Freaking out about that ticket you got last week? Paying the ticket feels like punishment enough, but what else happens as a result? Unfortunately, your car insurance rates might be affected. Don’t stress yet! You may be able to get past this.
One of the biggest factors auto insurance companies look into when determining your rates and premiums is your driving history, particularly the amount of tickets you’ve gotten. The more speeding tickets and traffic violations you have on your record, the higher your rates are likely to be. Insurance companies see drivers with multiple violations on their records as more likely to get into an accident, which would cost the insurance company more money.
It’s difficult to get a concrete estimate of how much your insurance rates will increase following a ticket. However, the amount that these rates increase are determined by the number of traffic violations you have on your record and the severity of each of these instances.
How different companies deal with things
Every auto insurance providers handles tickets in different ways. Some raise your premiums for a certain amount of years. Others apply a surcharge, which is removed after one year if you have no speeding tickets or traffic violations on your record during this time. Get in contact with your insurance company to see how they deal with increases following traffic violations.
You might be fine
One ticket might barely affect your rates. If you’ve been a loyal customer with your auto insurance company and had a good driving record up to this point, you might not even see an increase in your rates at all. Some companies are understanding, acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes. But don’t make a habit of it; once you’ve gotten your second ticket, your insurance rates will begin to increase substantially.
The more serious the violation is, the higher your premium rates will increase. Driving with a broken headlight, for instance, is a low-impact ticket, which won’t have many repercussions on your rates. A speeding ticket for driving 10 miles over the speeding limit will have more effects on your rates, as this violation is considered riskier behavior. A DUI, which is a high-impact ticket, will increase your rates significantly.
In speeding instances, severity of the violation comes into account as well. If a driver is going 15 miles per hour above the speed limit, his rates will increase more than another driver that was going 10 miles above the speed limit.
A point system is a way in which many states have quantified the number of violations drivers receive. The more serious the violation, the higher the point value. Like golf, you want to keep your score as low as possible; higher point values correlate to a higher increase in premium rates. Serious violations – such as DUI or excessive speeding – may stay on your record for a long time, maybe even permanently.
If you’re pulled over outside your home state
You might still experience increases in the cost of your auto insurance. Most states facilitate the sharing of information between states in the case of traffic violations and tickets. Most of the time, a ticket you receive in a different state will show up on your record. Your auto insurance company is the one to decide if this violation will raise your premium rates. The states that do not share information regarding tickets are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin; this means if you get a ticket in any of these states, there’s a chance you won’t face an increase in your rates.
Traffic violations – particularly the more severe types – can do some damage on your insurance rates. In most cases, it won’t follow you forever. There are ways to have a ticket removed from your record to keep your auto insurance rates manageable; for instance, taking a defensive driving course or enrolling in traffic school can erase tickets in many states.
The best thing you can do to keep your insurance rates low is drive safely. Getting into accidents and facing traffic violations are the fastest ways to pay increased premium rates. Download the EverDrive app to track your driving habits; it’ll motivate you to stay off your phone on the road and keep any cop from thinking twice when you drive by.