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How long does a ticket affect car insurance?

The lowdown...
  • Tickets for speeding or other infractions can raise premiums
  • Tickets can remain on your driving records for three years
  • Your insurer may keep your driving record for up to five years

One of the questions that drivers want to know is how long a ticket affects car insurance. This is important for a number of reasons:

  • Tickets raise insurance rates– Traffic tickets can raise your insurance rate and keep you from being able to get the best rates for insurance. The information contained in your driving record stays on your record for a long time in some cases. So you need to know how long it will be before it comes off your record.
  • Traffic violations become a part of your driving record– You need to keep your driving record as spotless as possible so that you will have more options in your future insurance policy choices. Some companies put you on an “indemnity plan” if they consider you a high-risk driver.
  • Premiums are based on driving points– Insurance companies decide how much your premiums will be based on a point system. The more traffic violations you acquire, the higher your points. This can lead to increased insurance premiums.

If you’re curious how past driving tickets will impact your car insurance, read through the article below. Then, be sure to enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates to find the best fit!

Average Amount of Time a Ticket Stays on Your Record

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Instead of asking how long a ticket will affect your car insurance, the better question to ask is: “How long will a ticket stay on my driving record?”

This is because traffic violations such as speeding tickets and citations increase your number of points on your driving record. The driving record is what insurance companies ask for when you start a new policy. They base their decision on whether to accept your application and what to charge you on this.

According to most sources, a traffic ticket remains on your record for around three years.

This means that, in most states, your ticket or traffic violation will drop off your record about three years after it occurs. However, statistics show that most insurance companies look back into your driving record for at least five years. So anything that was on your record five years ago could be subject to review.

Factors that Influence Your Premiums

One of the factors that influences your premiums the most is your driving record. Tickets add to your list of infractions that influence your premium.

The more an insurer sees you as a risk on the road, the more you will pay in premiums. This is the essence of how insurance works. An insurance company charges less to drivers with no accidents because they have not suffered a financial loss from that driver.

Demographics Count

Another factor that influences your premiums is your age and the demographic group that you belong to. If you are a young male driver between 18 and 24, you are in the highest risk group for serious accidents. Therefore, you will pay more for insurance than a female in that same age group, who has fewer accidents.

You will also pay more than older (senior) drivers, who have a much lower accident rate in that demographic group.

Ability to Make Consistent Payments

Believe it or not, another factor that can influence your premium rate is your payment history. If you are late on a few payments, it’s no big deal, but if you let your policy lapse, you can get your premiums raised quickly.

This is because insurance companies consider drivers who are not carrying insurance, even for a short time, an added risk.

The longer you drive without insurance, the higher your risk for loss. Statistics also show that people who let their insurance lapse are also more likely to be risky drivers.

DUIs and Accidents

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If you want to rack up points fast, just try having a DUI or two. DUIs harm your driving record quickly and you will pay in the form of increased insurance rates and other negative consequences.

Accidents will increase your rate faster than anything also because the insurer actually suffers a financial loss due to your accident if you are at fault. If you have an accident that is not ruled your fault, it may be somewhat less.

Can you decrease the time that a ticket remains?

Some drivers want to know if they can reduce the time a ticket stays on their record. The short answer is “no.” You can’t reverse what has happened in the past. However, as with most things in life, you can always do better moving forward.

By exhibiting good driving behaviors, keeping your eyes on the road, and avoiding DUIs or other infractions, you can gradually reduce your liability to insurance companies and win their trust back.

With time, you may also qualify for various discounts, including:

  • Good driving discounts– If your driving record improves, you may qualify for good driving points from your insurance provider, even if your driving record still has points on it from tickets.
  • Good student discounts– If you are a good student, you might level your premium rates with your good grades, even if you have traffic violations on your record.
  • Paying premiums on time consistently– An insurance company is like any other company in some ways. They are a business that has profit and loss. If you pay your premiums on time and consistently, you will be seen as less of a risk.
  • Automatic payments– Making automated draft payments, as opposed to paying online manually or by check may decrease your premiums. That’s because it ensures that the company will be paid regularly by agreeing to automatically deduct funds for your premiums.

Check with your insurer to see if you qualify for any of these driving discounts while you are waiting for your premiums to go down. And remember, drive safely and try your best to avoid tickets. That’s the best way to guarantee lower premiums.

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