Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious legal offense that can have lasting consequences, including higher car insurance rates. If you have been convicted of a DWI, you may be wondering how it will affect your car insurance rates and what steps you can take to minimize the impact. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about car insurance after a DWI, including the factors that will affect your rates, tips for finding affordable coverage, and answers to common questions.
Car Insurance After DWI: What You Need to Know
If you have been convicted of a DWI, your car insurance rates are likely to increase significantly. This is because insurance companies view drivers with a DWI on their record as high-risk, meaning that they are more likely to be involved in accidents and file claims. However, not all insurance companies treat DWIs the same way, so it’s important to shop around for coverage.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates After DWI
When it comes to car insurance rates after a DWI, several factors will impact how much you can expect to pay. Some of the most important factors include:
|State||Car insurance rates vary widely by state, and some states are more forgiving of DWIs than others.|
|Driving Record||In addition to the DWI conviction, other factors on your driving record (such as speeding tickets or at-fault accidents) can affect your rates.|
|Age and Gender||Younger drivers and male drivers tend to pay more for car insurance, regardless of their driving record.|
|Type of Vehicle||Some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others, and this can affect your rates after a DWI.|
|Credit Score||Many insurance companies use credit scores as a factor in determining rates, and a lower score can lead to higher rates.|
Finding Affordable Car Insurance After DWI
While it’s true that car insurance rates are likely to increase after a DWI, there are still ways to find affordable coverage. Here are some tips to help you save money:
Shop Around for Coverage
Not all car insurance companies treat DWIs the same way, so it’s important to shop around for coverage. You may be able to find a company that offers better rates for drivers with a DWI on their record.
Consider a High-Risk Insurer
If you’re having trouble finding coverage with a traditional car insurance company, you may need to look for a high-risk insurer. These companies specialize in providing coverage to drivers who are considered high-risk, including those with DWIs on their record.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Many car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who complete a defensive driving course. Taking a course may help offset some of the higher rates you can expect after a DWI.
Drive a Safe Vehicle
Some vehicles are safer than others, and insurance companies take this into account when determining rates. If you’re worried about the cost of car insurance after a DWI, consider driving a vehicle that is known for its safety features.
Improve Your Credit Score
While it may take some time, improving your credit score can help you save money on car insurance. Many insurance companies use credit scores as a factor in determining rates, so a higher score can lead to lower rates.
Consider Dropping Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
If you have an older vehicle that isn’t worth much, it may not be worth carrying comprehensive and collision coverage. Dropping these types of coverage can help lower your car insurance rates.
FAQs About Car Insurance After DWI
1. How Long Will a DWI Affect My Car Insurance Rates?
A DWI will typically stay on your driving record for three to five years, and during this time, you can expect your car insurance rates to be higher.
2. Can I Get Car Insurance After a DWI?
Yes, you can still get car insurance after a DWI, but you may have to work harder to find coverage. This is because many insurance companies view drivers with a DWI on their record as high-risk.
3. Will I Need an SR-22 After a DWI?
In many states, drivers who have been convicted of a DWI will need to file an SR-22 form with their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This form certifies that you have the minimum amount of liability insurance required by law.
4. How Much Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase After a DWI?
The amount that your car insurance rates will increase after a DWI will vary depending on several factors, such as your age, gender, driving record, and location. However, you can typically expect your rates to increase by 50% or more.
5. Will I Lose My Car Insurance After a DWI?
While it’s possible that your car insurance company could drop you after a DWI, this is relatively rare. Instead, you’ll likely see an increase in your rates.
6. Can I Appeal a Car Insurance Rate Increase After a DWI?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to appeal a car insurance rate increase after a DWI. However, success is not guaranteed, and you’ll need to provide evidence that your rates are unfair.
7. Can I Get Car Insurance After a DWI If I Don’t Own a Car?
If you don’t own a car but still need insurance coverage, you may be able to get a non-owner car insurance policy. This type of policy provides liability coverage when you’re driving a vehicle that you don’t own.
While a DWI can make it more difficult to find affordable car insurance coverage, it is still possible to get the coverage you need. By shopping around for coverage, taking steps to improve your driving habits, and being proactive about finding discounts, you can minimize the impact of a DWI on your car insurance rates. If you have more questions about car insurance after a DWI, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced insurance agent.