The consequences of a DUI conviction extend further than fines imposed by a Kentucky court. They may show up in your auto insurance premiums. Upon learning of your DUI conviction, your insurer may charge you hundreds of dollars more as part of your policy. Some motorists may shrug off an initial DUI conviction, but depending on where you live, even a first time DUI can have severe financial consequences.
Forbes explains that each state regulates its insurance rates differently, which is why insurance increases for DUI vary by state. Forbes cites a report conducted by the financial site NerdWallet that tracks DUI increases for all fifty states. The average nationwide insurance increase for a DUI is 62%, but some states like North Carolina boost their insurance much higher to 368%. Conversely, the lowest ranking state, Louisiana, only boosts premiums 17%.
Judging from the NerdWallet report cited by Forbes, compared to the rest of the United States, Kentucky does not offer a substantially higher rate of increase for DUI drivers. Kentucky only boosts insurance by 50%, which is slightly below the nationwide average. This places the state below the top-ranking states like North Carolina, California and Oregon, but also keeps it above the most forgiving states like Louisiana and Maryland.
Kentucky’s comparatively modest insurance increase is still nothing to be taken lightly. The NerdWallet report shows that a first time DUI can increase an average auto insurance rate $1,101.25. This can be financially burdensome especially for young people laboring to pay off college loans or working a low paying job. Additionally, some employers are reluctant to hire or advance someone who has a record of DUI, which can make paying off the added rates even more of a challenge.
A DUI related boost in insurance premiums may be so great that you end up needing to shop for a new insurer that is more affordable. The hassle of looking for a new auto insurer, along with other consequences of a DUI conviction, is why some people choose to contest a DUI charge with the help of a professional defense attorney to try to avoid such an outcome.