Driving is one of the things we tend to take for granted in this busy world of ours. Getting from point A to point B seems like a mundane activity. Perhaps we don’t often think of the importance of driving safely and following the law.
But our late-night parties can sometimes turn into driving offenses. One of the worst is to be charged with DUI/DWI. It can damage your reputation, your job, and also your insurance premiums.
Yes, it’s true: picking up a DWI citation can cause your monthly insurance payments to shoot sky-high. This not only causes out-of-pocket problems, it also damages your self-esteem and reputation. With some insurance carriers, however, this may not be entirely true.
There are four ways you can tell if your DWI has affected your insurance premiums.
1. On or “off” the record
One of the surest ways to tell if you still have that driving offense on your record is to check your record. Having a DUI/DWI on your record is the fastest way for insurance companies to tack that information on your policy.
The insurance agency has the right to deny coverage, drop coverage, or simply increase premiums if a charge of driving under the influence has been filed. To find out if you have a DUI or DWI on your record, you can simply call the law enforcement office where you think the charge was filed.
2. Communicate with the insurance agency
Talk to the agency openly about the charge. Inquire about what factors play a role in DUI/DWI charges and their effect on the quote.
It usually takes some time before the premium will decrease to what it was before the charge. This all depends on the individual company and its rules. Some citations take up to three years to fall off your record.
3. What makes a “high-risk” driver
Sometimes the only factor that truly matters is what category you are listed under on your record. If you are not yet listed as a “high-risk” driver, then one DUI/DWI may not boost your premium to a high rate.
Insurance companies have their own rules that differ from business to business, so you’ll have to do your research to discover what constitutes a “high-risk” driver. Immediately after the charge, do your research and find out under which category you are listed.
4. Think ahead with a lawyer
When the charges are being considered, that’s the time to talk to your lawyer. Don’t wait until a verdict has been reached. Be sure to ask for a plea bargain to reduce any DUI/DWI charges to a lesser offense with (one may presume) lower repercussions.
Sometimes, penalties in court and premium hikes by the insurance agencies can be minimized when you do the right research. Ask your lawyer about the best ways to decrease your charges and move on with your life.
Driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated can do more damage than you think. Even though life can be very stressful, take care not to get behind the wheel if you are not absolutely sober.
The effects of a DUI can be very damaging. If you are unsure about whether or not you are able to drive, then don’t do it. Find a designated driver to get you where you need to go.
To find a lawyer or insurance agent that’s right for you, check online for the best names in their field. Consultation is key to solving this problem.