September 23rd, 2011
Traffic tickets can have a significant effect on your monthly car insurance premiums. The amount of increase is dependent on the severity and frequency of your transgressions, but the increases can very steep with costs that compound over time.
Car insurance carriers are extremely concerned with risk. That's their business; they’ll assume the risk of damages caused by your driving if you’re willing to pay them a monthly fee. In return, car insurance companies come up with a dollar amount that makes them comfortable absorbing the risk. Monthly premiums differ depending on your personal profile. But of course of the most weighty metric is how risky of a driver you are -- and of one of the biggest indicators of risky driving is a severe traffic ticket and/or a long history of moving violations.
Traffic tickets can also pose collateral problems for your car insurance premiums. Most states have a points system for driving offenses; insurance companies have access to this information. Some tickets won't translate into points on your record. Others will, and these could doubly hurt your premiums as the carrier will know both about the ticket and the points. Parking tickets affect your car insurance premiums in slightly different ways.
You can likely go to driving school to get points reduced from your record but that class may cost more than the increase in your premium. And then there is the cost of the ticket in the first place. Any way you look at it, traffic tickets are extremely costly.
By now you know that driving safely is important. But it can also be frugal, as traffic tickets can hurt your finances in many ways, including a spike in car insurance premiums.
Here's a great blog post about traffic tickets and car insurance in New York.