If you have ever owned a car in Michigan, you probably already know that car insurance rates for those in the area are not cheap. In fact, according to Forbes, the Great Lakes State has some of the highest premiums in the country.
When it comes to calculating these rates, insurance companies consider a variety of factors. Although some of these factors—local weather patterns, competition among carriers serving the area, state insurance regulations—are out of your control, there are still a few that you can influence. For example, your driving record has a direct impact on how much you will end up paying for coverage. Insurance companies assume that motorists with a history of traffic violations are fairly reckless drivers and thus more likely to cause a serious collision and file a subsequent claim. People who have DUI/OWI convictions on their record are especially “high risk” motorists in the eyes of insurance providers and can expect to pay for their discretion—literally—for years after the incident. Since the repercussions of getting such a conviction can affect all aspects of your life for a considerable period of time, it is wise to seek quality legal counsel when facing charges. If police have accused you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. A seasoned lawyer from our team can evaluate the strength of the evidence against you in order to devise the most strategic defense. Call 616-272-3331 to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Grand Rapids. Can a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance Premium in Michigan? If you receive a DUI/OWI conviction, your car insurance premium may not increase immediately, but you can expect it to change once it’s time to renew the policy. Insurance companies typically review their clients’ driving records annually, which means you may have a few months to prepare financially for the increased rate. Every provider is different, but most require motorists who have been convicted of driving under the influence to pay more for coverage for several years. Many insurance companies will go back three to five years when reviewing a policyholder’s driving record How Can You Reduce Your Auto Insurance Rates Following a DUI Conviction? A DUI/OWI conviction may have a fairly significant impact on insurance premiums, but you can offset at least a portion of the increased fees by keeping in mind other factors that affect rates. For example, you can opt for driving an affordable, pre-owned car that has lower rates for comprehensive and collision coverage than a new luxury vehicle. Other ways to reduce insurance premiums include:
- Choosing a policy with the highest possible deductible that you can afford;
- Shopping around for the lowest rates;
- Working with an insurance agent who will be able to help you find a plan that fits both your budget and coverage needs; and
- Taking advantage of discounts that might apply to you, like those for retirees, students, veterans, professionals with a short commute, and motorists who drive cars with certain safety features.
If you are facing DUI charges and you’re concerned about the ways in which a conviction could affect your financial security, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. The attorneys at Gordon & Hess, PLC offer 30 years of combined experience representing clients throughout West Michigan. Call 616-272-3331 to schedule a case evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids.