If you just got a ticket, don’t panic yet. Your car insurance premiums may not increase – though some violations are likely to make your rates skyrocket. Each car insurance company handles tickets differently so there is no set answer to how that ticket will affect your premiums, but here is a general overview of what to expect.
The only ticket you really don’t have to worry about is parking tickets. These will never make your car insurance premiums increase. With all other tickets though, there is a chance that your car insurance rates could jump, and possibly through the roof. The tickets which probably aren’t going to make a major impact on your insurance rates are:
- Unsecured load
- Broken lights, a crack in the windows, or other damage to the car
- Driving after your license expires
- Driving out of your restricted period (such as with teens who are only permitted to drive during certain hours)
- Not wearing your seatbelt
- Driving in HOV lane
- One speeding ticket
- Cell phone violations
States handle some tickets differently than other. For example, in many states, cell phone violations do not get points added on your driving record. If you are in one of these states, then a cell phone violation will not affect your car insurance premiums. However, there are states which take cell phone violations very seriously and will add several points to your driving record, thus making it likely your car insurance company will increase your premiums. It is important to understand how your state handles violations and their point value before you even begin to fret about your car insurance premiums.
If you do get points on your driving record for a violation, it still may not be counted against you by the car insurance company. Many providers do not increase your rates for the first violation. The insurance company only starts getting really concerned when you have multiple violations. You can expect your car insurance company to review your driving record for new points about every 6 months. In general, all new violations will remain on your car insurance record for 3 years. If you get another violation in that time, then you can expect the rates to jump.
There are some violations which are sure to send your car insurance rates through the roof. These include:
- Driving with no insurance
- Driving with no or a suspended license
- Fleeing the police
- Driving in the wrong direction
- More than one speeding ticket in 3 years
- Being deemed the cause of an accident
Responsible drivers shouldn’t be getting these sorts of violations but sometimes they still happen, like getting into an accident. If you do get a ticket and you worry it will get counted against you by your car insurance company, see if there isn’t any way to get the ticket off your record. Some states allow you to attend a driving school or similar program instead of getting the points added to your record. These alternatives are usually pricy but will often pay out in the long run by keeping your car insurance premiums low.