Jersey Shore Personal Injury and Employment Specialists

How can a New Jersey DWI affect car insurance coverage and rates?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | DWI |

Drivers in New Jersey generally have an obligation to carry liability insurance. Their property damage and personal injury coverage can pay for the costs incurred by others if they are at fault for a wreck.

The average person doesn’t have a high enough income or adequate personal resources to fully cover the often staggering expenses generated in a car crash. They rely on liability insurance to replace someone else’s vehicle, pay their medical bills and replace their lost income. Car insurance protects drivers from personal financial liability and helps ensure that they remain compliant with state law.

Those who have blemishes on their driving record might worry about losing their insurance or paying more for their coverage. A driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense is one of the most serious traffic infractions possible in New Jersey. What impact could a DWI conviction have on someone’s car insurance?

Premium prices might increase dramatically

Insurance companies look at a driver’s record when they apply for coverage and also every year when they renew their policy. A DWI conviction is likely to produce a massive increase in overall policy costs. The average insurance policy in New Jersey costs a driver $1,592 for a year without a DWI conviction. Those with a DUI on their record can expect to pay, on average, 74% more for their coverage. The annual costs surge to $2,773 for a single DWI conviction. Those with multiple DWI offenses or a history of other major traffic infractions could pay far more.

In some cases, an insurance company may refuse to underwrite someone’s policy because of a DWI. People may need to look into new insurance carriers or a different policy to maintain their coverage after a DWI conviction. Those increased costs persist for several years after someone regains their driving privileges following a DWI offense.

The total economic impact of a DWI conviction generally includes fines, court costs and the financial consequences of a license suspension, in addition to increased insurance costs, at a minimum. Learning about the secondary consequences of a DWI conviction might inspire some people to work with a skilled legal team to defend against their charges. Drivers who successfully defend against DWI charges can avoid the insurance costs and other economic setbacks of a conviction.