Drinking and driving is never a good idea. It is illegal, reckless, and dangerous not only for the driver but for the other participants in traffic as well.
When a person is driving under the influence and causes an accident, their car insurance policy pays for the damages and injuries they caused to other parties.
Your insurance company will cover the limits of your policy for whatever accident you are in, no matter if it was your fault or not (even if you were drunk driving, or not). However, after you have caused an accident while driving under the influence, your insurers may take several options such as paying the damages, canceling your insurance, increasing your rate, or denying the claims.
Your insurance company is not your biggest problem if you have caused this type of accident. In the worst-case scenario, if you have killed a person while driving under the influence, then you will face DUI conviction and other penalties. If this is your case, you should immediately seek legal help from a Boston car accident attorney.
You insurers deny the coverage after a DUI
If you are liable for an accident caused while you were drunk, then your car insurance policy will pay for the coverage of anyone involved in the accident.
But no car insurance company will pay for an accident caused intentionally. This means that some insurers would debate that drinking and driving is intentional behavior. You intentionally drank alcohol, and then (no matter how drunk you were) intentionally sat behind the wheel and drove. The company will claim that you were perfectly aware that drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal.
If this argument of intentional conduct is accepted, the insurers will not claim coverage for the damages to anyone involved in the accident (injured parties or damaged property).
Your insurance company would still investigate the circumstances of the accident before they decide whether they will accept liability for possible damages or injuries.
In case they decide that you intentionally caused the accident, they may refuse to insure you and may decide not to pay any claims to the involved parties.
If the insurer denies bodily injury claims, you should consider getting legal help from an attorney to help you change the mind of your insurance company.
You can convince the insurers to pay for vehicle damages under your accident coverage; in that case, they might not deny the claims.
Limitation of coverage
Your insurance company may decide to cover you for the damages and injuries that happened because of your DUI. But, they will not defend you against a claim of intentional misconduct and paying for damages of intentional misconduct.
Most personal injuries are based on the concept of negligence (you were careless and did not manage to act with reasonable caution). Even though you intentionally drink alcohol, it does not mean that you had an intention to injure or kill someone. In Massachusetts, your DUI conviction is active on your driving record for ten years.
Your insurance policy might get canceled
Your car insurance company will see you as a risk. Even if this is your first DUI conviction, your insurers already see you as a risky client who could cause the same accident again. For them, it is better to simply cancel your coverage.
But, most states have car insurance regulated. In some states, the insurer is not allowed to simply cancel their client’s coverage after they caused an accident while driving under the influence.
If the state allows the insurers to cancel the insurance policy to a convicted DUI driver, they will not think twice before doing that.
In case your insurance company decides not to (or they can’t) cancel your coverage, they will take another measure, and that is increasing your premium. Don’t assume that if you are looking for a new insurance company (in case the previous insurer canceled your coverage) that the new company would give you a similar premium. The new insurers would offer a high premium as well.
DUI is a serious conviction that will mark your record and bring your prison time and financial penalties. Most insurers are not fond of drivers with DUI convictions since they are seen as high-risk drivers.
The best way you can avoid DUI convictions and penalties, as well as the risk of losing your insurance, is to avoid drinking when driving.
Call us today, and we will answer any questions you have.