In New Jersey, if you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above you will be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). DWIs are serious criminal offenses that carry harsh penalties. Typically, you can expect penalties such as fines, license suspension, ignition interlock devices, and even jail time. However, the repercussions of a DWI don’t stop there. DWIs can have a significant effect on your auto insurance rates. In the unfortunate event that you or someone you care about has been charged with a DWI, contact a skilled Middlesex County DWI Attorney who can represent your interests in court to help you get reduced or dismissed charges. In addition, please continue reading to learn more about how a DWI conviction can cause your auto insurance rates to increase significantly.
Could a DWI affect your insurance rates in New Jersey?
Ultimately, if you are convicted of a DWI, you should expect insurance companies to charge you a higher rate when it comes to auto insurance as you are considered a “high-risk” driver. To calculate your rate, insurance companies examine your driving history to determine your future risk of being involved in an auto accident. If you are a “high-risk” driver, insurance companies will increase your rate based on the fact that you are at a heightened risk of being involved in an accident. In New Jersey, according to statistics, if you have been convicted of a DWI your auto insurance rate will increase by 74%. However, the percentage ultimately depends on what insurance company as some charge higher rates than others. Regardless, if you are convicted of a DWI, your auto insurance rates will rise.
How long could it affect my rate?
In New Jersey, you can expect insurance companies to charge you higher rates based on your DWI conviction for several years. However, typically DWIs affect a driver’s insurance rates for 5 to 10 years depending on whether the individual has other moving violations or lapsed coverage. This spike in insurance rates can last for several years because DWIs stay on your record permanently. When insurance companies calculate quotes they look at your driving record. Oftentimes, insurance companies only look back up to 5 years, however, they could look back even further if they choose to do so. Essentially, this means that a DWI conviction can affect your auto insurance rates for years.
Could my policy be canceled?
Insurance companies are private financial institutions. Insurance companies have the right to cancel a policyholder’s policy after a DWI conviction. In addition, insurance companies can choose to deny you a renewed policy solely based on a DWI conviction. An insurance company may choose to terminate your policy if they believe you have too high a risk of being involved in an auto accident.
Ultimately, a DWI conviction will negatively affect your auto insurance rates. If you or someone you love has been charged with DWI, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our trusted and determined attorneys who can help defend your rights. Allow our firm to help you today.