How Living and Driving in North Carolina Affects Your Wallet
Many people may be well aware that when determining your car insurance premium, a provider takes a look at several factors. Geography is one of those determinants and one of the reasons that living in North Carolina is advantageous for drivers. However, even one traffic ticket can greatly offset all those savings, as recent reports suggest.
Saving You Money
Nerd Wallet notes that the average car insurance premium in North Carolina is just over $900, which is even lower than an Insure.com report released last year. In that study, North Carolina ranked as the third cheapest state for drivers seeking car insurance, with an average annual premium of $1,085. The study compared rates for a single, 40-year-old male who had a clean driving record and a commute of roughly 12 miles a day.
Some easy ways to keep your insurance premium low include:
- Looking for providers that offer multi-policy discounts
- Opting for a higher deductible when it is financially feasible
- Driving a vehicle rated for safety
Of course, one of the largest factors that will play into a premium is the driver’s history, which can be particularly devastating for North Carolinians who have racked up traffic violations.
Costing You Money
Nerd Wallet points out that getting a speeding ticket for going 15 miles per hour over the limit in North Carolina means paying upward of $200, which is the $30 ticket plus court costs of $188. On top of that, the agency assessed what happens when taking into account the inevitable three-year spike that an insurance premium experiences following such a ticket. The result: The average North Carolina driver caught speeding 15 miles an hour over the limit pays an average of $1,619.63 due to a $30 speeding ticket. Charlotte ranks as the third most expensive city in which to get a speeding ticket.
There are several things that drivers can do to mitigate paying an exorbitant amount of money for a minor traffic violation. The state permits drivers to enter a Prayer for Judgment Continued, which does not carry with it insurance consequences. It is important to keep in mind that a household may only use this option once every three years, so it should be used with caution.
It is also possible to have the courts reduce a speeding ticket of 15 miles an hour over the limit to just 10 miles an hour over the limit. The penalty is much less, and the insurance premium will not be affected.
Drivers who have received a speeding ticket or citation for another traffic violation are best served to contact an attorney. At Nosal and Jeter, we have former police officers on staff who know how to negotiate and dismiss tickets to keep costs low for drivers.
Source: Nerd Wallet, “True Cost of a Speeding Ticket After Insurance Increases in North Carolina,” John Kuo, Aug. 17, 2014