People who have been arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI as it is more commonly known, are at risk of paying much higher auto insurance premiums should they be convicted of the crime. Those who have been arrested but not convicted should know that hiring a good DUI attorney is highly recommended, as in some cases, the attorney can help you avoid a conviction.
Just being arrested for DUI doesn’t mean that you have to report the incident to your auto insurance company just yet. You are advised wait and see how your case pans out. There are chances that you might win the case and have the charges dropped, or in some instances your attorney can help you reduce charges in a DUI plea bargain. Incidents like arrests for DUI are checked by insurance companies before giving out or renewing an auto insurance policy.
In some cases, when the California DMV revokes or suspends someone’s driving license as part of administrative action after a DUI arrest, they might insist on the driver obtaining SR-22 insurance coverage before reinstating driving privileges. This puts the driver in a bind, as the only place to obtain an SR-22 insurance policy is from an insurance company. In case the existing insurance company doesn’t offer SR-22 insurance, it will immediately cancel your existing policy upon being notified of the DUI arrest.
What is SR-22?
SR-22 is a financial responsibility certificate required by the state of California to reinstate a suspended license. After you obtain the necessary insurance coverage from your insurance company, they file the SR-22 and let the DMV know about it. The DMV then verifies your purchase of the required coverage. While calculating the premium on your car insurance policy, the insurance company will factor this in along with things like your residential neighborhood, your driving record, your record of car maintenance, etc.
A lot of drivers wrongly think that they aren’t eligible to obtain insurance because they have a restricted driver’s license. As auto insurance is compulsorily required by law, a lot of insurance companies offer policies to people with a DUI record. The only issue is that only smaller insurance company offer SR-22 insurance policies. These policies vary from company to company, making it important to compare all available policies for rates and coverage before deciding on one. Most SR-22 insurance policies require the insurance companies to notify the DMV upon the cancellation of any policy. Moreover, SR-22 policyholders should expect to provide proof of insurance to the DMV quite a few times.
Should your auto insurance policy get cancelled for any reason, you need to get a new auto insurance policy immediately. California law requires the insurance companies to inform the DMV whenever someone cancels an insurance policy. Should your policy lapse, the DMV will notify you of an impending suspension if you aren’t able to obtain a new insurance policy within 45 days.