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How drunk driving affects auto insurance in Maryland

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | blog, Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a serious problem that affects not only the safety of our roads but also the cost of auto insurance for Maryland residents. When individuals decide to get behind the wheel while under the influence, the consequences can be significant, both legally and financially.

Staying sober while behind the wheel is not just a matter of responsibility. It is also a way to ensure that your auto insurance remains affordable and accessible.

Increased premiums

A drunk driving conviction is going to increase your auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies view individuals with DUI or DWI convictions as higher-risk clients, which translates into higher premiums for these individuals. The increase in premiums can be substantial, making it more expensive for the individual to maintain auto insurance coverage. The typical Maryland driver sees his or her annual insurance premiums increase by about 28%, or $434 a year.

SR-22 requirements

In Maryland, a drunk driving conviction may also lead to the requirement of an SR-22 form. This form is a certificate of financial responsibility that the state mandates for high-risk drivers, including those with DUI or DWI convictions. To obtain an SR-22, individuals must contact their auto insurance providers, who then file the form with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Having an SR-22 requirement further increases insurance costs.

Potential policy cancellations

Insurance companies may cancel your policy or decide not to extend you coverage after a drunk driving conviction.  Policy cancellation can result in the need for you to find a new insurer, often at a higher premium rate due to the drunk driving conviction on your record.

While the insurance rate hike you may see after a DUI or DWI is substantial, it is also long-term in nature and may affect you for years to come.