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DUI/DWI Car Insurance

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 03/23/2011

3 Things to Know About Your Auto Insurance When You’re Ticketed For Drunk Driving

Car Insurance after a DUI Can Be Tough

Car Insurance after a DUI Can Be Tough

Car Insurance cancelled after a DUI or DWI? It could never happen to you, right?

You never drive after 2 drinks.  You always call a cab instead of getting behind the wheel.  But for whatever reason, things were different this time.  You picked up the keys and drove yourself home.  Before you knew it, you saw the flashing lights.  Against all odds, you have a DUI.

Whatever they call it in your state (DUI, DWI, OWI, or OVI) it all amounts to a similar thing.  Problems.  If you’re convicted of drunk driving, estimates suggest you’ll pay over $10,000 for attorney’s fees, car insurance premium increases, court costs, and related items.  It’s a serious matter.  Wherever you are on the road to DUI recovery, these three steps will help you get back on track with your auto insurance.

Step 1: Get Legal Counsel

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.  It’s just suggestions to help with your car insurance in a DUI situation.  Before talking to the court about your ticket, get an attorney.  Now is not the time to be the Lone Ranger in front of a judge.  There’s just no substitute for a good lawyer in a DUI situation, especially as it relates to your auto insurance.

For one, experienced attorneys will give you perspective.  You’re not the first person they’ve coached through a DUI or DWI, nor will you be the last.  Second, they will help you with all the little steps like filing necessary documents, to helping you show remorse in front of the judge (that high school drama class will finally come in handy).  Third, a good lawyer should help you get a lesser sentence if you’re convicted.  That alone will be worth the fees they charge, especially since you’ll be able to keep your car insurance.

One last thing relates to your car insurance: If you don’t have a driver’s license, you don’t have insurance.  If an attorney can save your license, then it’s worth every penny you pay them.  Who knows?  They may even be able to get you out of a conviction.  If so, then you’ll get to keep your policy with the same rates.

Step 2: Handling Your Car Insurance Policy

If you’re convicted of a DUI or DWI and you get to keep your driver’s license, you’ll probably need an SR-22 filing.  That means your state must obtain proof of liability coverage from an car insurance company for you to maintain your license.

Not all companies provide SR-22 insurance.  If you have auto insurance with a preferred company, they’ll either cancel your policy or non-renew it once it comes up for renewal.  A DUI and DWI are a big pain in this regard.  If you’re cancelled by your auto insurance company, you have some shopping to do.

At this point, you’ll need quotes for non-standard car insurance.  Either get a quote here or call up some local insurers for some quotes.  Either way, don’t wait until your auto policy is cancelled from your DUI or DWI.  Getting auto insurance afterwards will be even more expensive, if they can even write the policy.

Don’t forget.  When you’re talking with these car insurance companies or filling out online forms, be honest.  Being up front about a DUI or DWI will save you time and frustration when talking with an agent.  If they can’t help you, they’ll let you know, and probably get you in touch with someone who can.  The more open you are about your DUI situation, the easier it will be to get auto insurance.

Step 3: Drive Safely

I’m not gonna lie to you – you will pay more for non-standard (not preferred) auto insurance.  Such is the cost of a DWI.  But rest assured, DUI and DWI pricing is not forever.  As bad as it may seem right now, a conviction usually falls off your driving record within 10 years (sometimes sooner).  But, that doesn’t mean you’ll be hosed by your auto insurance company that long.

Typically, preferred companies want to see continuous coverage for 3 years with no SR-22 filings, even after a DUI.  Once you get 24-36 months under your belt with a non-standard policy and the state drops the SR-22 requirement, give some of the standby car insurance companies a call.  They may be more than happy to quote you again.  If they write your policy, even with a DUI 3 years ago, chances are you’ll save 25-65% on your car insurance.

Lastly, I can’t stress this one enough: drive safely.  Whatever caused your DUI or DWI, don’t let it happen again.  As bad as this situation is, it will be worse with a second DUI conviction, where jail time is often mandated.  If necessary, get involved in an AA class, or another related program.

Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive again.  You know how much a DUI costs – you don’t want to pay a steeper price with another one.  By driving safely, society and your family will enjoy the benefits and you’ll get it all back from your car insurance savings.

Have some good advice about Auto Insurance after a DUI or DWI?
Leave a Comment to help out other people.

Cheap Car Insurance in California (35-55, Male)

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Rates Last Updated: 11/07/2008

We compiled data on the cheap auto insurance companies for males, ages 35-55 in the Golden State.

California Driver

California Driver

If you’re looking for the cheap car insurance rates in California, you’ve come to the right place.  If you’re a male between the ages of 35-55, even better.  If you don’t fall into that category, check out our article on the cheapest car insurance in California here.

It’s downright painful to get quotes from 40+ car insurance companies.  But rest easy.  We’ve done the hard work for you.

We compiled the best rates for clean drivers according to the California Department of Insurance.  That means male drivers (35-55) who haven’t had any accidents or tickets for the last 3 years. In addition we only show prices for liability coverage.  These are just sample rates from five different areas of the state.

Still, every driver is different.  What you see below is a sample of male drivers ages 35-55.  Prices listed are NOT the same as the price you will receive from the companies below, even if you just get liability coverage.  In addition, these are NOT actual quotes.  This is a general guide to help you shop for the best rate in California.

I hope it’s helpful.

Rank California Car Insurance Company Average Premium
1 Metropolitan Direct $385.60
2 USAA $412.80
3 Wawanesa $442.60
4 Safeco $494.20
5 Mercury $498.80
6 Pacific Specialty $505.40
7 GEICO $508.40
8 Amica Mutual $509.60
9 Western United $520.20
10 AAA $532.00
11 QBE $537.60
12 California Capital $539.40
13 Esurance $543.20
14 IDS Property Casualty $557.20
15 California Casualty $559.60
16 Nationwide $568.60
17 Commerce West $584.40
18 State Farm $585.20
19 American International Ins Co of CA $588.60
20 Farmers/Mid-Century $593.80
21 CSE $597.20
22 21st Century $599.20
23 GMAC/Integon Preferred $603.60
24 Workmen’s Auto $609.20
25 Allstate $614.80

Rates collected in 2007-2008.
All data is courtesy of the California Department of Insurance.
For more information, view our Disclosure.

Cheap Car Insurance in California (35-55, Female)

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Rates Last Updated: 11/07/2008

We’ve compiled some cheap auto insurance rates for females, ages 35-55 in the Golden State

Waiting for a light in NoCal.

Waiting for a light in NoCal.

Trying to find cheap car insurance in California?  You’ve come to the right place.  If you’re a female driver between the ages of 35-55, you’re in luck.  Don’t fall into that category?  No problem.  Check out our article on cheapest car insurance in California.

It’s pretty hard to get quotes from 40+ insurers in the State.  Why call all those companies when you could be at the beach?  But rest easy.  We’ve done the hard work for you.

We compiled the best rates for female drivers who are clean according to the California Department of Insurance.  That means female drivers, ages 35-55 who haven’t had any accidents or tickets for the last 3 years. In addition these rates only show prices for liability coverage.  Another caveat: it’s just a sample rate from five different areas in the state – it’s not a comprehensive price comparison from all areas.

Still, every driver is different.  What you see below is a sample of female drivers ages 35-55.  Prices listed are NOT the same as the price you will receive from the companies below, even if you just get liability coverage. In addition, these are NOT actual quotes.  This is a general guide to help you shop for the best car insurance rate in California.

I hope it’s helpful.

Rank

Car Insurance Company in California

Average Premium

1

Metropolitan Direct

$356.40

2

Wawanesa

$381.00

3

USAA

$396.20

4

GEICO

$452.80

5

Mercury

$470.00

6

Amica Mutual

$483.20

7

QBE

$490.00

8

Pacific Specialty

$498.00

9

Safeco

$510.60

10

AAA

$512.40

11

IDS Property Casualty

$575.60

12

Esurance

$577.20

13

Horace Mann

$578.00

14

Nationwide

$581.60

15

California Capital

$582.00

16

Commerce West

$584.00

17

Farmers/Mid-Century

$588.40

18

21st Century

$590.80

19

Western United

$595.00

20

California Casualty

$595.80

21

CSE

$598.80

22

Hudson

$598.80

23

American International Ins Co of CA

$600.60

24

Kemper

$613.80

25

Allstate

$616.20

Rates collected in 2007-2008.
All data is courtesy of the California Department of Insurance.
For more information, view our Disclosure.

Progressive Review

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Our Reviews Last Updated: 11/05/2009

Does an outstanding car insurance quote experience equal a great company for the next six months?

Question: Was getting a Progressive car insurance quote that easy?

Answer: Absolutely.

After grabbing some quotes from a few different insurance companies, I jumped on Progressive’s website. Five minutes later, I had a quote staring me in the face. It was the quickest and simplest quote experience I’ve ever had. Their website interface was the best I’ve seen – period.

I’m not alone in my assessment. In 2007, Progressive.com won the Webby People’s Choice Award for the best insurance website. From what I’ve seen, they deserved it.

Still, a quote is just the first step. Committing hard-earned dollars to Progressive so they can insure my cars for the next 6 months – that’ another story entirely. They may have a solid ‘first interaction’, but it’s worth it to check out other variables before buying a policy.

About the Company

Progressive Corporation (PGR) sells insurance for cars, motorcycles, boats, and RVs. In 2008, they were #175 on the Fortune’s 500 with over $14 billion annual revenue. Progressive is located in Mayfield Village, Ohio. They recently became the official car insurance company of the Cleveland Indians baseball franchise.

Progressive sells to consumers in two ways. For one, they market directly to consumers via the internet and their toll-free number. Second, they sell through independent agents. You may have noticed Progressive’s white SUVs driving the highways. Their Immediate Response Vehicles (IRVs) are supposed to come to policyholders if they ever have an auto claim. It’s a nice touch for a company without an army of Progressive-only agents.

Progressive is a financially strong company. According to independent rating agency AM Best, Progressive carries an ‘A+’ or ‘Superior’ rating.  They are a stable company and should be around for years to come.

Getting a Progressive Quote

Even though I was impressed with their website, I still wanted to call Progressive on the phone. As usual, I recommend doing what I did. First off, I grabbed an online quote with the same coverages as my current policy. It was a good price. Next, I called them up to see if they would say anything different.

When I called, I got right through to Francis in Austin, Texas. According to Francis, Progressive also has call centers in Sacramento, California, Cleveland, Ohio, and Tampa, Florida. He confirmed what they advertise online: 24/7 sales, service and claims support. If I had an accident in the middle of the night, I may not get someone in Austin, but I would talk to someone from Progressive in short order.

As for their claims service, I’ve never carried Progressive Insurance, so I can’t speak from personal experience. However, I surveyed a few big departments of insurance around the country. Progressive seems to have an average complaint ratio. They even track claim progress online – an impressive feature. Chances are good my claim would be handled fairly with Progressive.

Progressive Positives: Easy & Affordable

Progressive offers a virtually-frictionless car insurance transaction at their website. If you’re comfortable giving out your credit card online, then you got yourself a policy in a matter of minutes.

In my case, they were also very affordable. Compared to my current State Farm policy, I stand to save over $500 a year if I switch to Progressive – not chump change by any stretch. However, they tack on an additional $70 every period if I pay monthly. I didn’t like that part.

Progressive Negative: Car Insurance As A Commodity

As nice as Francis was on the phone, he did not go over my coverages with me on the phone. I’ve sold policies before, so I don’t need him to review everything. But Francis didn’t know that. I expect any insurance agent to get a little financial info from prospects to know what coverages to recommend. That’s their job, and Progressive failed that test.

To me, Progressive gets so many things right, but they fail on a basic level. They are an insurance company. If they don’t know what I have, how do they know $50,000 in liability coverage is enough? The fact is they don’t. If they took a few more minutes and asked some questions about my financial situation, they would be able to advise me accordingly.

What’s the Verdict: Will I Switch to Progressive?

I’m still in the process of shopping for car insurance, so I haven’t bought a policy yet. However, Progressive is near the top of the heap. Their easy, affordable, and simple interface calmed my fears about their ability to process a claim. I would have appreciated a little more hand-holding during my phone call, but that’s what Progressive does: lots of easy policies. That may work for you.

Right now, I’m still researching.

Quote Process: 10
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Price: 8
(Scale 1-10: 10=Cheapest)

Customer Service: 7
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Claims: *
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Overall Rating: 8
(Scale 1-10: 10=the best)

Anything to add? Leave a comment about your experience with Progressive or write your own review.

Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.