Does auto insurance cover DUI accidents?

Car insurance might cover DUI accidents, but they'll probably fight it if you caused an accident when driving while intoxicated. It's more likely that they'll pay for damages if someone else caused an accident while you were drunk-driving. A DUI can raise your auto insurance rates by up to 127%.

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Sara Routhier, Director of Outreach and Managing Editor of Features, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overw...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2021

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A Concise Overview:

  • If you’re at fault for an accident while drinking and driving, your auto insurer will probably fight paying out a claim.
  • If you get involved in an accident while drinking but it’s not your fault, it’s more likely an insurer will pay for your damages.
  • After a DUI, you’ll be considered a high-risk driver with a rate increase of up to 127 percent.

Does car insurance cover DUI accidents? That depends on your insurer. If you cause an accident when you are driving drunk, there’s a chance it won’t be covered by your insurer.

Some auto insurance companies take the position that causing an accident while intoxicated is intentional, which voids your claim.

Even if you don’t cause an accident, getting a DUI will cause you to be labeled a high-risk driver by auto insurers. High-risk drivers could pay hundreds more for high-risk auto insurance.

If you have a DUI, the best way to get cheap auto insurance is to shop around. Enter your ZIP code to get FREE quotes from multiple insurers.

Will auto insurance cover DUI accidents?

Do car insurance companies cover DUI accidents?

NOLO notes that some auto insurance companies make the argument that drunk-driving is intentional conduct.

This is important because, although insurance companies will usually cover damages caused by negligent conduct, they will argue that driving while intoxicated is intentional.

If that argument is accepted in court, they won’t cover your damages. Since you chose to get drunk and then drive, damages caused by you — either to other drivers, passengers, or your own damages— will not be covered.

If you weren’t at fault for the accident, it’s more likely your insurance company will cover damages that the other driver’s insurance doesn’t cover.

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Auto Insurance Increase after a DUI

Even if you didn’t cause an accident when you got a DUI, that DUI will raise your auto insurance rates.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates After One DUI
CompaniesAverage Annual Rats with a Clean recordAverage Annual Rates with One DUI
USAA$1,933.68$3,506.03
Geico$2,145.96$4,875.87
American Family$2,693.61$4,330.24
Nationwide$2,746.18$4,543.20
State Farm$2,821.18$3,636.80
Progressive$3,393.09$3,969.65
Travelers$3,447.69$5,741.40
Farmers$3,460.60$4,718.75
Allstate$3,819.90$6,260.73
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$7,613.48
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One DUI can raise your rates by 17 to 127 percent with these major insurers. Expect a major hike in rates if you get a DUI, and that’s in addition to other fines and penalties.

This video from eHow Finance goes over what you should know about getting auto insurance after a DUI.

Many states will suspend your license or give jail time, especially for multiple DUI offenses.

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How far back do insurance companies check for DUI?

How far back do auto insurance companies look at your record?

Most auto insurance companies look back three to five years to see what’s on your driving record, but it varies by state.

For DUIs, insurers may go back 10 years, and your record will go back further with the DMV though most insurers won’t go so far back.

Does GAP insurance cover DUI accidents?

What about GAP insurance? Will it cover damages in a DUI-related accident if drunk driving invalidates insurance?

GAP insurance is in place to cover the difference in how much your insurance company pays out and the amount you still owe on a totaled and leased vehicle. Vehicles depreciate over time, and your insurer goes by current value and not what you paid for the car.

GAP insurance does not cover damages caused by a DUI because your insurer will probably fight a claim entirely if it was caused while you were intoxicated.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Does car insurance cover DUI accidents?

Did we miss anything? Take a look at the frequently asked questions below.

#1 – Can I be charged with a DUI after the accident?

Yes, you can be charged with a DUI up to a year after an accident caused by your drunk driving. So, even if nothing happens on-scene, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

#2 – Does Geico cover DUI accidents?

Does Geico, Progressive, USAA, or State Farm cover DUI accidents? For that matter, does Infinity Insurance cover DUI accidents? Does insurance cover drunk driving accidents in Ontario?

Once again, this is up to the discretion of the insurer. If you’re found at fault while drinking and driving, your insurer will likely fight that claim and won’t pay for damages.

But if you’re hit by someone else while you’re intoxicated, it’s more likely that your insurer will pay out since drinking and driving wasn’t the cause of the accident.

Make sure you have the best coverage after a DUI. We can help. Enter your ZIP code to get FREE quotes from multiple insurers.

References:

  1. https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/dui-related-accidents-and-car-insurance.html

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