Get a Traffic Ticket? 6 Tips to Help Keep Your Rates Down
You’ve been busted. Maybe you were speeding. Maybe you didn’t come to a complete stop before making that right turn. Either way, it’s going to cost you.
You already have to pay the ticket. But is it possible to keep your car insurance premiums from going up as well? After all, each driver’s rates are assessed based on their driving record, and now you no longer have a “clean” record.
Here Are Five Ways to Help Minimize the Impact
1. Stick It Out with the Same Company
Loyalty is valuable in an age with so many options. Itâ€™s easy for customers to cancel a policy and take their business elsewhere. If youâ€™ve been with the same company for a long time, a rate hike may be offset by accumulated discounts.
Insurance providers donâ€™t raise rates after a ticket as punishment. Drivers who get tickets are more likely to be in an accident, so theyâ€™re a greater risk than those with clean records.
If the provider raises your rates, consider sticking it out. It might take a while, but your premiums will probably go back down. . In the interim, ask your company if there are other ways in which you can save on your premium. You may be surprised to find that most insurance companies will do as much as they can to help keep your rates down.
2. Donâ€™t Get Another Ticket
Getting a traffic ticket is one thing, but donâ€™t make a habit of it. Itâ€™s easy to go with the flow of traffic and miss a speed limit sign, especially in an area where the roads arenâ€™t familiar. More than once or twice, and it becomes a pattern of risky driving behavior.
Some providers offer a grace or forgiveness plan to drivers with one or two incidents. If yours doesnâ€™t offer it, check around for another provider that does.
3. Consider Contesting the Ticket.
Contesting the ticket works in some situations. An officer writing you a ticket doesnâ€™t automatically mean it will hold up in court. Contesting the ticket might keep it off your record permanently.
4. Customize Your Policy
If your rates go through the roof after a ticket and youâ€™ve got a comprehensive policy, talk with your provider about temporarily changing to a lesser plan. Vehicles that are paid off have more insurance wiggle room than those youâ€™re still paying for.
Finance companies insist on full coverage to protect their interest in the vehicle. If you own the vehicle outright, a policy with all the bells and whistles isnâ€™t mandatory.
But donâ€™t go too far with a bare-bones plan. Although any insurance is better than none, too little is risky in the event of an accident.
5. Consider a Special High-Risk Company
If youâ€™re getting nowhere with your current provider, shop around for a quote with a special high-risk insurer. Getting a quote isnâ€™t a commitment, and it lets you know what the industry thinks about your ticket and what level of risk you represent.
High-risk providers are different from big-name providers that offer a high-risk plan. Because they focus on drivers with less-than-perfect records, they often have more options. The switch doesnâ€™t have to be permanent; it can bridge the time between getting the ticket and having it removed from your record.
6. Traffic School Can Help
Traffic school isnâ€™t just for people whoâ€™ve had a DUI or other serious incident. Enrolling in traffic school shows that youâ€™re responsible.
Ask your provider whether taking a course would help your rates. Classes may be a couple of days or a few online sessions long, but the payoff could make you a more attractive customer and a better driver.
Car insurance is a part of life: if youâ€™re on the road, youâ€™ve got to have it. Most drivers will get a traffic ticket at some point, but being a smart consumer can help keep costs manageable.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.