If you’ve been convicted of DUI/DWI, you know it’s an expensive situation. Legal bills, fines, potentially medical bills, and more can put a strain on your budget for years to come. Add on to that the cost of installing and making monthly payments for an ignition interlock device (IID). All 50 states have ignition interlock laws, and more and more are becoming all offender states, where even first-time offenders must install an IID in order to get full driving privileges back. But after spending all that money after a DUI, you may be wondering if you can save some money with your auto insurance. Today, we answer the question, Do interlock devices affect insurance?
The answer is yes and no. The main thing that affects your insurance is the fact that you got a DUI/DWI in the first place. It is your responsibility to notify your insurance company that you got a DUI. It’s best to be up front about it. And if you live in a state that requires an SR-22 certificate after a DUI, your insurance company will know right away. The vast majority of states require you to present an SR-22 before allowing you to drive again, even with an interlock device.
An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility which verifies that you are carrying at least the state-mandated minimum amount of auto insurance. The insurance company is guaranteeing to your state that you’re maintaining coverage and are financially responsible for any accidents. The fee to get an SR-22 certificate is usually about $25.
Your Auto Insurance Rates Will Go Up
You can bet on your auto insurance rates going up after a DUI/DWI conviction. Your current insurance company may actually drop you as a customer. If they keep you, your rates will go up since you are now considered a high-risk driver. It may be worth your while to shop around with other insurance companies, to get the best deal. You will likely have to pay increased rates for 3-5 years, until the DUI falls off your record. Unless you’re in California, where the DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years.
Since the average auto insurance rate increase after a DUI is 80%, you will want to let the insurance company know that you have an ignition interlock device installed. Insurance companies are aware of the ignition interlock research that shows the effectiveness of IIDs in preventing drunk driving. You can ask for a discount on your increased rate if you have an IID installed. The insurance company may not grant you one, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
Voluntary Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
Most people only install an ignition interlock device if they have to. As in, the DMV requires installation in order to regain full driving privileges, or the court orders installation after your DUI. But some people do choose to voluntarily install an IID, or keep it installed after finishing the restricted driving program. If you do this to prevent yourself or a loved one from drinking and driving, it’s up to you if you tell your insurance company. It’s unclear if they would consider it a safety feature and give you a discount on your auto insurance rates like they do if you have an anti-theft system, or if your teen driver gets good grades. But again, it never hurts to ask.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Scheduling your ignition interlock device is easy and affordable with ALCOLOCK. If we’re on your state’s list of approved vendors, all you need to do is call the service location most convenient to you to set up your IID installation. You can also call ALCOLOCK directly at (866) 700-9300. When you choose an installation location, keep in mind that you will have regular service visits to the same location, unless you move.
Plan on having someone drive you and your vehicle to your installation appointment. You can drive only after the device is installed. Your installation appointment should last about an hour. That time includes the physical installation, calibrating the IID to you and anyone else who will be driving the vehicle, showing you how to use it, and explaining what all of the sounds, lights, and screen messages mean. Your technician will give you paperwork to present to the DMV proving that you have had the device installed. And finally, before you leave, you will schedule your first service visit.