If you party a little too hard and manage to get a DUI in New York, your car insurance will increase, period. The only question is by how much. Even a single DUI or DWI conviction can have an adverse impact on your New York car insurance rates.
In New York, there are several types of alcohol and drug-related driving offenses.
- DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) – If you are found driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. Commercial drivers must have a BAC of 0.04.
- Aggravated DWI -If you are found driving with a BAC of more than 0.18, you are charged.
- Driving with ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI/Alcohol) – If you are caught driving with a BAC greater than 0.5 but less than 0.7
- DWAI/Drug and alcohol combination – If you are caught driving while under the influence of a single drug other than alcohol.
- Test refusal– If you do not allow yourself to be tested (breath, blood, or urine).
- Zero tolerance – If you are under the age of 21, you will be fined if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.02 or higher.
The penalties for any of these offenses are severe in New York and include fines and possible prison time. Unfortunately, people will make mistakes or have lapses of judgment from time to time. Let’s take a look at how expensive having a ‘good time’ can be.
Will a DUI impact my car insurance premium in New York?
Quite possibly, it will. According to state law, an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New York will be recorded on your driving record for ten years. That does not mean that the penalty will affect your insurance premiums for the next ten years. Still, it does mean that insurance providers have the option of looking that far back on your record and raising their rates accordingly if they so choose.
While New York does not mandate an SR22 for people convicted of driving under the influence, state law allows insurance providers to surcharge people convicted of various traffic offenses, including trying to elude a police officer and DUI. Even though you will not be allowed to carry an SR22, your insurance provider will raise your premiums for the duration of the conviction on your driving record.
Your insurance company may not always cancel your policy while your license is suspended/revoked as a result of your conviction. However, many New York car insurance providers will terminate you mid-policy and provide you with written notice. Furthermore, as a condition of reinstating your license, you may be required to have an insurance agent file an SR-22 on your behalf (which ensures your financial responsibility). This SR-22 form, required for high-risk drivers, would require you to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage for at least three years. Drivers that require SR-22s should expect to pay significantly more for their insurance coverage.
When you renew your policy after having your license restored, your insurer will have access to your motor vehicle record (MVR), which will show a DUI for ten years. According to the New York Department of Insurance, the state’s insurance regulator, surcharges imposed due to convictions are regulated by state insurance law. These regulations provide for surcharges to be imposed after the experience period (typically three years) for some accidents, some of which are as follows:
- At-fault injuries resulting in bodily harm or property damage above $1000
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 mph
- Driving without a warrant
- Driving to escape a police officer’s arrest
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol/drugs
The good news is that most insurance companies can only look back three years of your MVR (but some will go back 5 or even 7 years). Regarding how long the DWI remains on the insurance record, the insurance provider keeps no record of your DUI/DWI. With a DUI/DWI on your MVR, your insurance policy will be rated for some years (usually 3).
How much will my New York car insurance cost after a DUI/DWI?
According to dmv.org, the average increase in New York car insurance rates following a DUI/DWI is 76%! However, New York State has laws restricting the amount your insurance premiums will increase after a DUI/DWI conviction. Insurers are only allowed to charge three times the base rate for the highest-rated vehicle protected by the scheme (without a surcharge applied).
Unfortunately, there is no quick way to find competitive New York car insurance rates following a conviction. Your best option is to look around for the most forgiving insurance provider. Your prices can differ depending on your particular data and criteria. If you have a DUI/DWI on your record and search for low-cost insurance, it wouldn’t hurt to get a quote from a reputed insurance website like Way.com. Then, you should compare quotes from other insurance companies and see if they can match the price while offering a comparable amount of coverage.