Getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in California often leads to a number of tasks that must be accomplished. You’ll need to handle a legal case, for example. You may also need to get in contact with your insurance company after a DUI.
Some drivers wonder if they should tell their insurance company they got a DUI. Review recommendations about informing your insurance company about a DUI with the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. Get fast help with your legal needs after a DUI by calling us at (310) 896-2723.
Insurance Company Reactions to a DUI in California
Before we discuss whether or not you should tell your insurance company that you got a DUI, let’s go over some ways an insurance company can handle a DUI conviction. As you can probably imagine, DUI charges can impact your insurance policy. The company may:
- Raise your insurance premiums
- Cancel your insurance policy completely
However, you should be aware that in most cases the insurance company cannot immediately alter your policy. The state of California prohibits insurance companies from changing your policy in the middle of a term. They will have to wait until your current policy expires to make any adjustments.
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Insurance Companies Check Your Driver’s Record
You should be aware that your insurance company will find out about a DUI conviction when it comes time to renew your policy, even if you didn’t tell them. Insurance companies run a check on your driving record each time your policy is renewed. Applying for a new policy will also result in a check of your record.
Therefore, drivers who do not tell their insurance company that they got a DUI are only delaying the company from gathering the information. In the long run, it is unlikely that keeping a DUI from your insurance company will change your premiums.
Insurance Companies Must Issue SR-22 Insurance for Some DUIs
Some drivers in California are legally required to obtain SR-22 insurance after a DUI arrest. Generally, drivers who have their license suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after a DUI need SR-22 insurance to get back their driving privileges.
SR-22 insurance is actually just a form that states that you are carrying the amount of insurance required by the state. You must already have an auto insurance policy to obtain SR-22 insurance and you must contact your insurance company to obtain the form.
Insurance companies in California know that SR-22 forms are generally only required after a driver commits a serious traffic violation. Therefore, an SR-22 request may flag you as a high-risk driver. At this point, it may be advisable to fully inform your insurance company of your situation.
Speak to a criminal defense lawyer about the information you should share with your insurance agents. Call (310) 896-2723 to make sure that you discuss your charges responsibly.
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Decide Whether or Not to Tell Your Insurance Company About a DUI
You are not legally required to tell your insurance company that you were convicted in a court of a DUI in California. However, as we’ve mentioned, the company will find out about the DUI anyway, when it is time to renew your policy. Keeping the information to yourself doesn’t usually serve your best interest.
Drivers who inform their insurance company that they got a DUI can:
- Get information about how the company treats DUIs
- Find out in advance about any rate changes they may experience
- Determine if they’ll need to get a new policy at the end of their current term
Remember that an insurance company generally can’t change your rates or end your policy mid-term in California. This means that informing the company allows you to gather information, so you’re not blindsided when your policy ends.
Note that you may be able to avoid any changes to your insurance policy if you resolve DUI charges successfully. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can focus on getting your charges dismissed or reduced. Handling a DUI charge properly can keep your insurance rates low in California.
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Speak to a Lawyer Before Discussing DUIs with Your Insurance Company
If you’re unsure about whether to tell your insurance company that you got a DUI, you can go over your options with the Simmrin Law Group. Review the pros and cons of speaking to your insurance company with our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles. Call us at (310) 896-2723 or complete our online contact form to learn more.
We’re also ready to begin working on your DUI defense now with a FREE initial case evaluation.