Does A DUI / OVI Affect Auto Insurance In Ohio?
Ohio Revised Code has not set forth collateral consequences and ancillary penalties for DUI conviction yet. As an example, neither does it mention anywhere in the details that potential employers show reluctance in hiring an individual with a DUI conviction nor the law informs of the auto insurance policy cancellation or cost increase with such a conviction.
Cancellation of Coverage After DUI
You cannot operate under the misconception that DUI conviction has nothing to do with auto insurance policy, because it certainly does. An automobile insurance policy is a non-binding contract, in the sense, any party involved can cancel the policy at any time for a reason. An insured individual can cancel the policy for reasons like premium increase or poor customer service. Likewise, the insurer can cancel the policy for the driver's DUI conviction or non-payment of premium. In case of DUI, the insurance company can classify the driver as high risk or blacklist the driver for future issuance.
Dictating Policies and Cost Before and After DUI
While Ohio law convicts DUI offenders based on the level and severity of the incident, auto insurance companies use their own discretion in setting rates for existing and potential customers. Some insurance companies begin with offering discounted policies for safe drivers. Their policy terms and prices depend on several factors, including the company's strategic goals. Nevertheless, a DUI conviction on the driver's record will cause a significant negative impact on the premium as well as terms and conditions.
Factors Affecting Insurance Policy Price
There are plenty of factors that determine one's insurance policy cost. One such factor is age. Young drivers generally pay more in insurance than those with driving experience. Insurance companies take into consideration the driver's past driving record as well. The more citations, accidents and convictions on the record, the higher the premium and complexity of the terms. Similarly, a low credit score will compel the insurance companies to charge more. The nature of employment also affects the total cost of auto insurance policy.
Filing SR-22 With Ohio BMV as Proof of Insurance
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) requires every individual convicted of DUI file a SR-22 (Safety Responsibility) form. This document is intended to ensure that the individual carries relevant auto insurance policy and the policy meets all state requirements. The insurance company prepares this document and files it with the state BMV. The drivers are required to file this form for a minimum of three years or if the court requires. Failure to file will result in cancellation of the policy, suspension of driver's license or both.
DUI Lawyer to Help Avoid DUI Conviction
Individuals convicted of DUI offense can be subjected to ancillary DUI penalties that the court find appropriate based on the offense. If you are charged with DUI in Ohio, your best line of defense is to contact an experienced DUI lawyer. Through your lawyer, you will be able to avoid certain mandatory penalties or get reduced sentencing. Sometimes, your case may get dismissed entirely or be reduced to a traffic offense.
We invite you contact our attorney team at Spaulding & Kitzler today to discuss the details of your case. We offer a free DUI/OVI consultation at our Mansfield and Mount Vernon, Ohio locations.