Can Car Insurance Companies Drug Test You?

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

When you apply for a new car insurance policy, you’ll undergo screening by your car insurance company. Insurance companies use these screenings to determine how much coverage they can offer you, as well as how much you’ll need to pay in monthly premiums. You may be wondering if car insurance companies can drug test you. While it’s common practice for life insurance companies to use drug tests for their customers, it is extremely rare for car insurance companies to do so. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance and drug testing.

Can Car Insurance Companies Drug Test You?

Car Insurance Companies Almost Never Drug Test

In general, car insurance companies do not administer drug tests. Legally, they are allowed to administer them as part of a car insurance contract, but it is not common practice. You will, however, need to provide plenty of other information in order to qualify for a car insurance policy. Your insurer will likely collect information about your vehicle, your personal demographics, and your driving history, all of which are used to determine the cost of your premiums. However, just because insurance companies can’t drug test you doesn’t mean that your drug use won’t affect your ability to get coverage.

Law Enforcement Can Drug Test You

Although your car insurance company can’t test you for drugs, law enforcement can, and that’s where drug use can cause problems for your car insurance coverage. Law enforcement will often conduct drug tests after an accident, and your car insurance company will be able to see this information. You must comply with these law enforcement tests or face legal consequences. If you are found to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you will likely be found either partially or fully at fault for the accident. Some car insurance companies may even refuse to pay your claim if you are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. Read your contract thoroughly before signing to confirm your insurer’s policy on this.

Doctors May Ask For A Drug Test

There are some instances where doctors may ask for a drug test after a car accident as well. These types of drug tests are usually for health insurance reasons and are typically unrelated to law enforcement drug tests or your car insurance. You have the right to refuse a drug test by your doctor.

Drug Use Can Still Affect Your Insurance Premiums

Even though car insurance companies don’t conduct their own drug tests, that doesn’t mean you should be driving while under the influence. In addition to being extremely dangerous, this type of drug use can actually affect the cost of your car insurance premiums. If you have a history of drunk driving, whether that be a DUI or an accident as the result of driving under the influence, you could actually be denied coverage. You will likely be designated a ‘high-risk driver’ and in some cases may even need an SR-22 certificate. This limits the number of insurers who will cover you, and it will be very difficult to find affordable premiums. If you have a positive law enforcement drug test, your insurance company will likely raise your premiums or may even suspend your coverage.

What Should I Do If I Test Positive for Drugs After an Accident?

Mistakes happen to even the best of us, and if you’ve tested positive for drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel, you may be wondering what your next step is. In many cases, it makes sense to find a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you with any legal charges related to a DUI or citation, but they can also help you if you think you’ve been wrongfully denied car insurance coverage. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most car insurance companies have provisions in place to deny coverage for alcohol and drug-related accidents, so you may not have much of a case. If your car insurance coverage has been canceled due to a positive drug test, it’s important to start looking for a new policy as soon as possible. There are many local and national insurance carriers that specialize in coverage for high-risk drivers. Do not get behind the wheel without car insurance, particularly if you already have a DUI. This could lead to further legal problems and even a suspension of your driver’s license in some cases.

Alternatives to Driving Drunk

If you’ve been drinking or using drugs, it’s important not to get behind the wheel under any circumstances. There are always alternatives to driving under the influence. Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber make it easy and affordable to get home safely. If you don’t have ride-sharing apps available in your area, consider calling a traditional cab instead. Another good strategy is to have a designated driver for the evening when you go drinking in a group. If you live in an area that has public transit, that is also a safe way to avoid drinking and driving. Public transit is very affordable and eliminates the need for parking as well. If you plan on taking public transit for a night out, be sure to look up your city’s bus or train schedules ahead of time, so you don’t end up stranded. If you don’t have the option of a cab, designated driver, or public transit, always call a friend or family member for help instead of driving home. Your loved ones will want to make sure you get home safely.

Driving while inebriated is something that everyone should avoid, regardless of the situation. If you get caught drinking and driving by law enforcement, you could end up losing your car insurance and even getting a DUI. However, it is extremely rare for car insurance companies to conduct drug tests themselves, and it’s not something to worry about when applying for a new policy.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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