A conviction for driving while intoxicated in New Jersey leads to serious, potentially life-altering penalties. Even as a first-time DWI offender, you may have to spend time in jail, install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and attend substance abuse treatment classes, among other repercussions. Your insurance rates are also going to skyrocket after a drunk driving conviction, with New Jersey motorists seeing some of the nation’s steepest post-DWI insurance rate hikes.
According to Insure.com, the average New Jersey driver with a first-time DWI on his or her record sees annual insurance premiums increase by 132%.
How much more you have to pay
Say your driving record was pretty typical to that of other New Jersey motorists ahead of your DWI conviction. In this scenario, you may have paid about $1,419 for auto insurance on an annual basis. Yet, after that 132% rate increase, you are looking at paying closer to $3,292 a year for insurance coverage. This amounts to an annual difference of $1,873.
How to find the lowest offer
Each insurance provider uses its own formula to come up with a rate for a driver. Some insurance companies also have reputations for being more “forgiving” of drivers having drunk driving convictions than others. Thus, it may serve you well financially to ask several auto insurance companies for rate quotes before deciding which one to have cover you.
In some situations, your current insurer may opt not to cover you anymore once you get a conviction for drunk driving. Even if this is not the case, it still makes sense to secure multiple quotes before deciding on a post-DWI insurance provider.