There’s no avoiding it—when you have a DUI on your driving record, car insurance is going to be more expensive. The reason for this is that even the best auto insurance companies in Illinois must adjust premiums higher for more risky drivers. And even if you’re committed to being on the straight and narrow after your DUI, statistically, you are more likely to have a claim. To stay in business, insurance companies must charge you more.
This can cause significant hardship for you and your family, but that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless—far from it. That said, you will have to get to work if you’re hoping to reduce your DUI car insurance payments in a timely manner.
And the first step in getting to work is to read this article in its entirety. In the following paragraphs we’ll outline the various steps you can take to work with the best auto insurance companies in Illinois and get your payments under control.
Enroll in Online Driving Courses
Just as people with DUIs are statistically more likely to submit an insurance claim, people who have finished driving courses are statistically less likely to submit an insurance claim. For this reason, by enrolling and attending a driving course, you can get a discount on your insurance premiums. Depending on your insurance provider and other factors, the amount of your discount may vary.
You can complete driving courses online or in-person but you’ll need to make sure you tell your insurance provider what you’re doing. So once you’re done with your courses, give your insurance provider a call and ask about applying the discount to your bill. After three years, you can repeat the process again and take another driving course.
Keep Your Driving Track Record Clean
After a DUI, even the best auto insurance companies in Illinois will take some time before they’re ready to give you a better deal on your premiums. You have to look at the time after your DUI as a period in which you’re working to earn others’ trust in your driving again.
To do that, you must keep your record clean. That means avoiding traffic and parking violations such as speeding, reckless driving, or running a red light. You’ll also want to take measures to avoid accidents. A driving class can help you do this because you’ll learn the rules of the road. Alternatively, if you know someone who’s a good driver, you can invite them to drive with you and offer tips on how to improve.
Purchase or Lease a Safe Vehicle
In addition to your driving record and other personal factors, the best auto insurance companies in Illinois also pay attention to the vehicle you drive. The safer your vehicle is, the lower the risk of a claim, so insurance providers may offer more competitive rates if you drive a highly rated car or truck.
To make sure you’re purchasing or leasing a safe vehicle, check the safety ratings of the vehicle on the window sticker or by going to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.
On their website, you’ll be able to find IIHS scores that insurance providers use to determine the safety of a vehicle. In some cases, you won’t find any safety information on the window sticker, so use the IIHS website if that’s the case.
Be Financially Responsible
Beyond driving habits and vehicle choice, the best insurance providers in Illinois also want to know that you’re a responsible adult. One way to show that is by maintaining a good credit score. To do that, you’ll need to be financially responsible, cutting back on spending and paying your bills in full when (or before) they come due.
Other ways to improve or maintain your credit score are to avoid using too much of your available credit or opening up new credit accounts.
Choose Different Insurance
Depending on the details of your coverage, you may be able to reduce your insurance payments by simply switching to a less comprehensive type of coverage. For example, you can ask your insurance provider to raise your deductible which will often result in a lower monthly price.
Of course, you’ll want to be careful when you go this route. Make sure you have money set aside to cover whatever coverages you choose to forgo. If you can’t afford not to have something covered, a lower deductible may not be worth the risk of a large, unexpected expense in the future.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to shop around when it comes to insurance. You may not have a lot of options if you have a DUI, but it’s important to make sure you’re working with the best auto insurance companies in Illinois. Shopping around and comparing rates and coverages will help with that.