Our Georgia DUI lawyers can provide you with a logical, experience-based assessment of the impact of your Georgia DUI charge or a conviction upon your insurance coverage.
One of the most frequent questions we address from people charged with a DUI is what effect will the DUI charge have upon their insurance coverage. Automobile liability coverage is issued by private insurance companies. Obviously, these companies are driven by profits, and their profits are decreased when they have to pay out on claims on behalf of their insureds. Therefore, the insurance companies issue insurance policies at different rates based upon their evaluation of the risk posed by the insured. This is the basis for insurers, generally speaking, charging higher premiums for more inexperienced drivers. Likewise, an insurer may deem a driver charged with or convicted of DUI in Georgia to pose an increased risk and attempt to increase premiums as a result of a DUI charge or conviction.
We frequently see DUI defendants suffer increased insurance premiums prior to a conviction when their insurer becomes aware of the insured’s DUI charge. When a driver is charged with a DUI in Georgia, their insurer may become aware of the DUI charge prior to an actual conviction for DUI in a couple of common situations. Georgia DUI defendants frequently encounter increased insurance premiums or “dropping” of their insurance prior to a conviction when they are involved in an accident in connection with the DUI charge or they suffer an administrative action upon their driver’s license. Insurers are alerted to an insured’s DUI charge when an accident is involved because either the insured notifies the insurer of the claim or the other party makes a claim against the insured. The insurer looks into the accident and it is not too difficult to understand that the DUI charge would be easily discovered.
Likewise, the Georgia Department of Driver Services’ attempt to suspend your driver’s license prior to the resolution of your Georgia DUI may alert your insurer to your pending DUI charge. When you have a pending administrative license suspension (ALS), a notation is made upon your driving record. If a Georgia DUI defendant facing an administrative license suspension has an insurer which runs their driving record while the administrative license suspension is pending, the insurer will most likely become aware of the pending DUI.
As to the impact upon your coverage or any insurance premium increase that you may suffer as a result of a Georgia DUI charge or conviction, it cannot be stated with any certainty whether you will dropped from coverage or suffer a dramatic premium increase. In many cases, Georgia DUI defendants are dropped by their liability insurer after they are convicted, and if they are not dropped, they do suffer a dramatic premium increase. Nonetheless, neither our office nor any other Georgia lawyer can tell you precisely what will happen to your insurance coverage as a result of a Georgia DUI charge or conviction. It is up to your insurer and, in their discretion, to determine if you pose an increase risk that would justify dropping coverage or a premium increase as a result of a Georgia DUI charge or conviction.