If you commit a DUI offense in California, you do not need to inform your insurance company. You do not have to tell your insurance company after an arrest or after a DUI conviction. However, as much as you may like to keep your DUI offense a secret, your insurance will eventually find out. For instance, when the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspends your driver's license, you have to contact your insurance company to seek an SR22.  Most insurance policies require the policyholder to inform the insurer in case of an accident. Insurance companies are likely to raise your premiums upon committing a DUI violation. If you need help with mitigating the effects of DUI on your insurance, The DUI Defense Attorney can help.

Finding Out about DUI Cases

When you commit a DUI offense in California and you are involved in an accident, the law requires you to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles. You should notify the DMV within ten days, especially if the crash results in the injury of another party even if the injury is minor. You should also inform the DMV if the accident leads to the death of another person or property damage of more than $1,000.  However, the law does not require you to inform the insurance company upon committing a DUI offense and causing an accident.

Even though you do not inform the insurance company, your insurer may learn about your DUI offense in many ways.  The insurance company may learn about your DUI conviction upon running a background check on you. When your existing insurance policy expires and you seek a renewal, the insurance company may conduct a background check on you. The background check would reveal all Dui conviction even if you did not inform the insurance company. 

When you commit a DUI offense in California, the chances are that the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend your driver's license. When the DMV suspends your driver's license, you may request your insurer to send an SR22 to the DMV to facilitate the reinstatement of your driver's license. At this time, the insurer will learn about your DUI offense. 

The insurance company may learn about your DUI conviction if you report the conviction to them.  On the other hand, upon a Dui arrest, the other drivers or parties involved may inform your insurance company about the DUI incidence. 

Effects of DUI during Insurance Policy Renewal or Application of New Policy

According to California law, insurers do not have the authority to cancel an auto insurance policy or raise a premium midterm or before the policy expires. Therefore, even if you commit a DUI offense, the insurer cannot cancel your policy or increase your insurance premiums until the current policy expires. However, at the time of renewing the policy or applying for a new policy, your DUI record may affect. 

The insurance company will seek your driver's record when you apply for a new policy or when renewing the existing one. During this time, the insurer may obtain your DMV driving record. The insurance company may also get your criminal record. Your DMV record will indicate all the offenses you may have committed in the last ten years.  The record will also show other wet violations, including wet reckless as outlined under VC23103.5 for the past seven years. 

When you are renewing an insurance policy, your insurer may not always run a background check on you.  This is because, for every background check, an insurance company runs, it may cost the company around $1.50. This figure may not seem much at first. However, if you consider the numerous applicants who seek insurance coverage, you will realize that the costs of running background checks are relevant. 

Typically, insurance companies run background checks on new applicants because they consider them riskier than they consider the existing policyholders seeking renewals.  Your insurer is not likely to run a background check on you if you are a low-risk driver. The insurer may also not run a background check on you if you have a long history with the company, and you have not made claims. 

It is the burden of the insurance company to discover a DUI offense. At times, your insurance renewal may come up while you have a pending DUI suspension or DUI charges.  If a DUI offense is not on your driver's record or if the insurer does not run a background check when renewing your license, you are not at fault.

Unless there was an accident, it is up to the insurance company to discover a DUI.   However, many insurers are aware of this fact. Therefore, they have in place well-set procedures on when to run background checks on insurance renewals.  You might be lucky to get several renewals before your insurer finally runs a background check on you.  It is impossible to tell when your insurer is likely to run a background check on you and discover your DUI offense. However, eventually, your insurance will find out about your DUI.   

Reporting your DUI to the Insurance Company

Even if it is not a requirement under California law to report a DUI offense to the insurers, some drivers still report the DUIs to their insurers.  This is because even if a driver fails to report, the insurer is likely to learn about the DUI eventually. If you choose to self-report to the insurance company, you will have an opportunity to know whether the company is likely to offer you an insurance renewal. You will also know whether the insurance company is likely to increase your premium. 

If you have to look for an alternative insurer, you will have ample time and information to shop around and seek an insurance policy with affordable rates.  However, it is not advisable to self-report a DUI offense to the insurer. Instead, it is advisable to contact a DUI attorney before taking such action.  The attorney can then advise you on what to do or what not to do regarding DUI and insurance. 

Cancellation of Insurance Policy after a DUI Offense   

According to California law, an insurer cannot cancel your insurance policy midterm. Therefore, even after committing a DUI offense, the insurance company cannot immediately cancel your policy or raise your insurance premium. However, when you are renewing your insurance company, the insurer can cancel the policy and decline to give you a renewal. The insurer may decide to renew your policy but offer different terms. For instance, the insurer may require you to pay higher insurance premiums. If your insurer were offering you a good driver discount before, the company would scrap the discount after you commit a DUI offense.

Increase in Auto Insurance Premiums after a DUI Conviction

When you commit a DUI offense in California, it will eventually increase your insurance premium.  These additional premiums may apply if you decide to apply for a new insurance policy with a new company. The additional premium may also apply when you are renewing a policy with your current insurer, especially if the insurer runs a background check during renewal. The reason for paying a higher premium is that insurance companies label DUI offenders as high-risk drivers. At times, instead of raising the auto insurance premiums, the insurance company may decline to give you a renewal and simply cancel the insurance policy. 

Some insurers may not have adverse reactions to DUI offenses. However, even if an insurer is DUI tolerant, committing a DUI offense will make the insurer see an increased likelihood of you getting into an accident in the future. 

Upon committing a DUI offense, the insurance company may consider several factors when increasing your auto insurance premiums. Some of the factors that the insurer may consider are gender, age, marital status, and driving history and experience. The insurer may also consider your affiliations to professional organizations, whether you own or rent a home, your place of residence, and the length of residence at the same address. Your insurer may also consider your length of prior coverage without a claim when deciding on how to increase your insurance premium. If you have a long history of safe driving, you may be able to keep your insurance premiums at reasonable levels after committing a DUI offense in California. 

A DUI Lawsuit and Insurance Rates

If another driver brings a DUI lawsuit against you, your auto insurance premiums will automatically go up. A lawsuit is one of the factors that always harm car insurance premiums. For instance, while driving under the influence of alcohol, you may get into an accident with another driver. The situation may even be worse if you operate a vehicle while intoxicated, and you end up causing an accident that resulted in the injury of another person.  The injured party may then file a lawsuit against you and your insurer. This lawsuit is likely to cause a rise in your insurance premiums. After a DUI lawsuit, the chances are high that your insurer may not be willing to renew your insurance premiums. If you lose a lawsuit or if your insurer decides to pay money to settle the case, the chances are high that your insurer may not be willing to renew your policy. 

Getting an Alternative Insurer after a DUI Violation

If your current insurer is not willing to renew your policy after committing a DUI offense, you have to look for a new insurer.  It can be hard to get another insurer after committing a DUI offense, but you do not have to give up. According to California law, all drivers have to carry auto insurance. It is, therefore, the duty of the state to ensure that every driver in California carries auto insurance.  You may take advantage of the numerous insurance brokers who specialize in getting insurance policies for drivers with DUI convictions in California. 

If you are unable to get an insurer after committing a DUI offense, you may apply for coverage through CAARP (California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan). CAARP refers to a program that helps to match high-risk drives with insurance companies that are willing to insure them. Upon your DUI conviction, you become a high –risk customer in the eyes of insurers. Therefore, you would be eligible to seek an insurance company through CAARP.

CAARP assists drivers who are unable to obtain an auto insurance policy or SR22 coverage on their own.  You may be able to obtain CAARP coverage by working through any auto insurance broker or by calling CAARP directly.

Predicting an Increase in Premiums after a DUI Conviction

It may be difficult to predict an increase in your insurance premiums after a DUI conviction.  Different insurance companies have different levels of risk tolerance. When setting new insurance premiums when a driver commits a DUI offense, insurance companies consider several factors.  You may not be able to predict the exact increase in your insurance premiums. However, the premiums may increase with up to $2,000 after you commit a DUI offense in California. 

If you previously had a good driver discount, the increase in insurance premiums will be more dramatic for you.  According to California law, an insurance company cannot continue offering you a good driver discount when you commit a DUI offense. You will not be able to receive good driver discounts for the next ten years after committing a DUI offense. The ten-year period will be applicable from the date of your DUI arrest and not from the date of your conviction. Therefore, even if your DUI case does not mature into a conviction, you will still lose a good driver discount. You will lose the discount as long as you have undergone a DUI arrest.  If you did not have a good driver discount before, this law would not affect you much. However, if you previously enjoyed a good driver discount, you may record an insurance premium increase of between 20 and 30% after committing a DUI offense. 

Irrespective of your driving history, insurance premiums may greatly vary between insurance companies. Different insurance companies may have varying rates, even for drivers with a DUI on their record. Therefore, it is always important to shop around and compare insurance premiums from different companies.

The best way to get an affordable insurance premium is to shop around. Drivers should always conduct thorough research before settling for an insurance company. To ensure that you are working with an insurance broker or agent with good standing, you should contact the California Department of Insurance.

Expungement of DUI from your Record

You can erase a California DUI offense to remove it from your record. However, it is important to note that even if you expunge a DUI offense from your criminal record, you cannot erase the crime from the DMV record. An expunged DUI offense will still be a priorable offense. There are many benefits of expunging a criminal record in California. However, expunging a DUI offense may not help you save money on auto insurance.

In California, a DUI conviction stays on the defendant's record for ten years. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will retain the record for ten years. If you commit a lesser offense like a dry reckless or a wet reckless, the offense will remain on your record for seven years.

If you commit a DUI offense in California and you fail to appear in court as required, you will face additional charges. Just like a DUI conviction, charges for failure to appear in court will remain on your record for ten years.

There is no way you can wipe or erase a DUI conviction from the California DMV records.  The best way is to try to avoid a DUI conviction from the start. For instance, you should seek a DMV hearing ten days after a DUI arrest. If you prevail at the hearing, the DMV may suspend your DUI charges and allow you to retain your driver's license. If you do not prevail at the DMV hearing, you may appeal to the DMV officer's decision.  You may have to pay a fee upon deciding to appeal the decision of the DMV hearing officer. 

It is hard to win during a DMV hearing or an appeal of the DMV officer's decision. However, it does not mean that it is impossible to win during a DMV hearing.  If you have an experienced DUI attorney to defend you, you can challenge the DMV's decision.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically delete a DUI conviction from your record when ten years pass. You do not have to remind the DMV to delete your record because the procedure is automatic.  

With proper defense, the court may reduce your DUI offense to a wet reckless, dry reckless, or a lower charge. However, most insurance companies will still raise your insurance rates even after charges reduction.  For instance, a wet reckless is a violation related to DUI. Many insurance companies treat such violations the same way as DUI. 

Find a Los Angeles DUI Attorney Near Me

A DUI conviction can have adverse effects on your insurance premiums. It is advisable to seek the counsel of a DUI defense attorney immediately after a DUI arrest. In addition to defending you, the attorney will advise you on how to handle insurance companies. The DUI Defense Attorney assists people facing DUI charges in California. Contact us at 818-253-1913 and speak to one of our attorneys.