“Should I expect any changes with my car insurance rates after a ticket.”?
This is a question that most drivers ask and here is a detailed answer.
If you happen to get a ticket, there are some expected repercussions, and most of these mainly affect your wallet.
When your auto insurance company determines your premium, one of the biggest factors they take into consideration is your history of traffic tickets.
In most cases, your auto insurance rates won’t go up after just one ticket. However, if your driving record shows a high number of speeding tickets and moving violations, then your company views you as a “high-risk” driver and are therefore more likely to cause accidents and cost them a lot of money as a result.
It’s basically difficult to predict how much your auto insurance rates will go up after getting a ticket. Although the rates are more likely to go up with a higher number of tickets and more severe violations, other factors may be involved.
Different states have different policies when it comes to insurance rates after a ticket.
For example, in the state of California, the average auto insurance is $1747 annually. If you have a clean driving record, most companies in the state offer a discount, which is often 25% (about $437).
With a ticket however, the discount is removed and your rates increased by roughly 10%. That is about $611 every year which amounts to $1833 for over three years as most insurance companies surcharge for 3 to 5 years.
Every auto insurance company has a different policy when it comes to traffic tickets.
If it’s your first ticket and your driving record is clean, the company may decide to lower your rates. Another company may however consider you as an insurance risk and raise your rates immediately.
One company may raise your insurance rates for 3 years consecutively while another may apply a surcharge which can be removed from your record if you have no more traffic tickets.
In other companies, a long-time customer with a good driving record may not have their rates raised due to a single ticket.
As stated earlier, your insurance rates may be largely affected by your previous driving record.
If your driving record is clean, then one ticket will not affect the rates. A bad driving record may however cause you to pay higher rates since you will be considered as an insurance risk.
Your age may also affect the insurance rates you receive after a ticket.
In most cases, older drivers may see a smaller increase compared to younger drivers who insurance companies consider as high risk drivers.
In other cases, a much older driver is considered as a high risk due to reduced reflexes.
For How Long Will the Ticket Stop Affecting Your Insurance Rates?
Typically, traffic tickets and other mild to moderate moving violations remain on your record for 1 to 3 years. For much serious offenses, the tickets may affect your rates for 10 years or more.
This is to say that your insurance company will continue to raise your rates for the stated timeframe.
In some cases however, you can get your violations cleared, especially if they are minor.
When applying for car insurance, it’s important to know about the details of your insurance policy and most importantly ask which situations will lead to increased rates.
If the rates are too high to handle, you have the option to shop around till you find a better rate.