The choice to drink and drive is one that can negatively affect the rest of your life. If an accident occurs while you are drinking and driving, the consequences can be severe.
We all know about the serious consequences of drinking and driving
· if you have an accident while drinking, you could seriously injure or kill yourself or others
· you can damage your vehicle, the vehicle of another, or other property
· you could face serious legal consequences.
However, we often neglect the effect driving while intoxicated can have on car insurance coverage. Here is a breakdown of the four main ways a drinking and driving incident can affect your auto insurance.
Increasing Your Premium
One of the immediate and painful consequences that drinking and driving can have on your insurance is a serious increase your insurance premium. If you are convicted of a DUI, it is absolutely certain that your insurance will raise your premium significantly.
This can be a serious repercussion because often your premium can go as far as to double depending on the severity of your DUI. Worse still, you could find yourself uninsurable which would probably leave you in the position of not being able to drive your vehicle. If you have to find new insurance, it is likely that your new provider would also keep your premium at an extremely high rate.
Losing Your Insurance and Denying Coverage
In many cases, after a DUI conviction, you might actually be taken off your current insurance. Some policies cover negligence, or even gross negligence, but no policy will cover intentional misconduct. That means, if you were found to be driving with knowledge of your incapacity, you will likely be denied by your insurance.
Not only will the insurance company stop your plan after a DUI conviction, but many companies will also deny coverage of the current accident. Many companies argue that drinking and driving is intentional misconduct—meaning that the decision to drink and drive is one that intentionally raises the driver’s odds of being in an accident—they will refuse coverage altogether.
Often, it will be easier to get coverage for your vehicle in these instances but if you are looking for injury coverage, it is likely your claim will be rejected. Consider this carefully before you decide to get behind the wheel after drinking.
If an insurance company determines that your DUI was intentional misconduct, they may refuse to defend your driving and deny your coverage. If you find yourself in this position it can lead to further legal expenses down the line.
A DUI charge makes you a risky investment for your insurance agency, and they have no reason to keep continue providing service to you. The ability to deny coverage is regulated by the government so it is important to check in with your insurance provider and familiarize yourself with state law regarding insurance and DUI convictions.
Limiting Your Coverage
Even if your insurance company does not deny you coverage altogether, they will likely deny you some aspects of your coverage. In most cases, your insurance company will be incapable of helping and defending you against charges of Intentional Misconduct.
Much of the litigation that happens in personal injury cases is related to negligence—meaning carelessness or lack of caution—but in drunk driving cases it is often ruled intentional. This, again, makes a driver with a DUI a very risky investment for an insurance company.
Any damages that are awarded in court from a claim of intentional misconduct will need to be paid by the defendant personally. The insurance provider will be unable to pay for any portion of these charges.
So, if you drive while under the influence and are involved in an accident remember that your insurance company will likely limit your coverage, if they provide coverage at all.
Keep the Roads Safe and Your Insurance in Tact
Drinking and Driving is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious repercussions in many aspects of your life. To avoid the huge consequences of a DUI conviction, simply pledge today to avoid drinking and driving. With your pledge the roads will be safer and your insurance will give you the protection you need.