Does a “Possess Open Intoxicants in MV-Driver” charge affect insurance premium?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012

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Insurance Question from Stoughton, WI

Asked on 01/05/2012

Does a “Possess Open Intoxicants in MV-Driver” charge affect insurance premium? I am an insured motorist in the State of Wisconsin.About 4 years ago, I foolishly earned myself a “Possess Open Intoxicants in MV-Driver” charge. The case type was “Traffic Forfeiture” and the severity of the charge was “Forf.U”. I paid the $249.00 fine and moved on.I’m still with the same insurance company and I’ve never seen an increase.Recently, I decided to shop around and the apples-to-apples quotes came in significantly higher.My question is, in general, would insurance companies see this, thus affecting my premium?

Answer given on January 10, 2012

In some states, yes. It really depends on the insurance company and how their underwriting looks at and the weight that the give to this incident.  Call a couple of independent agents in your state. Advise them of your charge and ask them how the carriers that they write for look at this charge in your state.  This will give you an overall idea of how they view the charge. Also ask how long with most of their insurance companies count this violation on your record.  That will tell you how long you will have to remain with your present carrier before the violation is not counted.  If you still need a couple of comparison quotes on your auto insurance just to make sure you are getting the best deal possible, click here.     

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