By Matthew Weiss on December 8th, 2011 in Consumers
Automobile insurance rates in New York can be raised for just one traffic ticket conviction. Under Insurance Law Section 2335, New York auto insurance companies may raise a motorist's insurance rates for a number of reasons. The ones involving the issuance of a traffic ticket are set forth below:
- Motorist is convicted of driving sixteen (16) miles per hour (or more) over the limit
- Motorist has been convicted of speeding and/or reckless driving on 3 or more occasions
- Motorist has been convicted of speeding or reckless driving where injury or death results
- Motorist is convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired (alcohol or drugs)
- Motorist is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it
- Motorist is convicted or 2 or more moving violations
If you have a clean driving record (i.e., no points, no accidents), a conviction to most "small" moving violations will NOT result in your insurance rates being raised. Examples of such offenses are disobeying a sign or red light, failure to signal, speeding fifteen (15) miles per hour (or fewer) above the limit and improper turns. The second conviction, however, to a "small" offense can be used against you to hike your rates. It is not mandatory but the insurance company has the right to do so. For a “large” moving violation such as New York speeding ticket 16+ mph over the limit, driving while impaired or intoxicated and reckless driving, the insurance company can raise your rates even if you have an otherwise clean record.
We are often asked how long will such a conviction remains on a driver’s record for insurance purposes. The answer is 36 months from the date of conviction. This time frame is different than for DMV purposes. Points for DMV purposes (i.e., suspension purposes) are measured from the date of offense and only last for 18 months.
The lesson behind Section 2335 is that it does not take much for an insurance company to have a ground to raise your rates. Two "small" tickets or one “big” ticket is enough. Therefore, it is generally worthwhile fighting any New York traffic ticket and try and keep your driver’s license as clean as possible.
Here is an article giving additional information about car insurance in New York.