Receiving that first “ticket” and worrying about its affect on your car insurance can be a traumatic experience. There are many factors that contribute to whether an increase in the insurance rate of the driver will occur. Just as car insurance quotes vary among insurers so does how they handle tickets. In the case of some tickets, a defensive driving course can be taken. There is also the possibility that the insurance company does not even find out about your ticket.
What Influences If Your Rates Go Up?
Insurance companies have many types of policies which often vary as to how tolerant they are of tickets. If you are part of a family car insurance policy with an insurer that also covers your home, life, etc. it is unlikely that a single ticket will raise your insurance rates. The insurance company does not want to risk losing such a large account because one member of a family got their first ticket.
However, if you are a young, male, and single driver (which is generally the highest risk class of car insurance) then it is possible that your rate could climb. After any ticket most car insurance companies will make a risk/reward decision on whether insuring you in the future is a good business decision for them and at what rate they should insure you according to the risk you pose as a driver.
Avoid A Raise In Car Insurance
One way to avoid an increase in car insurance is to take a defensive driver course. Most states offer defensive driving courses for tickets and will not report the ticket on your motor vehicle record if you complete it.
These defensive driving courses are usually only available if the driver has no previous tickets for a 1 to 3 year period depending on the state. The driver will have to pay for the defensive driving course and spend an afternoon or two in a classroom learning about safe driving techniques but this should prevent any car insurance rate hike since the ticket will be stricken from the driver’s record.
Most states do not report tickets directly to car insurance companies unless an accident is involved. It is the insurance company’s job to frequently request the driving record of those who it insures. Although an insurance company may request a driving record at any time, this is most likely to occur only when a policy is being renewed.
With automatic or online renewals being options that most insurance companies use, it can often be years before a driver’s record is actually checked. Since most states only release driving records for the most recent 3 to 5 years, it is possible that your car insurance company may never even find out about your ticket.
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