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Navigating Car Insurance After a DUI: What You Need to Know

The aftermath of a D.U.I. conviction often leaves individuals eagerly anticipating the reinstatement of their driving privileges. However, this momentous occasion comes with a significant challenge: securing proper car insurance as a “high-risk” driver. In Colorado, car insurance is not just a luxury; it’s a legal requirement for anyone operating a vehicle. To shed light on this complex process, we consulted independent insurance agent Jason Billingsley. Here’s what you should know when you’re ready to hit the road again.

  1. Insurance Companies Will Discover Your D.U.I.:

   – Attempting to conceal a D.U.I. conviction from insurance providers is futile. Before quoting, insurers routinely check the National Driver Register and the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) database.

   – Standard insurance companies typically refuse coverage to “high-risk” drivers, which often extends for five years after the initial D.U.I. charge. Some insurers may review up to seven years of your driving record, while others have a shorter look-back period of three years.

  1. Alternative Insurance Options Exist:

   – If standard insurers decline coverage, there’s still hope. The Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (W.A.A.I.P.) assists those who’ve faced denials, compelling local companies to underwrite “high-risk” drivers.

   – Policies obtained through W.A.A.I.P. cater primarily to risky drivers but often come at a higher cost than the standard market. It’s advisable to consult an insurance broker who can explore non-standard providers before considering W.A.A.I.P.

  1. Premiums Reflect the Severity of the Offense:

   – The circumstances surrounding your D.U.I. conviction can significantly impact insurance premiums. High-risk drivers might face premiums up to five times higher than those with standard auto insurance policies.

   – Factors that may influence premium reductions over time include an improved credit score, an insurer’s desire to recalibrate its risk strategy, and the passage of time since the major violation occurred. Periodically consulting a trusted insurance agent can help secure better deals.

  1. Understand the Importance of “SR-22”:

   – For individuals whose licenses have been revoked or suspended due to major violations like D.U.I., filing “Safety Responsibility Form #22” for several years (usually three) is mandatory to prove adequate insurance coverage.

   – The responsibility for this financial statement typically falls on the insurance company. However, any lapse in insurance, whether due to non-payment or switching providers, triggers an “SR-26” filing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, resulting in another license suspension until the SR-22 is reinstated.

  1. Meeting Minimum Requirements Isn’t Always Enough:

   – Colorado mandates that drivers maintain coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury per person, with an aggregate of $50,000 for all persons and $15,000 for property damage.

   – High-risk drivers may be tempted to opt for the lowest-cost minimum plans. However, this exposes them to additional liabilities in case of accidents where damages exceed the minimum coverage limits.

   – While higher premiums may seem burdensome, investing in a more standard level of coverage can prove beneficial, especially considering the financial repercussions of a D.U.I. conviction.


Navigating car insurance after a D.U.I. conviction can be challenging, but understanding the intricacies of the process is crucial. The support of an experienced insurance agent well-versed in non-standard insurance situations can make a substantial difference in finding the best coverage at a reasonable price. As you embark on this journey to regain your driving privileges, remember that responsible insurance choices can lead to a safer and more secure driving future, ensuring you’re on the road to recovery.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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