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A DUI conviction can adversely affect your car insurance

Drunk driving leads to big problems. You may already know that you will have to deal with fines and problems with your driver's license if you are convicted, but there might be other collateral damage.

A DUI/OUI conviction may harm your ability to afford insurance on your vehicle. You will probably have much higher car insurance premiums. Here are some things you need to know about insurance and drunk driving.

SR-22 policies in Massachusetts

Many states require high-risk drivers (like drivers with a drunk driving conviction) to have special insurance coverage on their vehicle or on themselves. This insurance is sometimes known as SR-22 insurance. Massachusetts doesn't require people who have been convicted of drunk driving to have this type of insurance.

There is an exception to the lack of requirement for SR-22 in Massachusetts. If you have a DUI in another state and that state requires an SR-22, you will have to find that coverage and keep it in effect for as long as the court requires. This might prove difficult since many insurance companies aren't accustomed to having to provide this certificate of financial responsibility.

Increase in premiums

With a mark on your driving record, there is a chance that your car insurance premiums will increase. Even though it might be a financial burden for you, it is imperative that you still have at least the state mandated minimum coverage. In Massachusetts you must have at least:

  • Personal injury protection of $8,000 per person, per accident
  • Bodily injury of others of $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
  • Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
  • Damage to another person's property: $5,000

It is imperative that you set your budget to be able to afford the premiums if you want to drive. Just remember that the increase is likely going to be temporary. Over time, as long as you don't cause any accidents or face another traffic offense, your premiums should go down as you are considered a lower-risk driver.

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