No one is perfect. There’s no doubt that getting into an automobile accident is stressful and unsettling, but let’s say you are in the unfortunate circumstance of also receiving a DUI. By getting the correct answers, you need to ask the right questions, so here are a few for people who have been in an accident followed by a DUI:
What will the insurance company cover?
Most experts say it depends on which company you are insured with and who is at fault, but here are some guidelines to follow, made available to you by all of us at 1stCertified.
What do I do first?
You will likely have some legal problems if you are convicted of a DUI—Driving Under the Influence—also known as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and OUI (Operating Under the Influence). After making sure that everyone is safe and unharmed, it’s important to contact your insurance company immediately to find out what your policy covers.
What if I have collision and comprehensive insurance?
Depending on the insurance carrier, the damages may or may not be covered for you and the other driver. Some policies have a clause that excludes responsibility if the accident is related to a DUI. If this is the case, you will be responsible for all of the costs.
How does liability insurance help?
If you have liability insurance, a carrier will cover the damages of the other driver if you are at fault, even if you received a DUI. That means the medical expenses and property damage for the other driver will be taken care of. It will not apply to your expenses and court costs.
Can the insurer deny coverage?
Although an insurance company may cover negligence, gross negligence and even reckless conduct, it will not cover intentional conduct. Many companies consider drinking and driving intentional conduct because the driver intentionally puts himself or herself in a position to cause the accident. This gives companies the ability to deny damages as a result of the DUI.
Will the policy be canceled?
Some states will not allow an insurer to cancel coverage for a DUI. However, if you have a DUI on record, you are considered a high-risk driver and the company will most likely end the policy when it is time to renew, or raise your rates substantially. You will then have to find an insurer that specializes in non-standard insurance for those who can’t get insurance. These providers often offer the best rates for high-risk drivers.
The bottom line is never drink and drive. It’s dangerous and can result in thousands of dollars in damage, higher insurance premiums, serious injuries, and possible fatalities.
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Sources: Legal News, all-about-car-accidents.com and Wikipedia