Impact on Insurance from Traffic Tickets
Everyone understands that there is some impact on your insurance premiums if you are convicted of or pay a fine for a traffic ticket. But, not many understand the actual impact and how bad it really is. I recently sat down with an insurance agent – Mac Gordon of Ray Smith Insurance Agency, Inc. – to learn more about the actual impact you can expect.
Let’s start with an easy example: a simple speeding ticket. The fine is just shy of $150, though some prosecutors may reduce the fine amount if you negotiate with them. But, the impact on your insurance is much more severe. You can expect a hike in your insurance premiums over the next 3-5 years. The add-on costs from your insurance premiums will be much worse than the fine you pay to the Court.
But, let’s say you were speeding in excess of 25 mph. Many insurance companies consider this single speeding ticket a major violation, which qualifies as a basis for the insurance company to terminate your coverage at the end of its term. That’s right. A single speeding ticket at an excess speed can lead to you losing your insurance, resulting in you needing to obtain non-standard insurance at potentially increased rates.
A conviction for a DUI, reckless driving, or careless driving are all considered major violations that will likely result in you losing your insurance at the end of its term. And even if your insurance company doesn’t terminate it at the end of the term, the major violation is still a basis for doing so over the next several years.
In addition to being a major violation, a DUI conviction, for instance, can lead to an increase of insurance premiums as much as 1.5-times the amount you were previously paying. And you will likely pay these heightened premiums over the next five years.
Finally, you must always be aware that even simple moving violations can eventually lead to grounds for terminating your insurance if you get 3+ within a 3-year window (depending on your insurance carrier).
The good news is that knowing this in advance should ensure that you do more than simply pay the fine or plead guilty as charged. Traffic violations are negotiable. A skilled Minnesota traffic violations attorney knows how to negotiate a favorable resolution – one that is favorable in terms of the outcome in the criminal court and one that is favorable as far as how it impacts your insurance. Contact us now if you have received a traffic ticket.