When shopping for auto insurance, you may find that previous traffic violations and speeding tickets can have a significant impact on your car insurance rates. How safe of a driver you are is important to your insurance carrier, as your behavior on the road affects your risk to insure. Those who have a history of traffic violations may be seen by insurance companies as riskier to insure, while safer drivers may have better rates due to a lower perceived risk. Here’s what to know about citations and how tickets can impact your auto insurance rates.
How Citations & Tickets Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates
Most of the time, a citation or ticket will negatively affect your car insurance rates down the road. Forbes estimates that the national car insurance rate increase for drivers who get a speeding ticket is 24%, or nearly $380 more a year. There is a chance, however, that you can avoid an increase if it is your first ticket. How much they raise your premiums is dependent on the severity of the violation and how many violations you have on your record. Non-moving violations pose little risk to insurance companies and should have little to no impact on your car insurance rates.
How long does a ticket stay on your insurance record?
You can expect a speeding ticket to remain on your motor vehicle record for a minimum of three years, depending on the state and insurer. This also means it will stay on your insurance record for the three years, but again, depends on your state, the severity of the ticket and your auto insurance company. In addition to your car insurance rates and your driving record, a ticket can also impact your driving privileges.
In addition to your car insurance rates and your driving record, a ticket can also impact your driving privileges. If you accumulate too many speeding tickets within a certain time frame, your license can be suspended. A history of significant traffic violations could also lead to your application for auto insurance being rejected altogether.
How long does an accident stay on your insurance record?
An accident usually stays on your record for three to five years if you were determined as the driver at-fault. This means your car insurance rates may be impacted for three to five years as well. No-fault accidents shouldn’t cause your car insurance rates to increase, because the at-fault party’s auto insurance carrier will be responsible for any medical expenses and vehicle repairs. If your auto insurance company isn’t having to pay for these costs, your premiums shouldn’t go up.
Do speeding tickets affect insurance?
Typically speeding tickets will affect your insurance and increase your premiums. When you are found guilty of a traffic violation, the violation will be recorded on your motor vehicle record and . in addition to increasing your premiums, you may no longer qualify for insurance discounts, such as a safe driving discount.
Difference Between a Citation and a Ticket
In most cities and states, citations and tickets are viewed as the same thing. Some jurisdictions, however, have rules for law enforcement officers and their issuing of tickets vs. citations, but typically a citation is a type of ticket. Knowing the different ways that citations are classified will help you understand how these infractions affect your driving record and your insurance rates.
Types of Citations
There are three ways that citations are classified.
- Penalty vs. Warning: For certain violations, officers are required to issue a penalty, but in some cases, they are allowed to issue a warning. A warning does not require you to pay a fine or appear in court, while a penalty can.
- Moving vs. Non-moving: Parking infractions are an example of a non-moving violation. A moving violation occurs when the car is in motion, such as running a red light.
- Criminal vs. Non-Criminal: Violations that pose a serious threat or cause damage to people or property can be considered criminal violations. Criminal violations include driving under the influence or driving with a suspended license.
What to Do After You Get a Citation or Ticket
How you should respond to a penalty depends on the type and severity of the ticket or citation. A written warning requires no response and will not appear on your record. A fine or penalty will require a response within a specified time frame. You can plead guilty and pay the fine, or if you plead not guilty, you can elect to contest the charge in court. A criminal violation will require you to go to court to attend an arraignment.
How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates After a Ticket
In order to counteract the increase in your premium, you can look for other auto insurance discounts or consider taking a defensive driving course. You can also increase your policy deductible if you can afford to pay more out-of-pocket when there is a claim. You may also consider downgrading your car. For example, if you drive a car with a lower safety rating, such as a sports car, you can trade it in for a safer vehicle.
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