Guest Blog written by Insurance Expert, Harlan Rossmann
Everyone knows that a DWI charge affects your driving privileges in Minnesota, but what most people don’t anticipate is the impact on their auto insurance costs.
It may take your insurance company 6 – 12 months to check your record and set up your policy to cancel. Enjoy your time until they find out, because on average the rates for auto insurance double after a Minnesota DWI charge compared to preferred carrier rates.
When your car insurance company does become aware of your DWI arrest, they can’t just flat cancel your policy. They have to give you notice of cancellation, which will give you a short time to find another insurance company.
The degree (or level) of DWI makes no difference to the non-standard or high risk companies. DWIs have become so common that some carriers do not charge as much for just one DWI charge. However, a DWI charge that is “reduced” to a careless or reckless driving conviction CAN affect your auto insurance.
Most insurance companies charge significantly higher points for a careless or reckless driving conviction than for a DWI. Therefore, be careful if you have a DWI “reduced” to a careless or reckless conviction, because you might end up paying more for your insurance, and it’s still considered a major violation to a preferred company, and could get you canceled.
These major violations impact your insurance rates for three to five years. Most of the time it’s a five year sentence with preferred companies, but I’ve seen some preferred carriers let you in earlier if your credit history is outstanding.
Even though the average increase in auto insurance doubles after a DWI, I’ve seen rates go up very little in some cases. Your history of credit, tickets, accidents, and insurance can sometimes save you money with a non-standard carrier. There are even a few carriers in non-standard insurance that tailor their rates for DWIs.
Your best chance of getting back into a preferred carrier in less than five years is to:
• Keep your insurance with high limits
• Have multiple policies with the same carrier
• Not receive any other violations or accidents
Five years after a major DWI violation (or perhaps sooner), you will be eligible for the preferred rates again, and you will never want to go back to the high risk rates!
If you received a major driving violation, such as a DWI, within the last five years, contact the Harlan Rossmann Agency for help in reducing your car insurance rates. We can write insurance for the preferred client or the high risk client, so you don’t have to find another agent.
Harlan has been in the high risk auto insurance industry since 1994. For 16 years, he has helped people find the best insurance for their own situations. Currently, he owns and manages the Harlan Rossmann Agency. He writes insurance for auto, home, life and business. Office phone: (763) 746-2242.