OWI Convictions May Increase Your Car Insurance Rates. Why?
Got an OWI? Not only could you lose your driver’s license, go to jail, and pay fines, but your car insurance rates may increase. Insurance companies are notorious for maximizing profits at the expense of their policyholders, so it comes as no surprise that an OWI conviction results in higher premiums. It gives your insurer another excuse to jack up your rates and empty your pockets.
Depending on your car insurance policy, your rates could increase anywhere from 80%, which is average, to 300% in extreme cases. Your insurer may drop you altogether if circumstances call for it. Factors such as your policy terms, driving history, and age are considered when deciding how much to raise your rates.
With this in mind, you may be wondering why car insurance rates increase after an OWI conviction. Simply put, your insurer views an OWI as a “red flag” and will perceive you as a risk to yourself and others on the road. An OWI makes you a liability on the roads and insurers must respond accordingly.
As you know, car insurance is a risk-management tool that helps protect you from financial loss in certain situations. You pay your monthly premiums in exchange for coverage in the event that you get into an accident, injure or kill someone while driving, or damage property with your car. So, if you are liable for an auto-related incident like an OWI, your insurer could refuse coverage or increase your rates to account for the higher odds of you getting into an accident, getting a ticket, or even getting another OWI conviction.
Will My Insurance Company Know About the OWI?
Should you tell your insurer about their OWI conviction? To put it lightly, your insurance company will find out about your OWI regardless of whether or not you speak up. Although the terms of your current policy may require you to report an OWI conviction, your insurer could also find out about your conviction when you renew your policy, apply for a new policy, or when they conduct a periodic review of your DMW records. Once they see an OWI conviction and license suspension, your insurer will adjust your rates or drop you altogether.
In short, insurance companies find out about OWI convictions sooner rather than later. Unless your policy specifically requires you to notify the insurer about a conviction, you are NOT obligated to report it.
Who Do I Call After Getting an OWI Charge?
We strongly encourage you to call our office at (414) 882-8382 to speak with us about your situation. Our Milwaukee OWI attorney is a former prosecutor with 20+ years of experience under his belt, meaning he knows how both sides of the justice system operate. We will fight to get your charges reduced or dropped completely, allowing you to avoid jail time, license suspension, fines, and, of course, increased car insurance rates!
Contact us today.