The Ticket to Understanding How Traffic Tickets Impact Car Insurance

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Ticket Statistics

About 93,000 speeding tickets are issued every day in the United States. Essentially, that means 65 speeding tickets are given out every minute. Furthermore, the average fine of these tickets is $150. Obviously, this is only one of the costs associated with traffic tickets. After this, you might have to pay for things like traffic school to help get the ticket removed from your record. Of course, dependent on the violation and the state you live in, that might not be an option for you. In that case, you will have to face the annoyance of higher insurance premiums. The average increase for a run-of-the-mill traffic ticket is $300 per year.

Severity of the Offense

Moving violations from littering to reckless driving can cause an increase in your car insurance premiums. Auto insurance companies review your traffic ticket history when determining your premiums. Basically, they see the amount of tickets you have received as directly correlated to your probability of being in an accident.

Low impact on premiums: Ticket for broken taillight
Moderate impact on premiums: Ticket for speeding (5-10 mph over the speed limit)
High impact on premiums: Ticket for driving under the influence

Actions You Can Take

1) Safe Driving Courses
If you opt to enroll in a safe driving course voluntarily, your insurance company might even offer you a discount. If you are above the age of 55 and complete a course designed for mature drivers, this discount could be instituted for up to 3 years. Of course, if you have been a customer for a long time and have a good driving record, your insurance company is not likely to increase your rates too much.

2) Know the Rules and Drive Safely
We all study hard for our driving tests and then we tend to focus much less on the logistics of driving as the years go on. Refreshers never hurt. Remind yourself of the basic rules to avoid getting pulled over for small infractions. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the driving rules of places you may be visiting. Drivers from out of state are 20% more likely to be ticketed than locals. For example, the state speed limit in a state where you are on vacation might be lower than that of your home state. That knowledge will help you avoid a silly speeding ticket.

3) Check Your Driving Record
You can order your driving record from the DMV at any time. This will show you the details of any violations during that time period, as well as, any accumulated points. In addition, you will be able to view the status of your driver’s license.

The Takeaway

It is not a myth; traffic tickets do increase your auto insurance rates. Of course, your best strategy is to take measures to avoid being issued a ticket. In the event that you should find yourself in this unlucky situation, there are many things you can do to keep your premiums low. Read our article on Keeping Your Car Insurance Low After a Traffic Ticket for more tips!

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