The cost to insure your vehicle is one of the biggest expenses of car ownership. You will probably pay around $100 a month for just basic coverage required by state law. If you have additional coverage or fall in certain high-risk demographics, you pay even more.
Virginia does require that every driver insure their vehicle, regardless of how much that insurance costs the driver. You can’t legally drive without an active insurance policy. After an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia, you will likely face charges. If you plead guilty, you may have to address some issues with your insurance.
You may need to make room in your budget
Even a first-time DUI will increase what you pay for coverage. What you pay for insurance will go up noticeably after a DUI conviction. The average increase in policy costs after a DUI in Virginia is 52%. Before a DUI, the average annual policy cost is $1,005. That annual expense surges up to $1,531 when you plead guilty to a DUI or get convicted in court.
These extra charges make sense because the insurance company bases what you pay on your statistical risk. Drunk drivers can cause catastrophic crashes. There is also evidence that many people convicted of one DUI will eventually drive while impaired again. Once your insurance company knows about your conviction, your rates will increase.
You might no longer qualify for the same policy
If you have a history of other, minor driving infractions or a prior DUI, this offense might make you ineligible for your current insurance coverage. You may have to move to a high-risk pool for insurance. In some cases, the company you have had your policy with for years may decline to cover you in the future.
Drivers may need to scramble to find a new policy when they get their license back after a DUI charge. They will also have to pay extra costs for insurance for years even if they never get arrested again. Fighting against a DUI charge not only protects you from jail time and the loss of your license but can’t help protect your insurance while keeping costs for coverage low.