How Will A Drink-Driving Offence Impact Your Car Insurance?

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

If you are caught driving when over the legal alcohol limit, you can expect the UK government to come down on you hard.

And rightly so – 6% of road casualties and 14% of road deaths are attributed to accidents in which the driver was over the limit. On average, 3,000 people a year are involved in drink drive collisions in which they are either killed or seriously injured.

For this reason, insurance with a DR10 conviction will be higher, with some insurers quoting an average of 134% more than for those without a conviction. This means you could be seeing an average £450 per year insurance payment turn into a staggering £788 per year.

But increased car insurance costs rise aren’t the only negative outcome to result from a drink-driving conviction. As well as a large fine, you can also expect points on your license, a 12-month driving ban and, in some cases, a prison sentence. It can also be expensive to find car insurance for convicted drivers in the future.

How Long Does A DR10 Affect Insurance?

As well as the initial punishment, a DR10 conviction will also affect your driving insurance quotes in the future. Whenever you receive points on your license, you must inform your insurance provider, as all policies are conducted in ‘good faith’ that you as a policy taker are keeping the insurance provider fully up to date with your situation.

By failing to keep your insurance provider up-to-date with any changes in circumstance, they can refuse to honour the policy altogether.

A DR10 offence stays on your license for eleven years. You will need to advise your insurance provider for three to five of these years, depending on your insurance provider. If you don’t declare it, your insurance can be voided when they discover the DR10.

Do Insurance Companies Pay Out For Drink-Driving?

This is something you must check with your individual policy as they all vary. A drink-driving conviction could invalidate all claims you try to make for injury to yourself or for damage to your own car and property.

Whilst the law allows drivers to drink a certain amount before driving, the big problem is that this amount varies from person to person: it is not an exact science and changes with each individual driver. For this reason, some insurance providers may invalidate your policy if you have any alcohol in your system at all, even though you are well within the legal limit.

Under the Road Traffic Act, insurance companies are still obliged to meet the costs of any third party claim for injury or damage. The insurance provider could very well meet your own costs for an accident too, even though you were drink-driving, but can sue you to claim these costs back. This could see you being billed thousands of pounds after your insurance company pays out.

After being convicted it is difficult, but not impossible, to find cheap car insurance for convicted drivers. At Quote Goat we compare convicted driver insurance quotes to help you find the right policy at the right price.

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