Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Criminal convictions can and do impact auto insurance policies since convictions reflect the higher risks associated with covering the driver
  • Options do exist for those with criminal convictions to acquire lower-priced policies
  • Expungement should be explored in order to eliminate the various problems associated with public criminal records

Mistakes in life are common. Most people worry about how a past conviction will impact consideration for employment. Not everyone realizes that convictions can and do affect other areas of life.

Persons with criminal records may, in fact, end up paying higher car insurance premiums.

People with a record wonder if their past forces higher insurance rates. Thankfully, basic comparison shopping can lead to finding more reasonable and affordable rates. Enter your zip code above to compare auto insurance quotes today.

The Issue of Risk

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The reasons that individuals with criminal or traffic-related records end up being quoted higher rates are rooted in the all-encompassing specter of risk. The more risk associated with a client, the higher auto insurances premiums are going to be.

Not all records yield the same effects. Certain convictions are likely to present someone as a greater risk than others.

A DUI conviction is going to look worse to an insurance underwriter than charges related to being drunk and disorderly in public.

The former charge entails getting behind the wheel of a car while the latter does not. Still, the latter charge reflects potential risks.

Generally, an insurance company will review all of the following:

  • felonies
  • misdemeanors
  • non-criminal infractions
  • traffic citations

Unfortunately, being found not guilty or having charges dismissed does not wipe away records. Court records are still going to exist on a public docket.

Granted, a conviction is going to weigh more negatively than a dismissal or an acquittal.

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The High-Risk Policy

Fears may arise about not being approved for an insurance policy. Such fears could be unfounded.

Of course, the premiums for high-risk policies are going to be steeper than what would be found in a standard policy. In Texas, insurance companies may add surcharges to a premium based on certain convictions.

A few surcharges are mandatory and must remain on the policy for a full three years.’

Regardless, the added costs are to be expected since the insurance company might be worried about paying out on claims.

The Overall Policy

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When reviewing the information on the insurance policy application, various factors come together to establish a quoted price. A solid credit score may mitigate other areas on the policy that drive up expenses.

A criminal conviction could drive the costs of the policy way up but discounts for other things may be able to offset that increase. By searching out the widest range of insurance quotes and comparing a large number of policies, reasonably-priced premiums may be offered.

Lowering the Price for a Policy

Insured who are required to pay for a high-risk policy may be locked into the policy for some time, but this does not mean the high rates are forever. Taking steps to lower the costs associated with the policy is an option.

Enrolling and completing a defensive driving course is one of the most common ways the cost of a policy could be cut down. In California, the state government could work with eligible residents who are struggling with auto insurance payments.

Contacting the insurance provider and asking about possible ways to lower a policy’s cost are wise steps. Yet, insured customers avoid these steps out of complacency. Actions of this nature are mistakes.

Another type of mistake entails avoiding comparison shopping. To be a loyal customer to the same insurance provider is admirable. However, loyalty should not come with the cost of paying too much for a premium.

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Explore Options for an Expungement

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Expunging a criminal record might be a process worth exploring for those who have been convicted of a criminal offense. Expunging a felony or misdemeanor conviction means all records related to the conviction are wiped out.

The process is not a simple one. An attorney with expertise in such proceedings would need to be hired. Expungement involves making legal arguments.

The process entails going to court and appearing in front of a judge. The judge’s ruling determines whether or not a record is expunged.

Different states maintain different standards for expungement.

In Pennsylvania, recent changes to the law make it easier to seal records and expunge convictions. Other states may have a much higher bar.

Expunging a criminal record could very well eliminate the costly shadow prior convictions have over auto insurance rates.

A Second Chance

Being convicted of a crime can lead to certain stigmas following a person around through many areas of life. Options do exist for getting out from under the problems a conviction can cause.

Even problems associated with higher insurance rates may potentially be addressed. Find the lowest rate possible by comparing auto insurance quotes side-by-side. Enter your zip code below to begin for free.