How Traffic Tickets Affect Your Auto Insurance


Safe drivers are safer bets for insurance companies. Drivers who receive traffic tickets are logically assumed to not follow rules on the road. They have a higher probability of getting into or causing accidents. Such drivers are high-risk drivers for them. For such drivers it is in the interest of the insurance company to charge higher premiums.

A traffic ticket is not easily erasable. Even if you get a ticket in one state, it will be reflected in your record in other states as they are centrally connected. Your driving record will show your tickets for several years. At the time of determining your insurance premium, along with factors like age, gender, car, credit history, your driving record is also considered.

Premium rates may be lower for a clean driving record. It costs the insurance company money to check your driving record. It is not viable for them to check it very often. They do it once every 3 months or once a year before renewal of the contract. Thus there may not be an immediate change on your premium. Premiums may increase if a ticket is found on your record. However, after 3 years, the rates are brought back to normal.

The law in most of the states does not permit increasing the premium after getting just one ticket. But if a person gets many tickets in a short span of time, the insurance premium may increase.

Different states have systems that assign point values for traffic offenses. Depending on the points received, insurance companies can tag labels like high- risk driver or event reckless driver. Naturally the premiums for such drivers will be higher. If 15 or more points are accumulated, the license of such a driver will be suspended. A license suspension can have serious effects on your insurance rates. If the traffic violations are frequent and serious the insurance company may refuse to renew your insurance contract altogether. The risk for the company may not be viable or sustainable in case there are too may violations.

Traffic violations, thus, costs you the fine as well as increased premiums.

A speeding ticket can be kept from your record. A driver can go for driving improvement classes or defensive driving classes. Once the program is completed, the record can be erased after producing the completion certificate. However, traffic school may not be possible if you are too many miles over the speed limit or for reckless driving. There is also a limit to the number of times you can attend it. The ticket can also be kept off the record, if the driver decides to contest it in court. The driver should not pay the fine until he has decided to accept or contest the charge. It is advisable in such a case to call the provider and inquire if such a ticket will affect the premium rates.

A clean record may thus result into substantial savings of 20% or more. Whichever way you look at it, it pays to obey the traffic rules.

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