Car insurance for drink drivers

Been convicted of drink driving? Here’s how you can find affordable car insurance to get you back on the road.

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If you've been convicted of drink driving in the past, you already know how hard it is to get car insurance that doesn't cost a motza. We get it.

But before you lose hope, know that getting cover is possible. Keep reading to find out how.

A few helpful pointers:

You can still get insurance if you've been convicted of drink driving, it's just a bit harder to get covered. Here are some quick tips that may increase your chances of finding an insurer that will cover you:

    • We looked at 8 insurers on our panel and found that only Budget Direct and Virgin Money ask specifically if you've had any drink driving convictions. We answered yes, and they still offered cover. Some other insurers will only ask you if you've had a criminal conviction, of which most will deny cover.
    • Some insurers will generally cover you if you have a drink driving conviction, provided you don't have any other convictions related to fraud, theft, and dishonesty.
    • It's a good idea to steer clear of any of the notoriously cheaper insurers. They tend to keep their premiums down by avoiding covering high-risk drivers.
    • Consider undertaking a safe driving course or installing an interlock system - insurers look upon efforts like these favourably.
    • Your premiums will probably be higher than usual.
    • There is no one insurer that will 100% cover you if you've previously been convicted of drink driving. It's annoying, but they treat every person as a separate case. However, if you follow the tips above you might find it easier to get covered.

Want quotes for a drink driving conviction? It's possible!

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
PD Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: PD comprehensive car insurance policy lets you buy, manage, and start your claims process online. It includes cover for emergency repairs up to $500 and free windscreen chip repair. Ability to customise your extras cover.

⭐ Current offer: New policyholders can enjoy 15% off on their first year's premium. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those with low claims history and the only driver.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
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Can I get car insurance if I'm a convicted drink driver?

Many insurers will cover you if you have only a single DUI on your record. With a little digging around, even those with multiple suspensions will be able to find someone to cover them.

Insurers will ask you about your history when you apply for a quote - usually asking you to report only those offences that have occurred within a certain time frame (anywhere from 2-5 years).

They typically handle past offences one of three ways:

  • They won’t cover you with a suspension on your record. They’ll ask you to report your offences and will deny your application with even a single suspension.
  • They will accept a single suspension. They’ll ask you to report your offences and will accept your application as long as there’s no more than one suspension on your record. Your premium will probably increase.
  • Or they won’t consider prior suspensions. Remarkably, some insurers do not consider suspensions at all. However, if you’re in an accident, they may impose a special excess if your records show your licence had been suspended in the past.

However, unless you’ve got a string of serious drink-driving convictions, you should still be able to find an insurer willing to provide cover. Not all insurers assess convicted drivers the same way, and a 2016 investigation by NewsCorp showed that one of Australia’s largest insurance providers does not place any significant premium increases on people convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you’re looking for DUI car insurance in Australia, you’ll need to shop around for the best value for money.

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

The effect a drink-driving conviction has on your car insurance premium varies between insurers. It could lead to:

  • Higher premiums. Many insurers impose a premium loading on your policy. It’s not a small loading either and could be as much as 50% or more.
  • A higher excess. Your insurer may only agree to cover you if you’re willing to pay an increased excess when you claim. This excess could be as high as $2,000 and could also apply for up to five years.
  • No change. Some insurers won’t impose any premium increase when you return from a drink-driving suspension.

How to find the right policy

There are a number of steps you can take to increase your chances of getting cover in place if you have been convicted of drink driving.

  • Get a quote. The only way to find out how your conviction will affect the cost of cover, or whether the insurer will even be willing to cover you, is to apply for a quote. Get quotes from multiple insurers to find out who will insure you and at what cost.
  • Check what’s covered. Rather than simply choosing a policy based on its price, read the PDS to find out exactly what is covered. For example, is your car covered for its agreed or market value? What events are included in cover?
  • Cover limits. It’s also worth checking the table of benefits to make sure whether any limits apply to cover. For example, what’s the maximum benefit payable for emergency repairs or for stolen or damaged personal effects? If the policy will pay for a hire car after theft, for how long will rental costs be covered?
  • Optional extras. Can you add any extras to your policy for an additional premium? For example, you may want to join your insurer’s roadside assistance program.
  • Exclusions. Next, check the list of general exclusions to make sure you’re fully aware of all the situations and circumstances that won’t be covered by your policy.
  • Who is the underwriter? Read the fine print to see who underwrites the policy – is it a reputable company with a solid background in car insurance?
  • How to claim. Finally, check with the insurer to find out what you’ll need to do when you need to make a claim. Is there a claims app for added convenience? How long do claims take to process? Does the insurer have a good reputation for processing claims quickly and efficiently?

By taking the time to compare your options and shop around, you should be able to find the most cost-effective option for your vehicle.

Tips for reducing your premiums

There’s plenty more you can do to help reduce the impact an Australian DUI conviction will have on your car insurance premiums. You can:

  • Complete a drink-driving awareness course. Providers around the country offer a range of drink-driving awareness courses designed to educate drivers about the dangers of getting behind the wheel when under the influence. If you complete a course that’s approved by your insurer, you may be able to lower your premiums.
  • Get a breathalyser fitted. Alcohol ignition interlocks are breath test devices that prevent a car from starting if your blood alcohol content is higher than zero. If you have one of these devices fitted to your vehicle, your insurer may be willing to offer you a reduced premium.
  • Build a clean record. Even if your car insurance options are limited right now, you might be able to get lower premiums, or find a wider variety of insurers willing to cover you, after some time has passed. By simply being a safe driver and never getting behind the wheel when you’ve had anything to drink, you can ensure that the cost of cover will come down over time.
  • Choose a lower level of cover. If the cost of comprehensive car insurance is too much, you might consider a basic policy that still includes important third party property damage cover.
  • Use discounts to reduce costs. When looking at policies, you might want to factor in discounts you are eligible for when comparing costs.
  • Be honest. Don’t try to lower your premiums by “forgetting” to tell your insurer about your DUI conviction. If you do, future claims could be refused and your insurer may cancel the policy altogether.

There are plenty of other simple things you can do to lower your car insurance premiums. Our guide to cheap* car insurance can help you find more affordable cover.

Will drink driving void my car insurance?

If you get behind the wheel of your car when you’re over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.05 (or 0 for L- and P-platers), your car insurance won’t cover you for any resulting claims. However, your cover could also be affected even if you’re under the legal limit – if you’re under the influence of alcohol or it is affecting your judgement, your insurer may refuse any claims.

The same goes if you hit the road while under the influence of any drug, while refusing to undergo an alcohol or drug test will also void your insurance.

With this in mind, if you’ve had anything to drink or you’re under the influence of any drug, stay safe and stay off the road.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    eileenSeptember 11, 2017

    if a person has had a drug driving offence and has got a 3 month suspension how can they get full comprehensive insurance they have had no luck so I said I would try and help cheers Eileen

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaySeptember 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Eileen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, it may be difficult to get insurance after suspension of the license due to a drug driving offense. Though there are still insurers who would offer insurance, more likely they would charge higher premiums or impose additional excess. If in case you’d like to check the brands that offer comprehensive car insurance policies, it would be best to speak to the insurer directly to discuss quotes and the level of insurance options.

      Before applying, please ensure that you review the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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