Impaired Driving and Your Insurance

impaired driving image by iStockEveryone knows the reasons not to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the legal costs associated with it. Impaired driving is a deadly affair. But how does driving impaired affect your insurance? We’ll break it down into three categories: the cost of the physical damage; the cost of accident benefits (in Ontario); and the increase in insurance premiums.

Physical damage costs

If you operate your vehicle while impaired, your insurance is null and void. This means that, if you get into an accident while drunk, you are potentially liable for all damages to your car and anyone else’s vehicle involved in the collision. This is in addition of course to the penalties of the law that you will face.

Accident benefit costs (in Ontario)

If you injure another person, their insurance will provide them with the immediate coverage they need for medical expenses, and then that person’s insurance company can sue you for compensation. Claims with even minor injuries can run into the millions of dollars.

Increase in future auto insurance premiums

Even if you got away without getting into an accident, that impaired driving charge will cost you for years to come. Your driving record is wiped clean after such a charge, and you must start over from scratch to earn the trust of an insurance company. You may find yourself paying high risk insurance rates for the next 6 years. However, the professionals at Sweet Lemons Insurance can guide you and assist in getting your normal rates back faster. Everyone makes mistakes, and we are here to map out your road to recovery while providing vital information in helping you understand the consequences involved with the actions of driving under the influence.

Financially, there are hefty penalties to drinking and driving, but those pale in comparison to the pain you can cause others. Please use a designated driver if you are going to be drinking, or call a cab.