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The impact of a DWI conviction on car insurance

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Dwi Defense |

New York police officers can arrest anyone who fails a chemical test or displays clear impairment while driving. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses can put someone in jail and temporarily cost them their driver’s license.

Despite the risk of potentially serious penalties, quite a few drivers accused of intoxication on the road plead guilty. They maintain their innocence but decide that they want to avoid the stress and embarrassment of a criminal trial.

While that approach to charges may seem cost-effective, it can actually be a major mistake. Drivers frequently have to consider the secondary financial implications of a DWI conviction. An increase in insurance costs is likely to follow a guilty plea to DWI allegations.

How convictions affect insurance coverage

Insurance companies want to make money. They protect their profit margins by carefully assessing the risk that each policy represents. The greater the chances of a policyholder pursuing a large claim, the more the insurance company may charge for their insurance coverage. Factors including age, sex and driving history all influence insurance costs.

A recent DWI conviction is an indicator of a driver posing a significantly elevated risk of a large claim when compared with members of the general public. Insurance companies tend to substantially increase what they charge after a DWI offense.

According to an analysis of quotes from multiple insurance companies, a single DWI can massively increase insurance costs. Drivers with full coverage can expect to pay approximately 74% more for their policies after a first DWI conviction. Those increased costs can persist for multiple years after an arrest and conviction.

In some cases, drivers may have to scramble to find a new insurance provider. The addition of a DWI to an individual’s record could make the degree of risk involved in insuring them untenable for their insurance provider. People may have to buy into higher-risk insurance pools, which could substantially increase what they end up paying for coverage.

Especially if a driver has multiple prior citations or previous DWI violations, a conviction could result in major financial implications. Choosing to fight DWI charges can help to protect people from criminal consequences, financial penalties and a criminal record. Those who fight DWI charges successfully can minimize the consequences that an arrest would otherwise have on their future.