Traffic Tickets Can Wreak Havoc on Your Insurance Rates
Red and blue flashing lights in the rearview mirror is a sight many people know all too well. A driver usually checks the speedometer, shakes his or her head and pulls over, preparing for law enforcement to issue a costly traffic citation. The true price of a ticket, however, may not reveal itself until it is time to renew an insurance policy. Some infractions, according to a recent report, can cause rates to jump by as much as 93 percent. The evidence points to just how important it is to practice safe driving behavior and fight tickets when applicable.
What Determines Car Insurance Premiums
There are a number of factors that contribute to a car insurance premium, such as:
- Coverage limits
- Driving history
- The type of vehicle insured
There are some factors a driver cannot control. In North Carolina and South Carolina, there are state-mandated limits drivers must carry on certain policies, such as minimums of $25,000 to $30,000 bodily injury liability per person or $25,000 property damage liability per accident.
However, playing around with some of the other components, such as having a higher deductible, can lower a premium. Additionally, avoiding traffic tickets can keep car insurance rates under control.
The Major Players
According to a recent survey from InsuranceQuotes.com, there are several traffic tickets that can increase rates by as much as 93 percent. Speeding, for example, is a common ticket that will drive up a premium. Going up to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit can hike a rate by 21 percent, and going between 16 and 30 miles per hour over the limit merits a 28 percent hike.
Other premium-busters include:
- Driving under the influence: A 93 percent increase on a premium
- Reckless driving: An 82 percent increase
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian: 19 percent increase
- Driving in a carpool lane: 18 percent increase
According to an analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com, such violations can actually affect an insurance premium for as long as three years. However, drivers with tickets do have the option of:
- Shopping for other carriers
- Taking safety classes to remove infractions from their records
- Looking for a carrier that “forgives” minor violations
At Nosal & Jeter, LLP we understand that a traffic ticket is more than an inconvenient fine. It can cause repercussions that last for years, be it a DUI that affects your chances for employment or a speeding ticket that hikes your car insurance rates. We strive to represent our clients and get your ticket dismissed or changed to a non-moving violation that will not affect your license or insurance points. Allow us to help you navigate the legal process after you or a loved one receives a ticket.
Source: Forbes, “Traffic Tickets That Trigger The Highest Car Insurance Rates,” Jim Gorzelany, April 1, 2014