insure logo

Why you can trust

quality icon

Quality Verified

At, we are committed to providing the timely, accurate and expert information consumers need to make smart insurance decisions. All our content is written and reviewed by industry professionals and insurance experts. Our team carefully vets our rate data to ensure we only provide reliable and up-to-date insurance pricing. We follow the highest editorial standards. Our content is based solely on objective research and data gathering. We maintain strict editorial independence to ensure unbiased coverage of the insurance industry.

No matter what type of car insurance you buy, your policy won’t pay out for intentional and fraudulent acts. For example, if you set your car on fire, your car insurance company won’t pay for it. However, there are cases where insurers will have to pay for damage resulting from an illegal act – as long it was accidental. Here are examples.

Does car insurance cover a DUI?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. However, if you drive drunk and cause a car accident, your car insurance policy will pay for damages you cause — up to the liability limits of your policy. This means your insurance would pay for damages to the light pole you damage or cover the medical bills of someone you injure.

If you torch your home, you’re intentionally committing a crime. With a DUI, you understand that it’s against the law to drive under the influence, but you don’t expect to get into an accident.

While your auto insurance company will pay for the damages caused by driving under the influence, the claim will drive your car insurance rates through the roof. Depending on your insurance company, you could also face other DUI penalties such as nonrenewal or cancellation.

Key Takeaways

  • If you cause an accident under the influence of alcohol, your insurer might pay for damages or the medical bills of someone you injure.
  • Your insurance company will cover you for the damage you cause while driving recklessly.
  • Health insurance will also pay for the emergency care if you overdose on illegal drugs.
  • Even if the insurance company pays for your illegal acts, these claims will skyrocket your insurance rates.

Does car insurance cover reckless driving?

Reckless driving is a more serious charge than simply speeding a few miles above the speed limit. It is punishable by large fines, license suspension or revocation and even imprisonment. Still, if you cause a crash while driving recklessly, your insurer will pay for the damages you cause, up to the limits of your policy.

However, insurance companies view these charges seriously. Such a charge on your driving record will certainly result in a high car insurance quote.

While insurance companies generally don’t pay out for illegal activity, there are some instances when reckless driving or damages from a DUI are covered. While you’ll need to check with your insurance company, it’s best to avoid these acts altogether.

author image
Michelle Megna


Michelle, the former editorial director, insurance, at QuinStreet, is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. Prior to joining QuinStreet, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.