Can You Use Insurance For Repairs If You’re Charged With a DUI?


Driving under the influence is a criminal offense. So, when you are convicted of this crime, no doubt you will face some legal issues. It does not matter whether you caused an accident or not. If you are caught, you will be convicted. But how about your insurance policy? Most people often wonder if an insurance company will still cover repairs after being charged with a DUI. Depending on where you are, you might face certain issues, including the cancellation of your policy. Read on for further details.

Will Insurance Pay for Repairs to Your Vehicle?

Surprisingly, insurers will cover the repairs to the vehicle even if the accident was a result of drunk driving. As long as you have a collision or comprehensive coverage, your insurer will not deny you coverage to repair your car. Drinking while drunk is illegal. In fact, your license may be revoked, and you may be forced to get an interlock device. If your BAC (breath alcohol concentration) is more than 0.08, then you will not be legally allowed to drive until you get an interlock restricted license. Installing the device in your vehicle allows you to drive but only with a BAC of less than 0.25.

But in terms of insurance cases, you will receive your cheque up to your coverage limits. Even though you knew this was illegal when you chose to drive while drunk, you certainly did not intend to get into an accident.

Can Insurance Companies Refuse to Pay for repairs on a DUI Claim?

Even though insurance companies are meant to pay for your repairs, they might try to resist paying or deny a claim. Keep in mind that insurance companies never cover intentional acts like damaging your car while angry or arson. In a DUI case, they can argue that you drank too much, meaning your actions were intentional. They will say that any reasonable person should have known that drinking that much and driving could lead to fatal results. It, therefore, becomes a matter of he said vs. she said.

This can leave you facing high out-of-pocket expenses for your vehicle. And with collision repair being on-demand, those charges may not be cheap. More than 17,500 openings for vehicle body and glass repairers are predicted yearly, yet the demand remains high. To avoid those charges, you may want to get a defense attorney to represent you.

Be Aware That Your Car Insurance Premiums Might Go Up

As much as your insurance company may cover those repairs, your premiums may also increase significantly. Insurance is already costly. According to data by NAIC, some of the most expensive states when it comes to auto insurance are Louisiana ($1,231.77), New York ($1,234.84), and New Jersey ($1,265.69). In some cases, your premiums may even go up by $1000. If you live in these states, you will be facing extremely costly premiums every month.

Your Policy May Also Be Cancelled

Once you are convicted of a DUI, you automatically become a risky driver. And why should an insurer continue providing coverage to such a driver? Auto insurance is regulated in most states. So they might not be allowed to cancel your coverage after a DUI charge. However, they might refuse to renew your policy and then drop you later.

You May Be Asked to Seek Help

On top of your premiums going up or even a policy cancellation, you may be asked to seek medical treatment. Getting the help you need is vital to show the car insurance companies and your family that you’re equipped to get back on the road physically and mentally. Although seeking treatment is not the first thing that comes to mind, it will help improve every aspect of your life. Oftentimes, people assume that driving under the influence and getting charged with a DUI is a one-time thing and something they know they’ll never do again. However, getting to the point of thinking you’re able to drive under the influence is a sign that you need outside assistance from professionals to get your mind back on the right track. An alcohol detox program can do just that. A lot of people refuse to detox because of the symptoms that come along with it. But the benefits that you enjoy afterward are well worth it for you and your loved ones. If you don’t think you have a problem, consider the common signs of alcohol abuse. Some signs consist of drinking more than you intended, spending a lot of your time drinking, wanting to consume less but not being able to do so, drinking interfering with home and work life, drinking and driving, experiencing blackouts, and drinking even though it affects your mood.

What Can One do if Their Insurer Refuses to Pay for Repairs after a DUI?

If an insurance company is giving you a hard time, speak to a skilled car accident lawyer. They will review your case and inform you of your options. Remember that when you signed your policy, the insurer agreed to give you coverage for damages. The lawyer will review your policy and find a way to ensure that you are compensated for the costs of repairs.

If you have been convicted of a DUI charge, the information above can help you know how to proceed. However, also understand that there are some costly repercussions you will have to deal with after such a conviction.