As someone currently dealing with the aftermath of receiving a driving while intoxicated charge, you may try to determine just how much of an impact your action may have on your life, should a judge or jury convict you. You may, for example, face substance abuse requirements, steep fines and even time behind bars, among other possible penalties. Those are just the ones that may come directly from the justice system.
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a Texas DWI, Insure.com reports that your conviction will also undoubtedly have a significant impact on how much you must pay for auto insurance coverage once you get your license back. While any increase in insurance rates can prove tough to manage, an insurance rate hike can prove particularly troubling after a DWI conviction because you also have to worry about how to pay for fines and similar expenses related to your charge. So, just how much may your auto insurance obligations change in the wake of a Texas DWI?
A sharp increase
Most residents of Texas who do not have convictions for drunk driving on their records can anticipate paying about $1,644 each year for auto insurance coverage. After a first drunk driving conviction, however, the average Texas motorist can expect to pay about $2,619 annually for insurance coverage, which is a notable difference of $975 per year.
While paying more for auto insurance can be a burden, in some cases, you may find you have trouble getting a company to cover you at all in the aftermath of a drunk driving conviction. Your existing insurer may, for example, decide to cancel or not renew your policy. This can make it even harder for you to find coverage elsewhere. Why? Other insurance companies will be able to tell your previous insurer declined to continue your coverage, and this can make them more likely to view you as a potential liability and less likely to want to cover you.
After a DWI conviction, it may serve you well to shop around for auto insurance. Generally, each insurer will assess your liability level differently, so the rates one company proposes may differ broadly from those presented by another.