When a California traffic stop results in a law enforcement officer charging you with driving under the influence, quite a bit hangs in the balance. If that DUI charge winds up leading to a conviction, you may face criminal as well as financial consequences. While you may have to pay bail, towing and related fees and fines due to a conviction, you should also anticipate owing quite a bit more to your automotive insurance company once you regain the privilege to drive again.
According to Insure.com, individuals who receive drunk driving convictions end up paying anywhere from about 28% to 371% more to insure themselves behind the wheel.
How much more California motorists pay
While California motorists do not see the nation’s highest post-DUI rate hike, they still face a substantial one after a drunk driving conviction. Say you paid about $1,783 for a year of insurance coverage before your arrest, which is typical in California. After your conviction, you may end up paying closer to $5,093 a year, which is a 186%, $3,310 annual increase.
How to find the most reasonable premium
Some automotive insurance providers drop motorists from coverage once they have drunk driving convictions in their histories. Even if yours does not drop you, it may still benefit you financially to get premium quotes from several different providers. Every insurance company relies on a different formula when deciding how much to charge you, so you may find quite a bit of variation between one provider’s offer and the next.
A California DUI conviction stays on your record for 10 years, so you should expect to have to pay considerably more for insurance coverage until those 10 years pass.