How a DWI Conviction Impacts Car Insurance Rates in NJ
Almost everyone knows that DWI charges can be costly in New Jersey. A DUI conviction often results in thousands of dollars in fines, fees, penalties, and assessments. You may have to pay to install an ignition interlock device in your car. Jail time and driver’s license suspensions can result in time missing work and reduced earnings. But few consequences of DWI are more expensive than a conviction’s impact on your car insurance premiums. This article examines how a DWI conviction can affect your car insurance rates in New Jersey. These extraordinarily high costs in and of themselves can often justify paying for experienced legal counsel to vigorously contest your DWI charge. If you would like to speak with a highly credentialed DWI defense lawyer about your arrest for DUI in Seaside Heights, Berkeley Twp, Lacey Twp, Brick, Jackson, Stafford, Toms River, or elsewhere in South Jersey, contact us today. Please call (848) 238-2100 for immediate assistance or use our convenient form to request a free consultation.
How Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance in New Jersey?
New Jersey car insurance in not cheap. After you sustain a DWI conviction, however, these already high rates get much, much worse. You may think that if you simply keep your current insurance carrier at your current rates, even after you have been convicted of a DUI, you may be able to avoid these steep insurance rate increases. Think again. Insurers can unfortunately check your driving record and refuse to renew or even terminate your car insurance after you are charged with and convicted of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs. If they don’t refuse to provide auto insurance coverage for you, the premiums that you will pay are considerably higher.
Furthermore, following your period of driver’s license suspension due to DWI, you will likely be required to file a form SR22 (or sometimes a form FR44) proving that you have car insurance despite being classified as a “high-risk” driver. The complications associated with filing SR22 and similar forms can be additionally expensive and time-consuming. If you cannot afford the expensive insurance associated with SR22 forms and high-risk drivers, you may not be able to lift the suspension on your license, and by the same token, you may not legally be able to get to work. This can have additional, severe financial consequences for you.
How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up With a DWI in NJ?
Insurers tend to consider drivers who have gotten a DWI to be “high-risk drivers.” You may only be eligible to receive certain specialized types of DWI insurance made available (at significantly increased cost) to substance abuse offenders. As for the specific costs of coverage, the average cost of a car insurance policy in New Jersey is $1,678.65 annually, substantially higher than the US average of $1,397.11. The average cost of car insurance in New Jersey following a DWI conviction is a whopping $2,951.22 – a 75% increase. The national average cost of post-DWI car insurance is $2,416.87, meaning that New Jersey insurers penalize you appreciably more for sustaining a DWI than insurers do in other states. And that’s just the average. Allstate charges close to $4,872 annually for post-DWI insurance; State Farm charges an incredible $6,755 for DWI insurance following a DWI conviction. Bottom line: it is really, really expensive to get a DWI in New Jersey.
Can a Lawyer Help Me With a DWI Case in Seaside Heights NJ?
Given the high stakes involved with a DWI conviction in New Jersey, it is simply in your best interest to get the advice of a knowledgeable DUI attorney. Contact our local offices in Point Pleasant at (848) 238-2100 to discuss your DWI case and we can tell you about potential defenses for the charges against you. We serve all Jersey Shore areas, including Manchester Twp, Barnegat, Point Pleasant Borough, Long Beach Twp, and Little Egg Harbor. Consultations are always provided free of charge.