Getting into a car accident is stressful enough on its own. But when alcohol impairment or driving under the influence (DUI) is involved, the situation becomes much more complicated. If you or a loved one has been in a DUI-related accident, you probably have questions about insurance coverage. Specifically, does State Farm insurance cover DUI accidents?
The short answer is – it depends. State Farm will cover DUI accidents under certain circumstances, but not others. Keep reading to learn more about State Farm’s policies on DUI crashes and how to navigate insurance claims after impaired driving incidents.
Overview of DUI Accidents and Auto Insurance
All states have laws prohibiting driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%. For drivers under 21, most states enforce zero tolerance laws for any detectable amount of alcohol. When an impaired driver causes an accident, it is considered a DUI crash.
DUI accidents present challenges when filing insurance claims. Most auto policies cover accidents caused by negligence but exclude intentional acts. Insurers may try to categorize DUI crashes as intentional since the driver made a deliberate decision to operate a vehicle while impaired.
However, many states allow DUI accident victims to recover damages if they did not cause the crash. An experienced attorney can help argue your case.
Will State Farm Cover a Not at Fault DUI Accident?
If you are the innocent victim of a DUI crash caused by another driver, State Farm will pay your claim for property damage and medical bills under your collision, uninsured motorist, and medical payments coverages.
Your rates will not increase since you did not cause the accident. You can submit a claim to State Farm just as you would for a regular not at fault accident. The other driver’s liability insurance should also pay for your losses, up to their policy limits.
So in short, yes – State Farm will cover not at fault DUI accidents for innocent victims, just like any other crash.
What if I Caused the DUI Accident?
Here is where it gets more complicated. If you caused a DUI crash while driving impaired, State Farm has the right to deny injury and damage claims under your own policy.
However, State Farm may still provide some limited coverage in DUI accidents you caused:
Liability coverage – Pays for bodily injury and property damage inflicted on others (often in inadequate amounts for serious DUI crashes).
Uninsured motorist coverage – Can cover your medical bills if the other driver was at fault but uninsured.
Medical payments – May reimburse your medical expenses up to policy limits, though State Farm can subrogate against you.
Collision coverage – Will often pay for repairs to your vehicle despite DUI fault.
State Farm cannot legally deny coverage based solely on you being intoxicated. But they can and will deny payouts if they can prove you directly caused the accident due to your impairment.
An attorney can best advise how different coverages may apply if you caused a DUI crash. Never admit fault or discuss specifics with insurance adjusters following an impaired driving accident.
Will My Rates Go Up After a DUI Accident?
Yes, even if State Farm pays your DUI claim, you can expect significantly higher car insurance rates after any impaired driving incident.
A DUI conviction will raise your premiums by an average of 78% nationwide. In some states, rates can more than double.
At-fault accidents where you were drunk or impaired will also result in steep rate hikes, even without a DUI conviction.
Insurers can access motor vehicle records showing accidents, traffic violations, and license suspensions you receive.
State Farm may drop your policy altogether following a serious DUI crash, especially if someone was injured or killed.
Rates will remain inflated for 5+ years after a DUI accident before slowly decreasing, assuming you maintain a clean driving record going forward. Discuss options with your agent to minimize increases.
DUI Crashes and Driver’s Licenses
Most states immediately suspend the license of any driver who:
- Refuses a BAC test after being stopped on suspicion of DUI
- Fails a roadside BAC test with a 0.08% reading or higher
- Is arrested on DUI charges, even without a test
The suspension period is typically 30-90 days for a first offense. Longer revocations of 6 months to 3 years can apply for repeat offenses, accidents with injuries, or BAC levels over 0.15%.
To regain driving privileges after a DUI license suspension, you will need to file an SR-22 certificate of insurance proving you now have coverage. This is quite costly.
Additional Consequences of DUI Accidents
Beyond just insurance rate increases, a DUI crash can derail your life in many ways:
Jail time – DUI accidents can lead to criminal charges like vehicular homicide or manslaughter. Jail sentences range from weeks to years.
Fines and fees – Expect court fines and fees of $1,000+, license reinstatement costs, DUI program tuition, and more.
Reputational damage – Arrests and accidents are public records that can hurt your career and social life.
Job loss – Many professions terminate employees for DUI charges, especially roles involving driving.
Civil liability – Victims can sue you for pain and suffering damages beyond insurance payouts.
Car impound fees – Police will tow and impound vehicles involved in serious DUI crashes.
Ignition interlock – You’ll need this expensive breathalyzer device installed to drive after a DUI.
How State Farm Handles DUI Accident Claims
As with any accident, you should report a DUI crash to State Farm and file a claim as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster will investigate to determine fault and verify damages before approving payouts.
State Farm’s claims process involves:
- Taking recorded statements from all parties involved
- Reviewing police reports from the DUI incident
- Estimating repair costs if vehicles or property were damaged
- Obtaining medical documentation if injuries occurred
- Interviewing witnesses to the crash
- Reviewing any available dashcam or cell phone video footage
- Factoring in any traffic citations issued to determine fault
Cooperating fully with State Farm’s investigation helps speed up claims processing and resolution. But never admit guilt or discuss specifics of the accident. Have your attorney communicate with the insurer on your behalf.
Should I Get a DUI Attorney for My Insurance Claim?
Retaining a DUI accident attorney is highly recommended if you were involved in an impaired driving crash. An attorney can help:
- Advocate for the maximum settlement from insurance companies
- Dispute any wrongful denial of claims by your insurer
- Argue your case was not an “intentional act” if you caused the DUI accident
- Answer questions and speak to adjusters/investigators on your behalf
- Submit evidentiary documents, witness statements, and other proof to insurers
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault party or insurance provider if warranted
An attorney familiar with DUI cases is invaluable when navigating insurance claims, criminal charges, license reinstatement, and civil liability. They act as your representative so you can focus on recovery and resolving the incident.
Takeaways on State Farm Insurance and DUI Accidents
State Farm will cover not at fault DUI accidents for innocent victims, but can deny claims if you cause an impaired driving crash.
Expect dramatically increased auto insurance rates after any DUI incident. Premiums can more than double nationwide.
Beyond insurance impacts, a DUI accident can have devastating legal, financial, professional, and personal consequences.
Consult an attorney experienced with DUI crashes to protect your rights and maximize insurance claim settlements.
Never admit fault or discuss an accident with insurers without legal representation.
Do not drink and drive under any circumstances – call a rideshare, taxi, friend/family member, or sleep it off. The consequences are never worth the risk.
Does State Farm Cover Your DUI Crash?
If you’ve been involved in a DUI-related accident and need to file an insurance claim, contact a State Farm agent or representative right away. Ask any questions you have about coverage for property damage, injuries, and liability.
State Farm’s policies are complex when impairment is involved, so enlist an attorney’s help from the start. Taking prompt legal action can potentially save you money and hardship in both criminal and insurance proceedings after a DUI crash. Never assume you lack options or recourse – let a professional advocate analyze your specific accident circumstances and insurance position. With smart navigation, you can work to obtain fair claim settlements, protect your license, and avoid additional penalties following a devastating impaired driving incident.
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