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DUI and Your Denver Insurance Rates

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If you’re convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) offense, your auto insurance rates will sharply increase. Insurance isn’t charity. It’s a business trying to be profitable. Insurance carriers judge how much a potential loss risk a customer may be, then price their insurance based on how high a risk a person will be.  

All other things being equal, someone who appears to be a safer driver will be charged less for auto insurance. However, if you’re convicted of one of these crimes, it shows you’re not a responsible driver and are at a higher risk of causing a claim. As a result, your rate will increase or they may drop you from coverage. When you get a DUI in Colorado, your auto insurance provider will have to provide you with an SR-22 form, which verifies that they will continue to cover you. If you’re a high enough risk (you’ve had multiple moving violations plus a DUI), they may not cover you at all or they will offer a premium you can’t afford to pay. Some companies won’t issue SR-22s, so they automatically drop coverage of anyone convicted of DUI.

How Much Will My Denver Insurance Rates Increase After a DUI Conviction? 

Generally, an intoxicated driving conviction causes a larger cost increase than other driving violations like driving recklessly or being at fault in an accident, according to the Insurance Zebra. Though your charge will boost your costs, the increase in Colorado is less than in most states. Their research suggests the average annual premium increase is $601, 83% less than the national average. 

The state’s average annual rate without a DUI is $1757. That goes up, on average, to $2,359, or 34%, with a DUI conviction. Nationwide the national average is $1,548. After a DUI conviction, that increases, on average, 65% to $2,556. 

Shop ‘Till Your Insurance Rates Drop 

If you’re found guilty, you should shop around for coverage to try to lessen the financial hit you’ll take. The Zebra found a wide range of insurance costs, depending on the company. Some of them are more risk-averse than others. Some companies are more tolerant (so charge less) to those with a DUI or DWAI record.  

They found that State Farm offers yearly rates 39% less than the state average for a post-DUI conviction. This is how they report that various carriers stacked up for annual post-DUI premiums: 

  • State Farm $1,444
  • GEICO $2,199
  • USAA $2,324
  • Allstate $2,388
  • American Family $2,474
  • Progressive $2,537

However, this is where it is critical that you do your own research and call around to each company. For example, multiple websites, including the one described above, say that State Farm is considerably cheaper than other insurance carriers after a DUI. However, a State Farm agent told us that State Farm will not issue an SR-22 after a DUI in Colorado. This means that they will actually not insure you after getting a DUI, so the lower posted rates are deceptive. Since you can’t trust everything you find online about the costs of auto insurance after a DUI, you need to shop around yourself to see which company will still cover you, and at the best rate. Every person’s situation is different, so getting multiple quotes may save you a lot of money. 

How Long Will My Increase Last? 

A DUI conviction raises your insurance rates for at least three years, on average, nationwide, reports Experian. This depends on the state and the carrier you purchase from. It also assumes you won’t have any more moving violations or accidents. Colorado DUI convictions stay on your driving record indefinitely, so it’s up to individual insurers to decide how long they will impose rate hikes after a DUI.

How Can I Avoid DUI-Related Vehicle Insurance Increases? 

Ideally, you won’t drive under the influence or while your ability is impaired, but sometimes people who don’t are charged with these crimes anyway. If you’re arrested for DUI, your best bet is to wage an effective defense with the help of Kevin Churchill. Your case may be dismissed or, as part of a plea bargain, you might admit guilt to a lesser charger that won’t impact your rates as much. 

If you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Colorado, contact attorney Kevin Churchill for a free consultation by calling him at (303) 832-9000. He has represented people like you in the Front Range for more than 24 years.