Arizona Drivers Face 104 Percent Insurance Rate Increase After DUI
According to a recent report, the average Arizona driver will face a 104 percent rate increase on car insurance after conviction for DUI. Nationally, drivers see an average 92 percent increase in insurance costs after a DUI, placing Arizona in the top of the rankings for most expensive insurance rate increases. Additionally, drivers will face an average 59 percent insurance rate increase, on average, after conviction of reckless driving and a four percent increase in insurance costs after a seat belt violation conviction. All of the rate comparisons are based on a 45-year-old married female who is employed and has a clean driving record. Males, those younger than 26 and those with prior convictions may well see higher rate increases.
Why Does My Insurance Go Up?
Insurance companies are quick to raise rates after a DUI conviction if they do not drop the driver altogether. This is because of two factors: the likelihood that the driver will reoffend and the likelihood that the driver will injure someone in a DUI-related crash. Insurance companies rely on statistical data to predict whether a driver will commit a second DUI offense or injure someone in a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one-third of all DUI arrests each year involve repeat offenders. This means that any time a police officer arrests someone with a BAC of more than .08 percent, there is a one in three chance that the driver already has a DUI conviction within the past seven years. Because insurance companies are in the business of avoiding payments on claims, they are quick to rely on such data in denying drivers insurance coverage or charging exorbitant rates for insurance when someone is convicted of DUI. Even if the driver never has another DUI conviction, it may still take years for the driver’s insurance rates to return to a normal level. A second DUI conviction all but guarantees that the driver will find it difficult or impossible to find insurance coverage.
How Can I Avoid Insurance Problems?
In some cases, drivers can avoid insurance problems by avoiding a conviction for DUI. Even a conviction for reckless driving carries much less of an increase than DUI, so pleading a case down to reckless driving may save the driver thousands in increased insurance costs. Contact the attorneys at Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix for more information on how to avoid DUI convictions.