DWI insurance, which is also known as DUI insurance, is nothing more than an auto insurance policy that covers your vehicle when you have had a DWI conviction. If this is your first time experiencing getting insurance with a DWI than you are probably filled with anxiety and have heard several horror stories regarding the rates. Do not let this scare you as you will see that it doesn’t have to be that bad. You will see in this article that we have several insurance companies in Charlotte and throughout all of NC and SC that specialize in insuring those with a DWI conviction.
Insurance carriers determine your auto insurance rates largely on what kind of driver you are. The higher the number of violations or accidents you have, the higher your insurance rates. North Carolina charges a certain amount of points depending on what kind of violation you have had. Insurance companies also charge points against your insurance. A DWI conviction charges 12 insurance points and 12 license points on your record.
If you have not experienced a change in your auto insurance rate following your DWI conviction, you will soon. Most insurance carriers in NC only pull your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) prior to your renewal. Your rate will more than likely not change until your policy is up for renewal and your insurance company has pulled your reports showing your DWI conviction. It is this reason that your insurance company may not have “found” the violation for up to a year.
It is up to each insurance provider to determine if coverage will be kept in force or not. Some companies will drop the physical damage (comprehensive and collision) coverage for your policy leaving you to find a carrier that will provide this insurance for you. Some insurance carriers will keep coverage but increase rates up to 450%. The insurance carrier that you will find with reasonable rates generally is one that offers “high risk” insurance, which provides coverage to those with a number of insurance points.
As you are probably aware, your license will be suspended if you receive a DWI. Below are a list of suspensions and fines for each corresponding DWI conviction.
First Conviction– Mandatory license revocation for one year. Limited driving privileges can be given after 30 days. Fine up to $2,000.
Second Conviction-Mandatory license revocation of four years if convicted within three years of the first offense. Limited driving privileges will not be issued if second offense occurs within seven years of the first conviction. Fine up to $1,000.
Third Conviction– Mandatory permanent driver license revocation if at least one of the prior convictions occurred within the past 5 years. Fine up to $2,000.
Fourth Conviction– Mandatory permanent driver license revocation. Considered a felony if the three prior DWI convictions occurred in the past 5 years.
When your license is restored after a suspension for DWI, or when a limited driving privilege is issued after a DWI conviction, there is a stricter Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) restriction. The first restoration allows .04% and any following conviction allows 0.00%. NC makes regular changes to the above laws so check with your attorney as to the updated laws in your area.
Now the good news. Just because you have had a conviction for a DWI does not mean that you have to take the punishment in the way of higher rates or dropped coverage that your current insurance company may be doling out. We have the best rates in Charlotte and all of NC for DWI insurance. Our insurance agency writes through multiple insurance companies that see your risk a little differently. Whereas some insurance companies see you to be a higher risk, there are several others that see people who have gone through the unfortunate incident as an isolated event. In fact, statistics show quite often that those with a DUI conviction are much more careful after going through such a traumatic experience.
Another question we are frequently asked is, how long will this be on my record? A lot of carriers will look at violations, especially major ones, for 5 years or more. Most of our insurance companies will only charge for 3 years from your conviction. All the more reason to shop. A DUI on your record can literally mean thousands of dollars in savings over the course of the several years it is on your record.
People are often shocked to find that their rates with a new DWI conviction can be less than that of their previous policy with another carrier prior to the DWI. Do yourself a favor and take the 10 minutes it takes for us to quote our insurance companies to see how low your rate can be. Our knowledgeable agent can also answer any other questions you may have. Call us today at 704-494-9495.