If car insurance is a requirement for drivers in your state, you probably want the cheapest insurance premiums to keep your auto expenses under control. You can spend hours shopping for the lowest car insurance rates available, but your low car insurance rates can be gone in an instant if you receive a ticket for a traffic violation. Even a minor infraction can translate to a big hike to your insurance policy.
Receiving a speeding ticket can increase the cost of your insurance premiums, and excessive speeding tickets could force your insurance company to deny renewal of your policy. InsuranceRate.com indicates that speeding is a factor in 33 percent of accidents, and studies show drivers who have even a single speeding ticket on their record are statistically more prone to car accidents by as much as 50 percent over drivers who have not had a speeding infraction. Drivers with a speeding violation are considered a greater risk to insure because of the probability of a future accident and subsequent claim. As a result, your insurance company is forced to counter that risk by increasing the cost of your premiums.
Running Red Lights
According to LeaseGuide.com, running a red light can cost you higher insurance premiums. Many states have red light cameras that snap a picture of the driver and the license plate of any car passing through an intersection on a red light. Not only could you receive a traffic ticket, but your insurance company could raise your rates on the basis that you have become an accident risk by practicing unsafe driving habits and disobeying traffic laws. Similarly, running a stop sign or failing to yield may also result in an increase to your insurance premiums.
If you are involved in any type of car accident, you might see an increase to your insurance premiums. AutoInsurance.org reports that a premium increase due to an accident could last for about three years. Even a minor fender bender can have an effect on your premiums, especially if you are at fault, or if you have a prior violation such as a speeding ticket. If you are cited because your unsafe driving caused the accident, you may see a greater increase in the premiums.
As AutoInsurance.org notes, a citation for alcohol-related offenses can cause an enormous hike to your insurance premiums. If you are cited for an offense such as having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle or driving under the influence, it can even result in total loss of your insurance coverage and an inability to obtain coverage for up to three years into the future.
- traffic light image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com