Have a Traffic Ticket? We Feel Your Pain

  • There are three penalties for a traffic ticket: the fine itself, the effect on your insurance, and demerit points.
  • A ticket takes about three years to clear off your driving record.
  • Speeding is one of the most common traffic tickets.

Avoid tickets to keep your auto insurance rates low.

There’s no two ways about it, getting pulled over and ticketed isn’t fun. In fact, it can put even the most jovial driver into the foulest of moods. However, it is the price we pay for playing fast and loose with the rules of the road which ultimately puts others—drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists—at risk.

And the price is significant. There’s the fine itself, the effect the ticket has on your auto insurance rate, and the demerit points that are tacked on to your driving record.

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How long will a ticket affect your auto insurance rate?

A ticket isn’t just a one-off hit to your wallet. It has staying power. It takes about three years to clear off your driving record which is how long it takes for a ticket to no longer factor into the premium you pay.

What can you do in the meantime to keep your premiums as low as possible? The answer can be summed up in two words: shop around.

Even if you’ve been with your current insurer for years (and perhaps, especially if you’ve been with them for years), you should put your rates to the test as some insurers are more forgiving than others. Be confident you’re getting the best auto insurance rate and compare quotes for a better deal.

Common tickets to avoid getting

Nobody is perfect. A ticket will likely happen to most of us at one time or another. If it’s happened to you, chances are it was for:

  • Speeding. Speeding tickets are the most common of all tickets. Drive at a speed that is within the limit but also suitable for the weather conditions.
  • Ignoring a traffic signal or sign. Red light runners are so common that many cities have turned to cameras to catch people in the act.
  • Failing to have your proof of auto insurance with you. It’s a myth that you have 24-hours to provide proof of your coverage if asked by an officer.
  • Failing to wear a seat belt. What can we say, for safety’s sake, buckle up!
  • Distracted driving. A good rule of thumb to drive by is if it requires that you take your eyes or attention away from the road, it can wait.
  • Failing to signal. Drivers who signal late, or worse don't signal at all, are a major pet peeve for many motorists. Letting people know your intentions is easy to do and can make a big difference in keeping you and your passengers safe.

Your ticket to the lowest car insurance rates

Your driving record matters. It is one of the most influential factors in determining your insurance rate. Sure, there are others like where you live, your insurance history, and the type of car you drive but your driving record and history is indicative of how you are when behind the wheel. Drive carefully and mind the rules of the road to keep your car insurance premiums low by avoiding tickets in the first place.