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Getting car insurance after a drink driving conviction in Australia

Getting car insurance after a drink driving conviction in Australia

If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving in the past, it’s highly likely that the car insurance offers you’ve been getting look pretty costly. If you have a history of driving while under the influence of alcohol, an insurer will likely consider you more of a liability. As the insurer’s risk increases, so does the cost to your hip pocket.

So, if you’re looking for car insurance after a drink driving conviction in Australia, you should keep the following information in mind.

Can I get car insurance as a convicted drink driver?

If you have a single drink-driving incident on your record, a few insurers will still cover you. The more suspensions you have on your record, the more picky the insurers get. Generally the risk to the insurer outweighs the cost you’ll pay, from the insurer’s point of view.

Having said that, you may not always have to pay a higher premium for mistakes of the past. Some insurers are less concerned about convictions that happened a long time ago.

When you apply for car insurance for drink driving offenders, you’ll face one of these three scenarios:

  1. You won’t be given any cover due to the offence, and your application will be rejected instantly.
  2. Your application will be accepted, provided you have only one suspension on your record. However, your premium will most likely be a much higher amount.
  3. Your previous suspensions won’t be considered at all. This is an unlikely scenario and should be treated with caution. It’s important to make sure you are getting the appropriate coverage. If your license was suspended in the past, it will impact the premium cost. 

To get suitable coverage and an affordable premium, it’s a good idea to compare the offers properly before making a decision.

How will a drink-driving conviction affect my car insurance costs?

The cost of car insurance varies a lot from one provider to another, and their products. Generally, bear in mind that the cost of car insurance after a drink driving ban may mean:

  • Increased premiums: Most insurers are going to offer an increased premium rate on your policy.
  • A higher excess: In order to cover you despite your drink driving conviction, some insurers may ask you to pay an increased excess when you claim, which could last for up to five years.
  • No change: It’s possible for some insurers to not consider the drink driving conviction, but again it’s important to make sure you are properly covered if this is the case.

How to reduce my premiums as a convicted drink driver?

Yes, applying for car insurance after a drink driving conviction can lead to high premiums, however, the following actions may show insurers you are taking the court response seriously.

Pursue a drink-driving awareness course

There are many courses offered across the country that focus on spreading awareness about drunk driving and the dangers of driving under the influence. Some insurers offer to reduce the premiums if you complete one of these courses.

Get a breathalyser ignition lock

A breathalyser ignition lock is a device that is fitted into your car and prevents it from starting if the blood alcohol content is higher than zero. Sometimes a magistrate will instruct you to get one of these devices fitted if you have a history of drink driving. Some insurers may see it as a way of reducing their risk, too.

Work towards a clean record

If you’ve committed a drink driving offence recently, chances are the options you have are extremely limited. In such cases, you could consider waiting, using public transport or ride shares and building a clean record first, which will help reduce the premium cost considerably.

Will drink driving void my car insurance?

Now that you know what to consider while getting car insurance after committing a drink driving offence, what happens if you already have car insurance and you’re caught drink driving?

If you drive when you’re over the legal blood-alcohol limit, your car insurance won’t cover claims. Some insurers won’t cover claims even if you’re under the limit, but have alcohol in your system. 

If you’ve had anything to drink or are under the influence of drugs, it’s always best to avoid getting behind the wheel.

If you’ve already made a mistake though, it may be worth comparing your options and seeing what works for you.

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