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Tickets and Car Insurance Rates



Let's be honest; tickets make your insurance rates go up. No surprise, right? But, did you know that the basis for raising insurance rates to a higher amount for those with tickets is not to punish drivers who have traffic tickets, but to reward and lower the rates for good drivers?

That may be a little hard to understand because the net effect does financially punish those who have traffic tickets by costing them more for auto coverage. Insurance companies want to and do give big rewards for safe drivers. It is similar to a rebate check for a car buyer; it is "net-ed" into your policy premium.

Statistics tell the story and once again the laws of economics are at work in the world of business. A chart or graph might show it better, but let's assume Mr. And Mrs. Good-Driver's insurance overhead and claims cost are charted as a steady, if wavy, line on a graph.

Now, let's chart Mr. or Mrs., or Ms. Driver-With-Tickets. Insurance overhead and claims costs skyrocket into a 45-degree upward curve, showing a far more mathematically exponential higher cost to insure than the average driver. So the statistically "less than good" drivers with tickets will be the one(s) who actuarially will cost far higher to insure.

Not only because they get more tickets, showing they are less competent drivers, but also multiple tickets are usually a powerful indicator of a much greater possibility of accidents and near accidents. Insurance companies have a vast amount of investment capital at work in order to function in business and to back up the risks they are insuring. They are making a contractual exchange with the consumer when they buy a policy and pay the premium cost. Insurance companies are assuming our driving risk for insurance premium dollars we pay to them.

There are many different types of traffic tickets and they are categorized into "major" and "minor". A minor ticket would be speeding under 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. A major ticket would be a speeding ticket above 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Another minor would be not having an up to date sticker on your car's license tag (expired registration). Majors include careless driving, causing an accident, hit and run, DUI, and other moving violations that your state typically deem to be serious infractions of the law as well.

There is a difference between insurance company points which are for the purpose of rating a policy premium; and a state's DMV points systems. DMV points are kept and totaled up by the state for the purpose determining how you are doing as a driver and usually if you accumulate too many points you will have your driver's license suspended or at least have to take a driver improvement class to try and train you better as a driver. This is very important to know because there is an endless confusion among drivers about "points". Insurance points and DMV points are not the same and to know about your insurance company's points system ask them and for your state's point system contact your local DMV.

Most insurance companies have a policy of simply "forgiving" the first minor ticket in their rating systems. The theory being that anyone can get a minor ticket now and then for minor infractions such as a low rate speeding ticket, 5 mph over or having a tail light being out.

After a first ticket being forgiven, or only causing you to lose your good driver status, insurance carriers begin rating up for additional tickets. They typically will not forgive a major ticket whether it is the first one or not. Rating points are then added for each additional ticket.

Any traffic offense you are convicted of is recorded on your Motor Vehicle Driving Report referred to as just your MVR by the insurance industry. Insurance companies and their agents pay for service providers that are connected to the various states MVR systems. So if your agent asks you if you have any tickets tell them the ones you remember, because an MVR will be pulled as part of your total premium rating. Sometimes we can't remember when we got a ticket so we don't know if it is within the time period the insurance agent is requesting information on and that is ok, just tell the agent you don't when you got a ticket or what is going to show up on your driving record if you can't remember what tickets you have received or been convicted of.The insurer will find out what you do have when they pull your MVR and rate you accordingly.

Traffic tickets pay for a lot of the services of the police and traffic administration, so it is somewhat like a "traffic tax", but you should do whatever you can to avoid getting tickets, because they are expensive for the fines you pay plus with how they can affect your insurance rates.

A typical traffic ticket will cost anywhere from $85 to $300 even for a minor ticket, and much higher for a major ticket. DUI's can cost upwards of $10,000 by the time the tickets, traffic school, and attorney's fees are paid, so please avoid DUI's for the sake of the DUI court costs and then the raise in your insurance rates due to now being a much higher risk as a driver to an insurance carrier.

If you have ticket(s) on your driving record, check with CarInsurance.com online or call their call center for a quick and easy insurance quote. You can get an auto insurance quote from the privacy of your home or office. When you choose the company you wish to insure your vehicle you will have coverage immediately.


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1 Responses to "Tickets and Car Insurance Rates"
  1. Janey

    I need to get my own auto insurance, but I'm worried how much the price will be increased by my ticket. Should I try and take those tickets to court before I apply for insurance?