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How Can I Get Insurance After a DUI Conviction?

Woman pulled over by cops

In Ohio, a DUI is also called an OVI. Being charged with one is stressful and comes with serious legal consequences if you are convicted. Ohio penalties for DUI convictions include license suspension, fines, a mandatory jail sentence and other possible consequences. Those may include probation, ignition locks or special license plates. Another effect of a DUI conviction is a higher insurance rate. It is usually possible to find an insurance policy after a DUI conviction. However, there are fewer options, and it may require extra searching to find them. These are some important points to know about finding insurance after a DUI.

Coverage Termination or Refusal

Some insurance companies drop people who have a DUI or refuse to cover them. For example, if someone has a policy with a company and gets a DUI, the company may notify the driver that the insurance policy was canceled due to the conviction and its penalties. According to Section 3937.31 of the Ohio Revised Code, insurers can cancel an auto policy when a driver's privileges are revoked or a driving license is suspended. The insurer must send a notice to the policyholder that states the reason for cancellation.

In another example, imagine that the person whose policy was just terminated tries to apply to a few other insurance companies. Some of them may refuse to insure the individual. The person may find a few options with much higher rates than a standard policy. Ohio state law allows insurance companies to set their own rates and refuse coverage to those who they deem to be too risky to insure.

Insurance Coverage Requirements

You can be sure that you will pay an increased premium for auto insurance with a DUI conviction. Insurers calculate your new premium based on the amount of risk they perceive to insure you. As it is with regular insurance, the type of your car, its age and how frequently you drive it are factors that contribute to the premium cost.

Additionally, insurers consider your marital status, age, credit history and other factors. Although Ohio's average insurance rate increase for people with a DUI is less than the national average, it can still cost you hundreds more each year since insurers view you as a greater risk to insure.

SR-22 Requirements

SR indicates safety responsibility, reflecting a special duty of the person to comply with driving safety rules. This document's purpose is to show that an individual has an active insurance policy that meets all state requirements and that the insurer will pay claims if there is an accident. An SR-22 is common in many states for people who get a DUI, drive without insurance or have a record of other serious driving safety violations.

An insurance company helps prepare this document after a person with a DUI or other driving safety violation sets up and pays for the insurance policy. After that, the company sends the information to the state's motor vehicle department. This information is important to have on hand in case of a traffic stop.

There is more bad news for people with a DUI who need to find insurance. The state requires people with serious driving safety violations to file an SR-22 for at least three years. If the court wants to request a longer period of time to keep the SR-22 in effect, it may do that. When a person does not notify the insurance company to renew the policy at least two weeks before its expiration, and the policy lapses, the driver can have all driving privileges suspended. Those privileges remain suspended until the person reinstates the policy. For this reason, anyone with a DUI conviction must be very careful to stay current with renewal deadlines and inform the insurance company of any planned moves.

How a Southern Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Once you are charged with a DUI, it is important to treat those criminal charges seriously. In addition to insurance issues, a DUI or other criminal convictions can make it harder to get some types of jobs, lease a home and more. A good attorney can dedicate the necessary time to investigate your arrest and the incident details, helping you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. If you are facing DUI criminal charges in Ohio and need help figuring out your options, please contact L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC to speak to a southern Ohio criminal defense attorney.