Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After A Ticket?

car insurance

Whether your car insurance premium will increase after a ticket largely depends on your existing driving record and what the ticket is for. If you have a clean driving record and get a parking ticket or even a speeding ticket, then your insurance premium will not increase. However, if you are ticketed for a DUI or DWI, then your insurance premium will increase or they may drop you altogether. Another instance where a ticket could increase your rates is if you are in an accident and are ticketed for reckless driving or failure to yield, or any other number of violations that can cause an accident.

How To Avoid An Increase In Premiums

Car insurance companies routinely check driving records every time your policy is up for renewal. You may be able to avoid an increase if you discuss the ticket with your insurance company when you are renewing your policy. Chances are that they may be willing to negotiate the terms with you if you have maintained a clean driving record so far.

Another way to avoid increased rates is to shop around for a different insurance carrier. Insurance companies have different standards for “clean” driving records. Some of the high-end companies define clean driving records as completely blemish-free; no accidents or violations. Other companies are a little more relaxed and will regard one or two tickets as inconsequential.

Why The Type Of Ticket Matters

Did you get a ticket because you rolled through the stop sign? Probably not a big deal in the eyes of the insurance company. Did you get a ticket because you were going 50 MPH over the speed limit? That’s a big deal. Insurance companies base their premiums on your risk value. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s the type of mistake you make that will affect your premium. Speeding tickets are the most likely non-accident related tickets to increase premiums. DUI and DWI tickets and tickets for reckless driving will also increase you premiums and may cause your insurance carrier to cancel your policy.