Thursday, September 8, 2011

Is it Forever? DWAI drugs and/or alcohol or DWI and Your New York Insurance Premiums

Insurance law can be a dry affair. The burning question from my DWI clients:
Are my rates from a DWAI (drugs or drugs/alcohol) or DWI going to affect my insurance forever?

Legally NYS Insurance law section 2335 states that they can't raise/increase/charge your rates (based upon that conviction) if your DWI/DWAI was more than 3 years ago. This is based upon date/time of "conviction" not arrest.

Look at the law (highlights and blahs mine),,,

NO Insurer... blah blah blah... shall increase the policy premium (raise the rates) ...blah blah blah... of any person insured by them who ...

has been found guilty of a traffic infraction under any of the provisions of the vehicle and traffic law provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to a conviction for a violation which occurred during the thirty-six month period ending on the last day of the fourth month preceding the month of the effective date of the policy if such conviction consisted of:

-operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by the consumption of alcohol
-operating a motor vehicle while impaired by the use of a drug, within the meaning of section one thousand one hundred ninety-two of the vehicle and traffic law (DWAI drugs)

So if an NYS insurance company wants to dredge up your past and it has been more than 3 years, break out a copy of Insurance Law § 2335 -- Motor vehicle liability insurance rates -- prohibition of surcharges for certain traffic infractions