How Drunk Driving Incidents Affect Insurance Rates For Everyone

by tylercook on November 24, 2012

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All drivers throughout the nation are required to carry liability insurance to drive a registered vehicle on public roadways. While these compulsory laws may seem unfair, they are designed to protect all drivers who travel on the roadways. One of the biggest concerns drivers have when purchasing insurance is how their rates will be calculated. While insurance companies do consider a driver’s driving history and personal factors that may present risk, other factors that the driver cannot control are also considered to calculate rates and the probability of the driver filing a claim. One of the geographic factors that is considered to assess risk is the incidence of claims and DUI arrests in the area.

Why Do Insurers Throughout the Nation Charge Higher Rates in Areas with a Higher Incidence of Drunk Driving?

You might think that if you are a safe driver you should not pay for the citations and the accidents of others. Unfortunately, because insurance is an industry that is based solely on risk, the insurer has no choice but to increase the rates for all drivers when they are located in more risky zip codes or cities. From the insurer’s standpoint, if a driver lives in an area where there is a higher rate of drunk driving accidents and citations, the probability of you getting into an accident with a drunk driver are higher. Where the risks are higher, the insurer will charge higher premiums. If the company does not do this, they risk the chance of not having enough money in their reserve accounts to pay for the claims that are reported by their policyholders.

Do Safe Drivers Pay Less Than Drivers With DUIs?

It can be very frustrating to hear that you are in fact paying higher rates because some individuals choose to get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated. While it is frustrating, it is a fact that you cannot change unless you have the ability to reduce the number of DUI incidents and citations that occur in your area. It may be relieving to hear that drivers who have been convicted of a DUI will pay higher premiums than safe drivers. Drivers with a DUI conviction are surcharged for the conviction and must also pay to have an SR-22 issued to prove to the DMV that they carry liability insurance continuously.

How Can You Reduce DUI Incidence?

Just because you do not believe in getting behind the wheel after you have a cocktail does not mean that others in your city share this belief. While there is no way to completely stop people from driving under the influence, some of your efforts can reduce the incidents that are reported. The easiest way to make a difference is to be the designated driver for friends and family members who plan on driving while they are intoxicated.

You can also get involved with organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving in your area, if you have time to volunteer. This organization is dedicated to talking to individuals who have been convicted of DUI to persuade them not to make the same mistake again.

Being a defensive driver cannot protect you on the road when you are driving alongside someone who is intoxicated, because drunk drivers are so unpredictable. If you want to keep your rates low, it is important to maintain your safe driving record and take advantage of discounts. Stay safe on the road, do your part, and save money on your insurance premiums.


This article was composed by Otter Boone for the team at College students often face issues related to drinking and alcohol; focus on safety above all.




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