When a driver applies for auto insurance coverage in California, most insurance providers perform a routine a check of an applicant's background and driving record. In addition, auto insurance companies typically review a policy holder's driving record every three years, and a drunk driving conviction can cause the insurance company to label the policy holder as a "high risk driver", resulting in a significant rate hike, or a cancellation of your policy altogether.
Unfortunately, a DUI charge or arrest in San Diego County can result in terminated coverage, a rejected application, or higher policy premiums even if it does not result in a drunk driving conviction IF you fail to notify the DMV within ten days of your arrest on drunk driving charges to request an admin per se hearing to protect your driving privileges in California.
IF YOU DO NOT REQUEST THIS VERY IMPORTANT DMV HEARING FOR THE RETENTION OF YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE WITHIN TEN DAYS OF BEING ARRESTED FOR DRUNK DRIVING, BOTH THE DMV AND THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL PRESUME YOU ARE GUILTY AND TREAT YOU AS SUCH, EVEN YOU ULTIMATELY WIN THE CRIMINAL COURT SIDE OF YOUR DUI CASE.
The insurance company will typically advise that your policy rates will be reduced once you have re-established a "safe" driving record.
The following resources are provided to assist you in asserting your rights as an insured driver:
What you need to know about DMV requirements for SR-22 filing in San Diego
What They Know About You:
Find out what information the insurance company is willing to pay to know about you
Governmental & Regulatory:
Links to the Governmental agencies that regulate the insurance companies
Consumer Insurance Resources:
Information that can help you arm yourself against an insurance company backlash
Insurance & Quote Providers:
Information to help you obtain online quotes and comparison for auto insurance coverage
Once a driver has been convicted of DUI, or presumed to be guilty by the California DMV for neglecting to request an admin per se hearing to contest the suspension of their drivers license, the DMV will require the insured driver's agency provide with an SR-22 Proof of Insurance Certificate, but not all insurance companies offer SR-22 policies. The requirement to show proof of insurance requires the remission of Department of Motor Vehicle form SR-22.
Form SR-22 is designed specifically for cases DUI cases, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will not accept any other form or policy as a substitute for the SR-22.
The California DMV sets three requirements for those drivers seeking a restricted license after a DUI conviction or charge that has not been contested within the ten day window to request an admin per se hearing:
1. Pay a re-issue fee of $125.00
2.Show proof of financial responsibility (SR-22)
3.Show proof of enrollment in approved DUI program.
In addition, if you have been convicted in a criminal court for DUI and mandated to attend DUI school, again, you will need to show proof of an SR-22 certificate to the DMV to have your drivers license returned. If four months have elapsed by the time the DMV receives notice from the court of your conviction, then the requirement to show an SR-22 will go into effect. The same requirements apply if a criminal court has placed restrictions on your license for a wet reckless conviction.
SR-22 Proof of insurance must be maintained for a period of three years from the date the original 4 month drivers license suspension would have elapsed, in other words, for for three years plus four months from the date of your arrest on suspicion of DUI. If this sounds confusing, rest assured, it is, which is why a skilled, proficient, and proven DUI attorney is your best defense against the possible implications of any of the following three circumstances: a DUI arrest, a DUI charge, or a possible DUI conviction.
Proof of insurance WILL stay active, without the need to resubmit an SR-22 filing for three years, as long as you do NOT not cancel the SR-22 insurance policy or get dropped from your auto insurance carrier during this 3 year time period. The insurance policy that the SR-22 is filed under must remain in effect. If your SR-22 policy is cancelled during this period by you or the insurance company, the insurance carrier will be REQUIRED to notify the DMV. The California DMV will then notify you by mail with a deadline to file another SR-22 certificate them or have your drivers license suspended.
There are database, intelligence gathering, and information companies that do nothing but collect and sell information about consumers. This information highway is commonly used by insurance carriers when you apply for a new policy or submit a claim against an existing policy. It is also typical that your insurance company will perform a routine check on you every three years.
One recent study showed that over 90% of insurance carriers reported using credit data and scoring in setting auto insurance policy premiums, and more than 50% of insurers admitted to ranking applicants in categories such as "preferred", "standard" and "high-risk", then pricing their premiums accordingly.
Based on information that the insurance company gathers from your credit report, or your FICO score, to most insurance companies a credit score is not necessarily synonymous with a risk score.
A risk score, by the Insurance carrier, is typically calculated with a different formula than is used to determine your credit worthiness. Thus, requesting and reviewing a copy of your credit report will not always compute to what your policy will cost you. Unlike your credit score, which the credit reporting bureaus are required to disclose to you, you are not entitled to know your insurance risk score.
One difference between a credit score and a risk score is that your risk score is determined by measuring your assumed stability, whereas your credit score is determined by evaluating your use of money and spending habits, if there is any correlation assumed by the insurance company, they will not disclose this to you.
A steady and timely bill payment history would be considered more "stable" than a history of delinquency and late payments to creditors. If you show unusual bill payment activity or frequent applications for credit within thirty days of purchasing auto insurance, your risk score could be elevated and affect an increase in policy premiums. Please keep in mind there are many factors that insurers use when evaluating your risk as an auto insurance policy holder, including your driving record, your insurance claims history, how many miles you commute each day, as well as your zip code.
ChoicePoint and ISO
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was enacted in 2003 and amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law that regulates, in part, who is permitted to access your consumer report information and how it can be used. The FACT Act entitles consumers to obtain one free copy of his/her consumer file from certain consumer reporting agencies during each 12-month period.
ChoicePoint has three separate companies that maintain consumer files that are subject to the free disclosure requirement: C.L.U.E. Inc. maintains information on insurance claims histories, ChoicePoint WorkPlace Solutions Inc. maintains employment history information, and Resident Data Inc. maintains tenant history information. Each of these companies designed an easy process for consumers to request their free file disclosure.
California Department of Insurance
California State Insurance governmental and regulatory website with information for consumers and insurance companies alike. Numerous insurance resources provided such as the ability to find the current status of any California insurance agent's state license, learn about insurance fraud, legislature, and regulatory policies.
California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan
A processing center by which people, sometimes considered "high risk drivers", who have trouble buying automobile insurance are put in touch with an insurance company which will insure them. From then on, the person and the certified producer communicate with the insurance company as if they had chosen the company. As part of the initial processing, the Plan makes financial responsibility filings with the Department of Motor Vehicles if requested on the application. If the insured or producer is having difficulty in getting the attention of the insurance company, the CAARP will attempt to assist. The assigned risk plan is not an insurance company. Its rates are recommended by CAARP's Advisory Committee and approved by the Department of Insurance.
Progressive.com Progressive Insurance sells insurance directly over the internet and via brokers. Progressive claims to be able to provide you with an online quote in eight minutes. They will also provide you with comparison quotes form other insurance companies based on your criteria.
Insurance.com An online insurance brokerage firm. Simply enter the requested information to receive quotes from various insurance companies. Similar to Priceline.com, you won’t know who the insurers are until you get your quotes.
This online auto insurance quote provider works networks with a group of insurance agents to whom they distribute your criteria contact information. The insurance agents will then contact you by phone or e-mail, allowing you the opportunity to ask questions.
Insweb.com An online insurance brokerage firm with a very user friendly interface a minimal request for personal information as a condition for providing you with an online quote for auto insurance. The process takes about eight minutes, and provides quotes from several highly rated insurance companies.
A highly rated insurance company that sells auto insurance policies directly online, rather than an insurance brokerage firm. Provides twenty-four hour customer service both and online and via telephone. They also provide you with rate comparisons for a few other insurance companies.
G. Cole Casey is THE top DUI Defense Lawyer in San Diego County. His practice is dedicated exclusively to the defense of persons charged with DUI, DWI and Drunk Driving in Southern California.
Call us twenty-four hours a day at 619.237.0384 or send us an email now to discuss an aggressive and legitimate defense strategy for your DUI case.