5 Types of Traffic Tickets that Increase Car Insurance

There are many things that affect car insurance rates, but there’s one thing drivers are in complete control of: their driving records. Some traffic offenses increase insurance rates, and others make it difficult to secure future coverage. These four types of traffic tickets will increase car insurance premiums.

  1. Speeding. When drivers are in a hurry to get home after a long day or running late to an important appointment, it’s easy to ignore the speed limit. Although this is a common offense, insurers don’t take speeding lightly. A single speeding ticket can increase premiums, and subsequent tickets could cause rates to more than double.
  2. Distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the top road safety concerns, so law enforcement officials and insurers are cracking down on offenders. In some areas, two distracted driving tickets in the span of three years could add $2,000 to an insurance premium. And one insurer has reported that the increase in accidents due to distracted driving is forcing them to increase their rates for everyone.
  3. Impaired driving. Despite years of public awareness campaigns, drinking and driving is still a problem. Driving under the influence is a major offense that can result in fines, license points, license suspensions and even jail time. A conviction for driving under the influence can do more than just raise insurance premiums – it can make it hard for drivers to obtain traditional coverage at all. Now that many states in the U.S. have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, a new impaired driving concern is on the horizon for law enforcement officials and insurers. One insurance provider is already warning that a potential increase in pot-related accidents could raise insurance rates across the country.
  4. Insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a major issue that affects both insurance companies and insured drivers. In some cases, the prevalence of insurance fraud has raised premiums for all drivers. As a result, insurers take the matter very seriously. A conviction for insurance fraud will raise premiums and, like drinking and driving, could make it difficult for drivers to purchase coverage from a regular provider.

These four tickets can affect a driver’s insurance quote and the cost of premiums. But it’s important for drivers to remember that rates will only increase after a conviction. A conviction occurs when drivers: pay for a ticket, contest a ticket and lose in court, or fail to pay a ticket within a certain time frame. When drivers contest a ticket in court and are not convicted, the offense will not appear on the driver’s record or affect insurance costs.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.