A recent survey conducted by researchers associated with the auto insurance industry found that motorists who have been caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) pay substantially more for insurance than average drivers. While the results of the study did not come as a surprise to many insurance experts, researchers were able to come up with the average premiums paid by erring drivers.
According to insurance experts, a DWI on a motorist’s record could mean skyrocketing premiums. In fact, being convicted on a single count can mean insurance expenses up to 38 percent higher. Car owners who were involved in alcohol-related accidents pay even more. Aside from the higher insurance rates, policyholders can also expect their premiums to remain at high levels for several years.
The same study also found out that on average, a motorist with a single DWI violation can expect to pay at least $2,148 for insurance each year. The figure is the lowest possible premium that motorists with drinking violations can hope to get. When compared to average drivers with no records, the figure is $435 more than what responsible motorists pay for.
Motorists who were found drunk and were held at fault for an accident can also expect to pay considerably more than other car owners. In fact, these policyholders have to shell out an average of $2,356 every year to cover their insurance expenses. That amount, researchers say, is $643 more than what ordinary motorists have to pay.
Experts explain that insurance companies consider drivers with drinking violations as extremely risky to insure. The likelihood of them getting involved in accidents is simply too high, they add. Furthermore, motorists convicted of drunk driving are also more likely to cause serious harm to fellow motorists, their passengers, and properties. To cover for all of these potential situations, insurers have to raise premiums.
Most American car owners spend an average of $1,863 each year on auto insurance. Drivers with clean driving records pay less, $1,713 to be exact. Experts point out that aside from the substantially higher premiums, erring motorists may not get the desired insurance rates years after their drinking violation. Most insurance providers would consider any previous convictions and automatically impose higher rates.
Analysts say that that is another good reason why new car owners and young motorists should maintain clean driving records. Drivers with drinking violations also have to contend with their licenses getting suspended, and about three years of high insurance rates.