Do auto insurance companies drug test?

While insurance companies won't drug test potential customers, a positive drug test result after an accident can bring about negative consequences, which may include denial of future coverage or higher rates.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2022

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Things to Remember...

  • Law enforcement can request a drug test following an accident 
  • Testing positive on a drug test administered by law enforcement could cause changes to your insurance policy
  • Insurance companies can use information obtained through a drug test to determine whether or not to pay out on a claim

Insurance companies don’t require a drug test for a client to obtain auto insurance. An insurer for an automobile policy will also never request a drug test when you file a claim. So if you were worried, and asking questions such as, “Does Farmers Insurance drug test potential customers?” or, “Will I have to get a drug test completed if I want to sign up with GEICO?” the answers will be that you don’t have to have a drug test done.

If after obtaining insurance you are in an auto accident or there is a suspicion you are under the influence of a drug during a traffic stop, law enforcement could request that you take a drug test. Those results could then be shared with your insurance company. Depending upon the results, you could find yourself facing a steep increase in rates or shopping for a new insurer.

Auto Insurance Companies Don’t Require a Drug Test

Your insurance company will not require you to take a drug test to purchase a car insurance policy. An insurance company will also never require a drug test if you are involved in an accident.

However, if you are in an auto accident and driving under the influence is suspected, then law enforcement may request or require a drug test, depending upon the situation. The information regarding the accident and the results of any tests performed can then become available to the insurance company.

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What happens when an insurance company receives drug test information?

You are under no obligation to report any traffic violations to your insurance company. Even if you don’t report a DUI traffic stop or accident to your insurance company, the insurance company will eventually find out.

During your insurance renewal period, your auto insurance company checks your driving record for any new infractions that might cause revisions to your policy rates. Between renewal periods, anytime you are cited for a traffic violation or are involved in an accident, your insurance company may not receive the information right away but will see it at some point.

If you test positive for being under the influence of non-prescription drugs, alcohol, or even prescription drugs that are known to hinder your ability to operate a vehicle, and you are convicted, your insurance company could terminate your policy effective immediately or it could choose to not renew your policy, denying you further auto insurance from that company.

If the insurance company chooses not to terminate your policy, it could increase your rates by as much as 25% or more due to you being a high-risk driver.

What are my options for insurance following a DUI?

It’s a fact that alcohol and other substances hinder your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Not only do you pose a danger to yourself and anyone riding in the car with you, but you risk the lives of the people sharing the road with you. You also run the risk of not being able to find cheap auto insurance after a DUI

When you are caught driving under the influence, several things could happen:

  •   Your car insurance company could terminate your policy.
  •   If your policy isn’t terminated, your rates will most definitely increase. 
  •   If there was an accident, your insurance company could deny your claim.
  •   You’ll have to appear in court and could be ordered to serve jail time, pay fines, participate in mandatory classes, or all three. 

If you are involved in an accident, and it is determined you were under the influence of a substance, your insurance rates won’t be your only concern. You will also have to contend with the court of law.

If your insurance company chooses to continue to cover you at a higher rate, you could be in for a long wait before your rates go back down. Depending on the state you live in, a DUI could stay on your record for between three and five years. Even when the DUI falls off your driving record, it could still haunt you through your criminal record for the remainder of your life.

You may have no choice but to change insurance companies. Some insurance companies are more willing to insure high-risk drivers who have a past DUI. The more DUIs you have, the harder it will be to find a company willing to insure you. Taking safe driving courses could help lower your rates, but the only sure option you have is time. During that time, change your habits so your driving record stays clean.

Can an insurance company deny accident coverage?

When you purchase an automobile insurance policy, you sign an agreement with the insurance company that includes many provisions. One of those provisions could be the denial of coverage if you cause an accident while under the influence of a substance.

Most insurance companies will cover a DUI accident. According to Law Insider, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your accident, the state in which you reside, and the company with whom you have coverage, it could view driving under the influence as intentional misconduct.

In most cases, your insurance company should cover your claim, but if your company denies your claim following a DUI accident, you may want to hire an attorney. An attorney can help convince the insurance company to cover your claim, but this could be a fruitless and costly endeavor.

Without insurance, you could be personally liable for any costs associated with damages to your vehicle, and anyone else involved in the accident. You would also be liable for any medical expenses incurred for yourself and others involved in the accident you caused.

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Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test or other drug tests?

Field sobriety tests are different than drug tests. Unlike drug tests, field sobriety tests are not definitive. The officer could ask you to perform a task, such as touching your finger to your nose, or they could use a preliminary alcohol screening device to test for the presence of alcohol.

You are within your right to refuse any test requested by law enforcement. However, in many states, part of your contract for obtaining your license to operate a vehicle requires you to submit to these tests when requested.

Insurance and Drug Tests: Keep Your Record Clean

The best approach for avoiding DUIs and DUI-related accidents is never to drink alcohol or use drugs before taking control of a car. Always check the warning labels on any new medicines you are prescribed. The associated risks of driving impaired simply aren’t worth it.

If you do use a substance and get caught, or worse, cause an accident, the resulting penalties from your insurance company, as well as the law, can be life-changing.

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