A DUI charge would be a burden for anyone. Assuming nobody was injured or killed, one of the biggest concern you may have is, “How is this going to affect my auto insurance?” This is a valid concern because if the court convicts you or suspends your license, you will see a substantial increase in your car insurance premium. Let’s look at some other possible effects of a DUI on insurance.
Possible Effects of a DUI on Insurance
There is no telling exactly how much your insurance will go up because that is a decision made by each insurance carrier. They use actuaries to calculate the new risk after you get a DUI, and actuaries use high-level math. One thing is almost certain, though, your premiums will increase significantly.
In some cases, your auto insurer may choose to completely drop you from coverage leaving you uninsured and unable to legally drive. The red flag that the auto insurance companies see is the conviction or license suspension. You should do everything you can to escape the conviction and the license suspension. If you are successful, you may avoid the effects of a DUI on insurance. Usually, you will find that your premium doesn’t increase until it is time to renew your insurance. This is because the insurance company finds out about your DUI once they run your motor vehicle record.
Why Will My Premiums Increase?
The reason your premiums will increase is that after receiving a DUI, you are now a high-risk driver. So how much does a first time DUI raise your car insurance? The nationwide the average increase in premium after a DUI conviction is 20%. The exact amount depends on a multiple of factors including where you live. Densely populated cities may be closer to 40% or more. Depending on other factors, your car insurance could increase a lot more than that.
What Factors Determine the Effects of a DUI on Insurance
If insurance premium increases after a DUI include your age and prior driving record. Getting a DUI while in your 20s will, in many cases, be worse than getting one in your 50s. If you have a lot of previous violations or points, or even prior DUIs, your insurance provider may drop you from coverage. If your insurance provider drops you, you will be able to obtain liability coverage, but only in an “assigned risk” category. DUI insurance is very expensive and is only offered by some insurance carriers.
How Long Will The DUI Affect My Insurance?
Paying higher insurance premiums can be a heavy burden for many people. You may be wondering how long a DUI will affect your insurance premiums. First, you should know that a DUI stays on your record forever. It is up to the policy of each insurance carrier to determine what they will do with that information. Many factors can affect the insurance company’s decision, but the increased premiums usually stick for 3-7 years.
Other Costs Associated with DUI
Higher insurance premiums aren’t the only cost you’ll face when you have a DUI. There are also DMV surcharges. In New Jersey, there is a basic DMV surcharge of $1000 per year for three years. If you fail to pay the $3000 surcharge, you will lose your license.
If your license is revoked because of a DUI or because you failed to pay the surcharges, it’s important that you know how to restore your driving privileges so you can get back to living your life. When you plead guilty to a DUI in New Jersey, your license is suspended for three months. However, you don’t automatically get your license back when that three month period ends.
Restore Your License Before Driving
You have to take the necessary steps to restore it. Don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel with the idea that your license has been restoring just because the time has passed. Since you still have a suspended license, you may end up losing your license for a longer period, and you’ll also be facing jail time.
This is a silly yet costly mistake because the solution is so simple. All you need to do is go to the DMV when three months pass, you pay the restoration fee ($100) and get your license back.
Get A DUI Lawyer
If you find yourself in a situation where you are facing DUI charges, you need to get in touch with a good lawyer. A good lawyer knows the court system and can work on a plea bargain on your behalf. Make sure you find a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases as they will be more prepared to handle your case and get you the best deal. If you are thinking about pleading guilty but aren’t sure if that’s the right move, set up a consultation with a lawyer to get their professional opinion. That way, whatever you end up doing, you can go into with the confidence that you are making a wise decision.