Automobile Insurance Rates After a DWI Conviction
One of the main concerns that many people have about a DWI conviction, is the effect it will have on their auto insurance. Admittedly, this is often one of the biggest effects that a DWI conviction can have on your life. For those who don’t know, a conviction for DWI will result in huge increases in your insurance premiums. Any DWI conviction will result in 12 insurance points. This is separate from the driver license points system. Getting 12 insurance points can result in an increase in insurance premiums of over 300%. This means if you have a monthly insurance bill of $100, you could expect to pay $400 a month for insurance. This obviously could be very problematic for a family budget.
Obviously, this is a huge incentive to fight your DWI charge. If you are not convicted, then you don’t face any insurance premium increases. That is to say, if you are charged with DWI, then your insurance does not go up. It is only if you are found guilty or plead guilty, that your insurance rates are effected.
If you are convicted, there may be some options that can help you keep a lower insurance premium. Some insurance companies specialize in insuring so called “high risk” drivers. They recognize that a person who has a DWI conviction is often scared onto the straight and narrow. However, most insurance companies will raise your rates or drop you if you have a DWI conviction. If they do choose to insure you, they may cede you to the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility. All insurance companies share the risk of the insured people in this pool. The purpose of this pool is to allow high risk drivers to get insurance while preventing insurance companies from holding too much risk themselves.
However, some insurance companies are willing to take the risk on a voluntary basis, which means that they are willing to insure you, without putting you into the reinsurance facility. This allows them to offer you lower rates than typical insurance company would give you. These companies specialize in insuring high risk drivers. Since they compete for high risk drivers, this causes prices to go down. However, your premiums will still be much higher than they were previously.
However, you are still going to have to take the case seriously. Insuring under these other companies will still result in getting higher rates. Your best bet is to try to fight the DWI before you do anything else. If there is a potential legal argument that can protect your insurance rates, it is certainly worth making. Also, if there is a factual argument, like a problem with the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests or the breath testing results, it is worth making, because it can protect your insurance rates. An attorney can help you effectively use your rights. It may be worthwhile to fight your DWI.