000 for injuries, $25,000 for property damage, and $60,000 for fatal accidents.
An insurance representative will need to sign the SR-22 certificate, and you may also have to pay a signing and filing fee. Failing to maintain SR-22 could lead to extra penalties.
For the first three years after a DWI conviction, you must also pay an annual fee of $1,000 to retain your license.
Will My Insurance Policy Cover Damages After a DUI?
Depending on your policy’s terms, your insurer may still cover damages to your vehicle after a DUI accident. However, the insurance company may refuse to renew your coverage.
How Long Will You Continue Paying Higher Insurance Premiums?
You may expect a DUI conviction to affect your car insurance rates in Texas for five to 10 years. Policies may vary between different insurance providers, but a DWI offense is always a serious concern for insurers and will lead to years of increased premiums.
When your insurer runs a background check on you, they’ll also consider prior DUI convictions outside of Texas. The good news is that some DWI charges are eligible for expunction after a certain period.
If you’re dealing with exorbitant auto insurance costs because of a DWI on your record, shop around and see whether another provider offers you better terms. You may also be able to lower your insurance costs over time by driving safely and avoiding any additional violations.
What to Do After a DUI Accident
First, contact a Texas DUI attorney. DWI cases are highly time sensitive, so you must act fast to protect yourself and preserve your driving privileges. For instance, you only have 15 days to contest a driver’s license suspension. If you look up Texas DWI lawyers near you, you may find a law firm that offers a free initial consultation.
You must also determine your auto insurance coverage terms and future coverage prospects. It’s always advisable to consult an insurance coverage attorney and learn your options.
Call McLaurin Law PLLC for Help with Insurance After a DUI
When the prospect of a DWI conviction threatens your future, call a Texas DUI attorney as soon as you can. In addition to a criminal defense lawyer, you may need an attorney who focuses on insurance law.