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How different types of tickets affect auto insurance quotes

By Len Penzo

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, July 25 2013 2:09 p.m. MDT

Getting a ticket while driving always has an impact on car insurance rates, but the significance of the impact that is made to car insurance rates differs according to the violation.

Chuck Wing, Deseret News

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Editor's note: This article by Len Penzo originally appeared on his blog, Len Penzo dot com. It has been reprinted here with permission.

Getting a ticket while driving always has an impact on car insurance rates, but the significance of the impact that is made to car insurance rates differs according to the violation. While it is important to avoid breaking laws while driving, knowing just how serious a violation can be in relation to car insurance rates can help you understand how you’ll need to budget for higher rates after getting a ticket.

Myths About Traffic Tickets

A common myth that many drivers believe is that they will not have to worry about an increase in car insurance rates if they receive a traffic ticket while traveling in a state other than the state in which their car is insured.DMV.org reports that this is a misconception. Tickets in other states count against a driver just as much as tickets received in their state of residence.

More serious consequences can be suffered if a person ignores a ticket that is received in another state. License suspension and hefty fines can make a car insurance rate increase the least of a driver’s worries.

Temporary Increases in Car Insurance Rates

Nearly all types of tickets will only impact car insurance rates for a temporary period of time, but the exact length of time that rates are higher varies according to the type of ticket. According to Esurance, moving violations stop affecting car insurance rates as soon as they are removed from a person’s driving record. Some insurers prefer to put a set time limit on the effect that tickets have on rates because it may take a long time for violations to be removed from a driving record.

Moving violations relate to violations that occur when a vehicle is in motion. Speeding is the most common moving violation. Talking on a cell phone while driving or failing to use a turn signal can also be considered to be moving violations.

Many insurers choose to focus on moving violations that have occurred in the past three years. According to Autoinsurancecenter.com, when drivers are answering questions about violations in order to receive an insurance quote, they can discover the impacts of a particular violation on their auto insurance rate.

People who have been driving for a long time may have more leeway when it comes to moving violations. New drivers who have received a ticket shortly after becoming licensed may find that their rates are significantly higher than more experienced drivers.

The Impact of Serious Offenses

Serious offenses such as a DUI tend to impact car insurance rates significantly for a long period of time. InvestorPlace reveals that reckless driving and DUIs have the most significant impact on car insurance rates. Each of these violations can keep insurance rates high for up to 10 years.

Tickets can have a serious impact on the amount of money that a driver pays for a car insurance policy. Minor violations may only have a small impact on rates, but major infractions can significantly boost insurance rates for up to 10 years after the date of the violation.

Len Penzo is a personal finance blogger with a strong disdain for debt. His blog, Len Penzo dot com, has been featured as one of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best Money Blogs in 2010 and 2012.

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