We’ve all been there – a momentary lapse in judgment on the road that leads to a traffic violation. Whether it’s speeding, running a red light, or making an illegal U-turn, traffic violations can have far-reaching consequences, some of which aren’t immediately apparent. One significant repercussion is the impact of these violations on our auto insurance premiums. In this blog post, we’ll delve into how traffic violations affect our insurance rates and offer some insights into how we can mitigate these consequences.
Traffic Violations And Insurance Premiums
Traffic violations, such as speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, are a red flag to insurance companies. They signal that a driver may be more likely to engage in risky behavior on the road, increasing the likelihood of filing insurance claims in the future. As a result, insurance providers typically view these violations as indicators of higher risk, and this view often translates into higher premiums for drivers who have committed traffic infractions.
The Severity Matters
The impact of a traffic violation on insurance premiums is not one-size-fits-all. Insurance companies take into account the severity of the violation when determining the rate increase. Minor violations, like a single, low-speed speeding ticket, may result in a smaller premium increase compared to more serious infractions, such as reckless driving or DUI convictions. Multiple violations within a short time frame can further compound the effect on insurance premiums.
How Much Can Our Premiums Increase?
The exact increase in insurance premiums due to a traffic violation can vary based on several factors, including the insurance company’s policies, the severity of the violation, and the driver’s history. On average, a minor violation can lead to a premium increase of around 20% to 30%. More severe infractions, especially those involving accidents, can lead to a much steeper hike, potentially doubling or tripling the original premium.
The Long-Term Consequences
One of the most important aspects to consider is that the impact of traffic violations on insurance premiums isn’t short-lived. Insurance companies typically review a driver’s record for the past three to five years when determining premium rates. This means that a single traffic violation can continue to affect our premiums for several years.
Mitigating The Consequences
Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the impact of traffic violations on our insurance premiums:
- Defensive Driving Courses: Many states offer defensive driving courses that can remove points from our driving record or help us qualify for discounts on our premiums.
- Shop Around: Don’t be afraid to shop around for insurance providers. Different companies have varying policies regarding rate increases for traffic violations. You might find a more affordable option by exploring different insurers.
- Bundle Policies: Consider bundling your auto insurance with other policies, like home or renters insurance. Insurance companies often provide discounts for bundling, which can help offset the premium increase.
- Safe Driving: The most effective way to prevent premium increases is to drive safely and avoid traffic violations altogether. Adhering to the rules of the road not only keeps you safe but also helps maintain lower insurance costs.
If you have received a traffic ticket, it is important to consult a Fairfax, VA traffic violation lawyer. A lawyer can assess your case and come up with the best possible legal strategy. Reach out to us at May Law LLP to schedule a consultation.