Does Car Insurance Cover an Accident That is Caused by a DUI?

by Phil M. Fowler ; Updated July 27, 2017
A DUI could jeopardize your insurance coverage.

For the most part, automobile insurance coverage is a matter of contract which means that each insurance policy can be a little different. Depending on the way your policy is written, you may be covered even if the accident was caused by your own DUI. Most likely, you will be covered if the accident was caused by the other person's DUI.

Liability

The first issue that you must resolve is to determine who is mostly likely liable, or at fault, in the accident. If you were cited for DUI and you caused the accident then you have to look at your own insurance policy to see if it will cover your liability in the accident. You have to consider whether your policy will cover your liability to the other driver, and also whether the policy will cover your own damages resulting from the accident.

Other Driver

If the other driver in the accident was cited for DUI and caused the accident then you can sue that driver for your damages. That driver's insurance company will pay for the damages up to the driver's policy limits on liability coverage. The fact that the other driver was cited for DUI does not restrict the innocent driver's right to make a claim under the liability policy.

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Your Own DUI

If you were cited for DUI and at fault in the accident then you may not be able to recover for your own damages, or the damages to your car, under your comprehensive policy. Your liability coverage will pay for the other driver's damages, but your insurer may deny your claim for coverage. However, the insurer will only deny your claim if your policy contains an exclusion for DUI accidents. Most policies do not exclude coverage for DUI, so most insurance companies will cover the at-fault driver's damages under the driver's comprehensive coverage policy.

Aftershock

If you caused an accident and were cited for DUI then you can expect that your insurance provider will either cancel your policy as soon as it can, or severely increase your premiums if it still provides you coverage.

References

  • "How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim"; Joseph L. Matthews; 2009

About the Author

The Constitution Guru has worked as a writer and editor for "BYU Law Review" and "BYU Journal of Public Law." He is an experienced attorney with a law degree and a B.A. degree in history with an emphasis on U.S. Constitutional history, both earned at Brigham Young University.

Photo Credits

  • Crash on the street. German auto model 2007. image by Dariusz Kopestynski from Fotolia.com
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