How can a DWI impact insurance rates?

The consequences of a criminal conviction can sometimes go beyond official punishments handed down from authorities. For example, a criminal record could impact employability or the ability to secure a loan. In the case of a conviction for driving while impaired (DWI), insurance rates are one major “unofficial” consequence one can face following a conviction. Here is a short FAQ on how DWIs can impact insurance rates in North Carolina. 

What consequences can one face if found guilty of a DWI? 

Depending on the details surrounding the case, consequences can include license suspension, fines and/or time in jail. In addition to these consequences, insurance companies will likely increase premiums. 

How much more will a driver with a DWI pay for vehicle insurance? 

Forbes Advisor recently analyzed information from multiple insurers and found that the average increase for a driver with a DWI is 74%. However, North Carolina has a much higher average increase of 314%. This equates to several thousand dollars in average premiums per year.  

When do premiums increase after a DWI? 

Premiums generally increase at renewal time. A DWI, as well as any other offenses like a speeding ticket or accident, will be calculated into the renewal rate.  

How long do premiums stay high after a DWI? 

In North Carolina, legally, insurance companies can consider infractions for up to three years when calculating premiums.  

For those accused of DWI, there are many consequences to consider when facing the charge. Having an experienced North Carolina criminal attorney can make a big difference in the overall outcome. A DWI can result in official punishments from the state, as well as substantial residual consequences, such as increased insurance premiums, so seeking legal advice is highly advisable. 

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