Next time you raise a glass in celebration, consider whether the next glass could also raise your risk of a drunk driving conviction and an increase in insurance premiums. Irrespective of whether we call it drunk driving, impaired driving or driving while intoxicated – fact remains that driving under the influence of alcohol is a contributing factor to many road crashes!
I have come across rather interesting information about the risk of increased car insurance premiums after convictions for drunk driving! Insurance.com, the largest online auto insurance agency in the United States warned drivers that driving under the influence is not only dangerous, but if you are stopped or get into an accident, your car insurance rates could increase by as much as 38 percent!
Even though this is data from the US – It is an indication to South African drivers about to the magnitude of risk associated with driving under the influence.
According to Insurance.com’s 2009 RateWatch data, the average lowest rate quoted to drivers with a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) violation was $2,148 per year, $435 more than a driver with no violations. Drivers charged with a DWI who also are responsible for an accident received an average car insurance rate of $2,356, paying $643 more than those without violations.
“Insurance companies consider drivers with drinking violations to be extremely risky,” said Sam Belden, vice president at Insurance.com. “Drivers with drinking violations tend to be involved in more accidents, and the accidents are more severe. Some insurance companies refuse to insure drivers with these types of violations.”
The insurance rate quotes makes for fascinating reading:
2009 Average Rate Quotes Based on Driving Record
- Driving Record (Quoted Premium*)
- DWI ($2,148)
- DWI + Accident ($2,356)
- No Violations ($1,713)
- All Drivers ($1,863)
* These Auto insurance quotes are based on the average of the lowest rate quotes by Insurance.com in 2009. Insurance.com completes quotes for more than one million drivers each year.
Drivers have also been warned of the additional risks of facing license suspensions, a criminal record etc.
[ Insurance.com is described as the top online auto insurance agency in the U.S., offering comparison auto insurance quotes consumers can buy online or by phone. By linking directly to the rating systems of fifteen top insurance companies, Insurance.com provides instant, accurate comparison rates that help consumers make smarter decisions about auto insurance.]