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.

Everyone makes mistakes, and those mistakes can often have damaging consequences. If you’ve been convicted of drink driving, not only will you have to face whatever penalty the authorities hand out, but you’ll also face an uphill battle to find affordable car insurance. If you’ve got a DUI to your name, your insurer may raise your premiums or even exclude you from cover altogether.

However, it is still possible for drink drivers to find car insurance in Australia. Keep reading to find out how.

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Details Features
Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Low-cost, straightforward car insurance aimed at safe drivers
  • Costs of towing and storage
  • Lifetime guarantee on all repairs
  • Emergency repairs, travel and accommodation
  • Optional zero-excess cover for windscreen and window glass
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
15% discount for comprehensive policies purchased online
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Trailer damage up to $1,000
  • Up to $500 for personal effects damaged in collision
  • Discounts for restricting policy to drivers of a certain age and over
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10%. Price-beat guarantee for drivers aged over 25
  • Essential repairs and towing costs up to $500
  • Loss or damage while your car is in transit
  • Cover can be increased or reduced at any time if your circumstances change
  • Optional extras: roadside assistance, excess-free windscreen cover and hire car
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
24/7 roadside assistance included in your comprehensive policy
  • Emergency fuel, replacement of flat tyre and battery service
  • Modifications like personalised plates, towbar and tinting covered
  • $1,500 to cover the cost of counselling sessions after a claim
  • Cover for work equipment carried inside vehicle and contents of caravan
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Save up to 10% when you buy online (T&Cs apply). Pay by the month at no extra cost.
  • Cover for accidents, fire, storms, theft, and damage to car
  • New car replacement in first 24 months
  • Guarantee on repairs for approved repairers
  • Up to $1000 lock and key replacement cover
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Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Price Saver (Comprehensive)
Save 15% when purchasing online. Eligible customers can receive 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points before 31 December 2017
  • New-for-old replacement
  • Receive an alert by SMS if hail is predicted
  • Personal effects up to $500 after collision and theft
  • Optional 24/7 roadside assistance
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Premium product, without the premium price
  • Up to $20m in legal liability cover, plus protection for your car
  • Discount options for low km’s driven
  • New for old car replacement
  • No fees for monthly payments of policy cancellations
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Comprehensive
Comprehensive
Buy online and save up to 10% on your policy
  • $25,000 cover for accidental death
  • $500 cover for emergency repairs
  • Cover for legal costs
  • Temporary cover on replacement vehicle - 14 days
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Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Comprehensive - Elegant Cover
Save up to 20% when you buy online
  • Up to $500 for personal effects damaged in a collision
  • Cover for modifications and accessories
  • Loss or damage while your car is in transit
  • Option of full reimbursement for replacing windscreen and window glass
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Can I get car insurance if I'm a convicted drink driver?

Shopping for car insurance in Australia with a DUI on your record? The good news is that you’ll usually be able to find cover; the bad news is that it will usually be more expensive.

If you’re convicted of drink-driving, this could potentially affect your car insurance in a few different ways:

  • No cover. Some insurers will flat-out refuse to cover you if you have had a drink- or drug-driving conviction within a certain time period, usually the last three or five years. Others may refuse to cover you if you’ve had multiple convictions within the same period.
  • Higher premiums. Some insurers impose a premium loading to the policies of drivers with a DUI in Australia.
  • Increased excess. Another strategy insurers use to minimise their risk is to increase the minimum basic excess that applies to the policy of anyone with a drink-driving conviction.

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.

Why is drink driving such a big deal?

Why all the fuss about getting behind the wheel after enjoying a beverage or two? It’s simple: alcohol has been proven to be a major factor in a large proportion of fatal road accidents. Take these statistics from around Australia as a demonstration of just how dangerous it can be to drive while under the influence:

  • According to Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission, in 2016 there were 34 drivers and motorcycle riders who lost their lives with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) greater than the legal limit of 0.05.
  • In 2015, drink driving contributed to 57 fatalities on Queensland roads – that’s almost one in every four road deaths.
  • Drink driving is a factor in more than 20% of all fatal crashes across NSW, resulting in the deaths of nearly 100 people every year

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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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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2 Responses

  1. 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

    • Staff
      MaySeptember 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Eileen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Yes, it may be difficult to get insurance after suspension of the license due to 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, you can click this page. It would be best to speak to the insurer directly to discuss quotes and level of insurance options.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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