Impact of DWI on Insurance Premium in New Jersey
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Tue Feb 2024
A drunk driving (commonly referred to as DWI/Driving While Intoxicated or DUI/Driving Under the Influence) conviction in New Jersey can trigger a substantial increase in your motor vehicle insurance premium. As with just about any traffic violation, insurance companies set rates according to risk – and a DWI poses a substantial future risk.
If you face a potential drunk driving conviction, you should be prepared to pay substantially higher premiums for several years. That is why it is important to immediately contact an experienced New Jersey drunk driving attorney if you have been charged with a DWI. A skilled attorney will increase your chances of a conviction.
Will Reducing the Number of Points on Your Driving Record Help?
The short answer is yes and no. You can help improve your situation after a DWI if you better understand the point system in New Jersey and the steps you can take to reduce or eliminate points on your New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Record. However, points are not the only way that the MVC and insurance companies evaluate your risk status.
The MVC in New Jersey keeps a permanent record of the violation points that you have received. The state also provides a clear path to getting rid of a few points on your driving record. The following is an available action plan to reduce the number of points on your NJ driving record:
- No violations or suspensions for 1 year: 3-point reduction
- Complete a Driver Improvement Program: 3-point reduction
- Complete Probationary Driver Program: 3-point reduction
- Complete a Defensive Driver Program: 2-point reduction
Avoid a Lapse in Insurance Coverage
It may be tempting to cancel your insurance coverage after a significant increase in your premium to save money. However, this may be costly in the long run even when it saves you money in the short run. Insurance carriers will factor a lapse in any coverage as a major risk and will heavily penalize you. You should avoid a lapse in coverage even if you plan to stop driving for a period of time.
How Long Does a DWI Impact Insurance in New Jersey?
A drunk driving conviction in New Jersey can impact your insurance rates for up to 10 years, depending on how far back the insurance carrier checks your driving record. Most insurance companies only check the past 3 to 5 years on your motor vehicle record when calculating premium, but some look even further for major violations like DWI. Unfortunately, even if a DWI conviction does not impact your ability to qualify for insurance, it can impact your ability to qualify for discounts related to good driving.
Contact Us Today!
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you should discuss your case, including any potential meritorious motions to suppress, with an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, please call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-248-4404.