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How long do tickets and accidents affect my insurance?

Auto Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | June 27, 2017

The red flashing lights the siren the fear in the pit of your stomach— you’re being pulled over and an officer is now issuing you a ticket. This is a moment most of us would rather erase spin back the hands of time and do over. Tickets are not only costly but they also impact your car insurance by potentially raising your premiums. Driving related tickets are not something that you want to be dealing with. Nevertheless it happens. So what can you expect as far as how this ticket will actually affect your car insurance? Every situation is unique and every ticket consequently affects the terms of your insurance differently. Here are a few things to keep in mind after receiving that dreaded ticket.

Moving Violation versus Accident

It goes without saying that speeding tickets are going to have a different effect on your car insurance policy than an accident. Let’s say you’ve been involved in a collision. Most likely some damage has been done to your vehicle and your insurance company may have to pay out to cover the damages done. If the accident is your fault your insurance company will have to pay out to fix the other party’s car and that means your rates will increase come renewal time. The exception is if you qualified for and had accident forgiveness coverage on your policy. In a case where it was not your fault and the other driver’s insurance company pays then your own insurance will probably remain the same.

Now if you are served with a speeding ticket the situation may prove a little different. Speeding ticket triggered increases can depend on the number of tickets received within a given time period the severity of the ticket and even region or venue in which you received a particular ticket. For instance, if this happens to be your third ticket within 3 months it’s pretty safe to assume you will notice an insurance rate hike. If it’s your first violation the increase may not be quite as significant or your insurance may not be impacted at all. The important thing here is to discuss the details with your insurance broker and get a clear picture of how your rates will be affected and subsequently what you can do to remedy the situation.

More Severe Offences

So what about more serious driving offences along the lines of driving under the influence and reckless driving? Hopefully, such violations are not issues with which you have to contend; however, if you do find yourself facing one of these charges you may discover that your insurance rates increase quite substantially – that’s if your insurer opts to keep you insured. Too many offences and even one serious offence and you just may find yourself without a policy — in which case you may have to explore alternative high-risk car insurance options.

What can you do after getting a ticket to better your rates?

There are a few discount programs available that may help you to offset the added expense that a ticket has cost you in terms of your car insurance plan. You can attend defensive driving or safe driver courses. Generally, these will give you something of a break from the ticket increases though again each situation is unique and therefore you should discuss any such plan with your insurance broker first. You might also opt to contest the ticket in court. Getting the charges reduced can help as far as the amount of any rate increase you might see. Some companies now have telematics systems that may allow for a discount too.

How long will this offence affect my insurance premiums?

The length of time your insurance premiums will be affected by an offence will depend on the type of violation. Minor traffic violations (such as speeding tickets up to 10km over the limit) will impact your rates for 3 years whereas major violations can affect your premiums for up to 6 years.

The increase in your car insurance the length of time a given ticket will affect that insurance and the overall outlook for your future with the insurance company in light of any such violation should be discussed with an insurance broker who has the knowledge and experience to answer your specific questions in greater detail.

How long will accidents affect my insurance premiums?

If you are not at fault your accident should not affect your insurance premiums.

However, if you are at fault your insurance premiums will be affected. This can be compounded if you also received a ticket for causing the accident. For example, you get a ticket for an improper left turn that caused you to hit another vehicle in the intersection.

Generally, an accident will directly affect your car insurance rates for 6 years. They may indirectly impact them for even longer especially if it comes to your driver rating and claims-free discounts.

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