Will My Car Insurance Cover My Crash if I Was DUI?

If you set your home ablaze, it’s clear you’re intentionally committing a crime. But, DUI is a gray area. While it is reckless and against New York State law to drive under the influence, you may not expect to get into an accident. Thanks to the drugs or alcohol, you have every confidence you’ll “be fine.” This defense may not hold up in court, but it does come into play when filing a claim with your auto insurer– unless your provider has a specific clause denying coverage for DUI, rather than “intentional conduct.” A team of New York City personal injury lawyers will be able to help you learn more.

Please note: Douglas and London only accepts cases in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. We cannot accept cases outside of those areas.

Will My Insurance Cover My Medical Bills and My Passengers’ Medical Bills After DUI?

It is against New York State insurance law to deny medical coverage to a person involved in a DUI. If you have health insurance, that policy will apply before your “no-fault” auto insurer pays for medical treatments and lost wages up to your Personal Injury Protection policy limit. In New York, you must carry at least $50,000, but optional premium coverage ranges from $100,000 to over $1 million if you select it. Your passengers will be covered by their own health insurance and PIP or uninsured motorist coverage if they have it.  

Will My Insurance Cover the Other Car’s Medical Bills After DUI?

Liability insurance covers the other vehicle’s driver and passengers up to your policy limit. At the very least, this amount is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in New York state. Even if the accident occurs while you are breaking the law– under the influence of alcohol– liability coverage will apply. However, your insurance policy will not protect you, should the people in the other vehicle step outside the no-fault system to file a personal injury lawsuit against you for particularly severe injuries.

Will My Insurance Cover My Property Damage If I Was DUI?

Collision insurance helps pay to repair or replace a vehicle, while comprehensive coverage includes collisions with animals or fixed objects. In most states, a car insurer can’t deny a collision or comprehensive claim, whether you were driving under the influence or not. You should receive a check for total loss or repairs, though you may dispute the amount they offer, and it may not always be enough to cover outstanding loan obligations or the cost of a brand-new vehicle.

Will I Lose My Insurance or Pay Higher Premiums From DUI?

Insurers can’t drop you for getting into a DUI because they agreed to take care of you when you signed up for the policy, but they can refuse to renew your policy and drop you later. Most of the time, they re-classify you as a “high risk” driver and jack up the premium– sometimes by more than $1,000. If you feel you are unfairly persecuted (particularly if you were never charged or your conviction was overturned), you have a legal right to counsel. 

Do Auto Insurers Ever Try To Get Out Of Paying A DUI Claim?

Despite what is supposed to happen, insurers may balk at paying and outright deny a claim. Insurance companies are not required to cover intentional acts– like arson, vehicular manslaughter, or damaging your vehicle in a fit of rage. In the event of a DUI, they could argue that you “drank so much” in a way that suggests your actions must have been intentional. They will argue that any reasonable, rational person would have known they could not consume such a high level of intoxicating substances and still drive. This is a matter of “he said / she said,” but it can be disputed with the right defense.

What Should I Do If My Insurer Refuses To Pay My DUI Expenses?

It is important to speak with a firm of skilled New York city car accident lawyers following a DUI accident. The case review and initial consultation are always free, which will help you explore your options for compensation. If your insurer is refusing to cover you, a personal injury lawyer can obtain a copy of your written policy, including any exclusionary clauses. We can fight for your rights, particularly when your charges were dropped or reduced—contact us today at Rutter Mills to learn more.