Will your car insurance premiums increase after a Virginia DUI conviction?

If you’re charged with a Virginia DUI, there are many possible consequences you’re facing. For a first DUI, possible consequences include possible jail, license suspension, and fines.  However, you should expect indirect costs. One consequence will be an impact on your car insurance requirements and premiums.

Virginia law requires double minimum coverage limits.

For insured drivers, Va. Code Section 46.2-472 sets the minimum liability insurance coverage limits.  Currently those are $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident.  On January 1, 2025, those minimum requirements will increase to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident.

However, if you’re convicted of a Virginia DUI, Va. Code Section 46.2-316 (C) doubles those minimum requirements:

C. In addition to the prohibition on licensure set forth in subsection A, the Department shall not issue or reinstate a driver’s license or learner’s permit to any person convicted of a violation set forth in subdivision A 4 for a period of three years after he otherwise becomes entitled to a license or permit until he furnishes proof of financial responsibility in the future under a motor vehicle liability insurance policy that satisfies the requirements of § 46.2-472 except that the limits of coverage exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle insured under the policy, shall be not less than double the minimum limits set forth in subdivision A 3 of § 46.2-472 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident, for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

Va. Code Section 46.2-316 (C)

What does this mean for your insurance premiums?

It’s no secret that purchasing more automobile insurance coverage increases your premiums.  It makes sense – you pay more to get more coverage.  Given that, if convicted of a DUI, you can expect your insurance premiums to increase when you obtain double the minimum coverage limits.

Additionally, in considering your premiums, car insurance companies weigh multiple variables in determining how much you pay. According to Allstate, such factors include:

  • Your age;
  • Your driving record;
  • The type of car you drive;
  • How much you drive;

Of course, a DUI conviction will count against you.  According to Forbes, the national increase in insurance premiums after a DUI is 74%:

According to Forbes, the national average auto insurance rate increase for drivers with a DUI is 74%. That king-size rate increase translates to an extra $1,470 a year for car insurance. By comparison, the average rate increase after a speeding ticket is only 21% and the rate increase after an accident is 41%.

Forbes Advisor, July 3, 2022

How long should I expect my premiums to be increased?

Under Va. Code Section 46.2-316 (C), you are required to maintain these increased minimum coverage limits for 3 years.  So, you should expect the rate increase for at least that time.  In reality, auto insurance companies are opaque, and you should expect high premiums for the foreseeable future.

What can you do to minimize the impact of a DUI on your insurance increase?

Forbes recommends trying to find lower rates by:

  • Ask for discounts. You may have lost a good driver discount, but, you can still look for discount car insurance by paying in full, insuring multiple vehicles or bundling auto and homeowners policies. Don’t be afraid to ask your insurance agent what discounts you’re eligible for to get the best rate possible.
  • Show that you’re a safe driver. A way to build back the trust of insurance companies is to show this was a one-time incident and keep your record clean of any traffic violations, especially another DUI. That will take time but will result in being moved back to a lower risk tier. You could also try out usage-based insurance. It will monitor your driving behavior, like speeding and braking, and if you score well you might receive decent discounts.
  • Shop around. Shopping with multiple insurance companies to compare car insurance quotes is your best bet to save money. After your current company raises your rates due to the DUI, compare that premium to others to find the cheapest rates.

Am I supposed to provide anything to the Virginia DMV?

According to their website, you are required provide certificates of insurance.  For ordinary drivers, you are required to provide an SR-22 verification.  If you are convicted of a DUI, you are required to produce an FR 44, demonstrating that you’ve complied with the double minimum limits requirement.

Still have questions?

Make sure to check out our Virginia DUI Practice Page where we’ve answered many other questions you likely have.  James Abrenio is a Fairfax-Based Personal Injury & Criminal Defense attorney who practices throughout Northern Virginia. You can learn more about James Abrenio, some of our Prior Results, and Read Our Reviews.  Make sure to contact us at Ph. 703-570-4180 for your Free Consultation.