All About Car Insurance After a DWI in Texas

A DWI conviction can have a huge effect on your life. The changes to your criminal record, your driving privileges, and your driver’s license are the first things most people think about. It’s only later that they realize that it is also difficult and more expensive to get car insurance after a DWI in Texas.

Insurance companies consider people who have a DWI conviction on their records to be high risk drivers. For this reason, some auto insurance providers will refuse coverage to drivers with a DWI on their records. The insurance companies that do accept drivers with a DWI charge higher rates for the same coverage. After your DWI conviction, your insurance provider could cancel your coverage or increase your rate substantially.

You May Need To File an SR 22 Form To Get Your Driver’s License Back

An SR 22 financial responsibility insurance certificate is a car liability insurance document that your judge may require you to file with the Texas Department of Public Safety. If you have to maintain an SR 22, you must do so for 2 years after the date of your conviction.

While you may have heard people call the SR form “SR-22 insurance,” it is a certificate that your insurance company issues, not an insurance policy. The SR 22 form verifies that you are maintaining motor vehicle liability insurance at the state minimum levels. In Texas, the minimum liability coverage amounts are:

While you may have heard people call the SR form “SR-22 insurance,” it is a certificate that your insurance company issues, not an insurance policy. The SR 22 form verifies that you are maintaining motor vehicle liability insurance at the state minimum levels. In Texas, the minimum liability coverage amounts are:

$30,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in one crash.

$60,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one crash.

$25,000 for damage to or destruction of property of others in one crash.


If You Need an SR-22 but Don’t Have a Car, You Can Purchase a Non-Owner Car Insurance Policy


If you don’t own a vehicle, but your judge requires you to file an SR-22 form, you can buy a non-owner car insurance policy. This type of liability coverage will allow you to obtain the minimum insurance coverage that you need even if you don’t own a car. Non-owner auto insurance companies typically require that you meet the following conditions:

  • You have a valid driver’s license or are eligible to obtain one by filing an SR-22.
  • You don’t own a car.
  • You don’t otherwise have regular access to a vehicle.

Non-owner auto insurance coverage typically costs less than standard car insurance policies since insurance providers usually consider people without regular access to a vehicle as lower risk drivers. While the price will vary between companies, the average cost of a non-owner policy is $474, Unfortunately, if you have a DWI conviction, your cost will almost always be higher than the average rate, since insurance providers view you as a risker driver.

While non-owner auto insurance is much cheaper than standard auto liability coverage, some major car insurance companies do not offer it.


Your DWI Conviction Will Increase the Cost of Your Insurance Policy


A DWI conviction can cause your auto insurance rates to increase astronomically. Insurance.com analyzed the average annual auto insurance rate of 10 ZIP codes in Texas and discovered that rates jumped by 59% after a first-time DUI conviction. Other factors, such as your history, will also impact the amount your car insurance rate increases. Fortunately, as time goes on, the DWI will have a smaller impact on your auto insurance rates.

The Insurance.com study also compared annual insurance rates across the country and found the following national averages post-DWI auto insurance rates:

  • State Farm — $1,633 (an increase of $447 per year)
  • Progressive — $2,019 (an increase of $501 per year)
  • Farmers — $2,228 (an increase of $708 per year)
  • Allstate — $3,132 (an increase of $1,234 per year)
  • Nationwide — $3,563 (an increase of $1,977 per year)

The study found that the cost of insurance coverage varied nearly $2,000 between the most expensive and least expensive companies. Since these numbers are just averages, the actual cost of your insurance after a DWI will differ based on a mixture of factors including your driving record, your gender, your age, how much you drive, what city you live in, and the type of vehicle you drive are just a few examples. So to find the best auto insurance rate possible after your DWI conviction, you’ll need to shop around and get auto insurance quotes from a variety of providers.


If You’ve Been Turned Down by Insurance Companies After a DWI, You Can Get Assigned Risk Coverage


A DWI conviction will make it more challenging for you to find an auto insurance provider that will accept you. Fortunately, most states offer an “assigned risk” auto insurance program to help extremely high-risk drivers get coverage. Under assigned risk insurance programs, auto insurers must accept a certain amount of drivers each year in proportion to their market share.

The high-risk drivers are placed in an “assigned risk pool” with other extremely high risk drivers, which makes the price of insurance through assigned risk programs higher than other insurance options. Therefore, it’s wise to shop around as much as you can before resorting to an assigned risk program.

If car insurance companies keep turning you down, Texas offers assigned risk insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAIPA). TAIPA only offers state minimum coverage, so you will not be able to obtain physical damage coverage.

To be eligible for auto insurance through TAIPA, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license or be able to obtain one if you are issued an SR-22.
  • You must be a resident of Texas or have a vehicle registered in Texas.
  • You must certify that you have been rejected by two auto insurance companies within the last 60 days.