What's really frustrating is that a ticket for say, failure to come to a complete stop may be around $30, but when penalties are added, such as a state conviction fee (remember, tax revenues are down so states have to dream up new ways to raise money) the total ticket could exceed $200.
Some Violations Can Increase Premiums 50%
Insurance.com did an analysis of over 30,000 insurance policies and found that a policy for one car covering a single driver with only one violation was 18% higher than with no violations. Add on a second and a third violation and the policy goes up 34% and 53%, respectively. Be a cautions, defensive and cuteous driver and you can keep violations off your record.
Not All Violations Are Considered Equal
It would be rather intuitive. One speeding violation may not ding your premium too badly, but two in close succession would hurt a lot. A DWI will be catastrophic, as it should be, and you may be dropped altogether from your insurance company. Fleeing the police...well, what do you think?
The cost of your policy with specific violations will vary by state, the insurance company and your driving record.
What To Do If Your Policy Increases
Here are some suggestions to help lower your premiums:
- Shop around. Just like buying a car, or anything else, compare. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage; an agent will help you through this part.
- Keep your current company in mind. If you're a long-term customer, they may offer forgiveness if you've been in an accident and it's your only one in a long time. If your violation is recent, a new company will pull your record and see it; your old company may not pull your record at renewal time because it's too costly, so they wont see the new violation and it won't affect your premium.
- Take defensive driving. This will remove the ticket from your record. However, it won't remove any succeeding tickets for a future period; that period will vary by state. So if you take defensive driving and you get a second ticket in that tirme frame, chances are your premium will increase.
- Increase your deductible. You will be taking on more risk, so make sure you have the difference saved in a liquid account in the event you get into an accident.
- Improve your credit rating. Statistics show people with lower credit ratings have more violations.
As my late father used to say, "Insurance is something you can't get enough of, but hope you never have to use."
Are you thinking of negotiating your insurance poilcy?