As a driver, I’m sure you know that getting tickets can be an expensive proposition. The cost of the ticket, plus any applicable surcharge or court appearances, is just the beginning. Just what will tickets do to your car insurance premiums?
In recent years, credit scores showing how much debt you carry and how responsible you are in paying your bills, have become a factor in determining the cost of your insurance premiums. At present, more and more insurance carriers are now looking at the correlations between your driving record and the type of risk you present to determine the cost of your insurance coverage.
For instance, a violation for driving while impaired can cost you big time. Some studies show a probable increase of over 90% in your actual premiums and, in some states, the violation stays on your record for ten years.
Reckless or careless driving is another area that can have a huge effect on insurance premiums with possible increases of over 80%. Also tickets for failure to stop, failure to yield and not providing pedestrians with the right of way or failure to stop for a school bus are other serious tickets for which companies surcharge greatly.
Then, of course, there are always the penalties for speeding tickets. Increases range from 20% to 30% depending upon how many miles over the posted speed limit you are driving and whether or not you have been given this type of a ticket on a prior occasion. Not only are you jeopardizing your arrival at your destination, but rather the arrival of everyone else on the road as well. In addition, it is sure to be a mighty expensive trip for you!
Also, keep in mind, that texting or talking on your cell phone while driving are also considered moving violations. At this point most carriers consider these actions to be serious and result in major premium increases as well.
So the next time you get in your car, stay present and aware and follow ALL the rules of the road. It not only is safer – it will also keep your insurance premiums more affordable.
Karen Skoler, CPCU