If you are charged with a DUI how does it affect your auto insurance?

DUI Affect on Auto Insurance

Here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers:

You will probably lose it. But, since you will probably also lose your drivers license, you don't need it.

It depends on the insurance company. Despite popular controversy there is no guarentee of what exactly will happen. When it's time to renew your policy, the rates may be considerably higher and in some cases could be cancelled. Some companies will still insure you as long as you provide an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility. Others will at minimum report this to their (ins companies) network which could cause problems for you later down the line. When you get your license back, if your policy has been cancelled go to www.progressive.com as they specialize in high risk drivers. I also know a few more second chance companies.

My insurance, with Progressive, went up $39 for a six-month period because it was my first offense and PA has a accelerated rehabilitation program.

If you are in the State of Calfironia you will need to obtain an sr22 filing from your current insurance company.

I am a agent with a large company, we do not cancel a policy with a first offense but we are very hard on our members. Plan on getting a second job to pay for your premium or finding a nice bicycle.

Are you covered by a family member's insurance when driving their car?

Insurance Coverage
The answer below is incomplete. It is true that you should check with your carrier, but keep in mind, their answer will normally will result in getting more premium. With State Farm and Allstate you as a policyholder will always be covered, unless an excluded driver uses your vehicle. Otherwise you will be covered. If the driver who is involved in the accident lives in your home they will add the driver onto your policy, or exclude them in the future after the accident, regardless of who is at fault. If you are a new policyholder, you must disclose all drivers living in the household at the time you are purchasing the auto insurance, or run the risk of fraud. Autoclub will lower your liability to the state min. which is 15000/30000, regardless of what limits you have and are paying for. Mercury will try and get out of paying the claim until they get tired of you pushing them.

Mercury has to be one of the worst insurance companies one could have in the state of Ca.

The answer lies with your insurance company. If indeed they consider you an authorized driver/operator, they will be happy to provide a document to that effect. I think, however, that you will not be covered without being added to the policy by name. Everyone in my home that drives on our insurance has a card that states this.

Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers:
You have to check with your agent. Some companies such as Mercury, require that everyone in a household be listed as a rated driver or an an excluded person including small children.

There are several factors that need to be considered. "Family member" is a term rarely used on an automobile policy. My brother who lives across the country and probably doesn't even know the color of my car is a family member, but he MAY NOT be covered to drive my car. On the other hand, if he came to visit, borrowed my car and had an accident for which he is liable, those damages would likely be covered. Look for the term "resident relative" in your policy. That will dictate coverage questions for family members living within the same residence. The key here: is there someone either residing in your household or related to you and driving your vehicle frequently enough that they should be 'rated' so that your premium payment accurately covers your probable risk? (i.e., you may have a child that attends college away from home, but returns on major holidays and summer breaks.... you may have a sibling, down on their luck, waiting for finances to improve, but staying with you and using your vehicle to get to job interviews.) If you have non-standard coverage, the carrier will likely require you to list everyone in the household; those who do not have a valid drivers' license, or do not meet their underwriting criteria, will be specifically excluded.

What is no-fault insurance?

No Fault Insurance. In true No Fault form, It is insurance that covers stated risks regardless of fault, the term is often applied to various accidental injury policy forms The term is also used in auto insurance in some states though usually practiced with limitations or in hybrid form.

No-Fault Insurance
"No-fault" insurance refers to medical coverage which you are required by state law to carry on your automobile insurance. Not all states have "no-fault" statutes, though almost all insurance companies sell some type of medical coverage for their auto policies. Basically, if you have an accident for which you aren't at-fault, and you live in a "no-fault" state, your own insurance must pay for your medical bills. The "no-fault" part comes from the fact that even though someone, say, plowed into the rear of your car while you were stopped at a red light, your own carrier must pick up the ambulance, hospital, rehabilitation, etc. Some states allow "no-fault" insurance carriers to go after the at-fault party, but this varies too much to discuss here and it's also relatively rare. Typically it's based on the amount of the medical bills or the weight of the at-fault party's vehicle. Many people who live in "no-fault" states often believe they can prohibit their carrier from paying their bills (with the assumption that they don't want any payments made under their policy in case their rates go up). This isn't the case. Much like worker's comp, "no-fault" medical coverage is primary, and the first-party insurance carrier must pay it. Finally, many people who know they live in a "no-fault" state often believe this has something to do with physical damage to a vehicle and liability. That's not true. "No-fault" relates only to the medical coverage. If someone hits your vehicle, and he's at-fault, he is still legally liable to pay for the damages to your vehicle.

Here are more answers and opinions from other FAQ Farmers:
It is not necessarily true that in a no-fault state, an at fault party would be responsible for paying for your vehicle damage. Here in Michigan, your own insurance company might file a "mini-tort" with the at fault party's insurance company to recover your deductible, but that's where it ends. Collision and comp coverage is still paid through your own policy.

No-Fault insurance like said in previous examples is to cover medical costs out of section B right away with no consideration to fault. It doesn't mean that you weren't in fault at the accident and you may still not receive payment otherwise awarded to you from the liability of the third party.

To clarify there is no state in the great nation that offer "pure" no fault insurance. And contrary to what Allen B. said- ("Some states allow "no-fault" insurance carriers to go after the at-fault party, but this varies too much to discuss here and it's also relatively rare")- all the thirteen states that claim they have no fault insurance allow you to sue at some monetary or verbal threshold. These "modified" no fault plans are better but still a far from what could be acomplishe by pure no fault. For example, if you are in an accident and you state has a $1000 monetary threshold on you medical bills before you can obtain the right to sue. If you actual medical bills were $900 there is nothing stopping you from visiting the doctor again, ordering some more expensive tests and exceeding the limit, and sueing for thousands in pain and suffering. In some states these thresholds are so low - like 500 - that they are hardly no fault. Now thats cleared up here are a few more things: The reason we need no fault: 1. quicker, more efficient payment of claims, 2. currently we receive around 13 cent of our premium dollar back on actual medical expenses and lost wages, 3. After an accident people can concentrate on rehab and not staying injured so the jury can believe how bad you've been hurt, 4. lower insurance rates, 5. fewer lawyers, 6. no longer have to supplement for uninsured motorists and 7. stop insurance companies from overpay small claims because of the threat of litigation (therefore raising rates). Reason we don't have no fault - Many lawyers would lose their jobs, and they are the special interest group that rights the laws.

An observation from someone in the industry: Almost every policy provides an optional no-fault medical coverage called "Medical Payments"(Or equivilent). Some states like Florida, Texas, hmm New Jersey, etc have mandatory no-fault. It is my observation that the mandatory no-fault is always more expensive. In some states like Texas, you may reject the no-fault coverage in writing (the insurance company may provide you a form to sign, othertimes a letter is sufficient) other states like Maryland you can not reject it no matter what.

A note on Michigan "No Fault" Auto Insurance: It had to be sold politically so a lot of effort went into demonizing the legal profession along with those who were either underinsured or non-insured, and when it went into effect in 1973 It featured Mandatory Participation, resulting in a higher margin for the underwriters, which was supposed to (theoretically) lower premiums. A Liability Limitation was also supposed to do the same, but in fact in resulted in the exact opposite: Michigan has the highest auto insurance rates in the country. When the Michigan Insurance Industry lobbied long and hard for "no fault", it sure wasn't for the benefit of the auto owner. Also, the state stepped in to play the citizens advocate role by supposedly acting as a watchdog over the industry, so of course the employment opportunities at the Michigan State Insurance Commission rose significantly. In short, the "no fault" law in Michigan really should have been called The Michigan Public Employee and Auto Insurance Agency Benefit Act.

Will your insurance cover you if you are driving someone else's car?

Insurance Coverage
I am an auto insurance adjuster and the quickest answer to your question is - "it depends on the Owner of the vehicle's policy language". Most auto insurance policies WILL in fact cover ANY driver of the insured vehicle, UNLESS that driver has been previously excluded from the policy or UNLESS the driver has STOLEN the vehicle. This would have to be proved with a copy of a theft report filed by the owner. Now, most of the time this is the case - but NOT in all states, and NOT on all policies. I urge you to call your agent BEFORE you drive a friend's car or BEFORE you let a friend drive yours.

Here are more answers and opinions from other FAQ Farmers:

The insurance will only cover you if you are listed under their insurance with the car owner.

I had to find this out in a hard way. They will, if the car owner has given you permission to drive. But if not, they won't and I fell into the second case.

A good rule of thumb is that 'insurance follows the vehicle' as far as coverage is concerned. The policy in force on the vehicle involved in a loss will cover the damage to the vehicle itself and provide the liability limits if other parties are involved. This does assume that you had the owner's PERMISSION to drive the vehicle involved.

A lot also depends on the state. I'm insured through Progressive, in Texas - my policy specifically states that anybody that I allow to drive my vehicle is covered. At the same time, my policy will cover me in somebody else's vehicle (with the same coverages that I carry), and also cover any new car for 30 days, to allow time for me to give them the car information. They tend to be a lot more liberal than most companies though. And I don't carry collision anyway (my car is 15-years-old with 165k miles, not worth it), just theft, uninsured motorist and liability.