A Wisconsin conviction for operating while intoxicated OWI is not just a legal matter. It also has a profound impact on your auto insurance. The repercussions of an OWI extend beyond legal penalties, affecting your ability to secure affordable coverage and potentially leading to long-term financial strain.
Understanding how a Wisconsin OWI influences auto insurance rates helps individuals navigate the aftermath of such an offense.
Immediate spike in premiums
Upon receiving an OWI conviction in Wisconsin, drivers can expect an immediate increase in insurance premiums. Insurance providers view individuals with OWI convictions as high-risk policyholders. This perception translates into elevated premiums. The spike in rates reflects the higher likelihood of accidents or claims associated with impaired driving. It also makes coverage more expensive for those with a history of OWI.
SR-22 requirements and high-risk classifications
In addition to higher premiums, an OWI conviction may trigger the need for an SR-22 filing. This document demonstrates that a driver meets the minimum auto insurance requirements.
Long-term financial impacts
An OWI conviction can have lasting effects on auto insurance eligibility and costs. Insurance providers may classify individuals with OWI convictions as high-risk for an extended period. Doing so may lead to ongoing, elevated premiums. Also, some insurance companies may choose not to renew policies for individuals with recent OWIs at all. This can make it challenging for affected drivers to secure affordable coverage.
Insure.com notes that the typical Wisconsin motorist with a first-time OWI must pay about 46%, or $527 more per year, for car insurance. Understanding the consequences of drunk driving convictions helps drivers take proactive steps toward securing affordable coverage after an OWI.