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Survey examines the impact of traffic tickets on insurance premiums

We are all very familiar with the potential consequences of traffic violations: large fines, points against your license and, of course, increased insurance premiums. Interestingly, the online comparison site InsuranceQuotes.com recently performed a survey designed to determine whether insurance premiums do indeed go up after the issuance of traffic tickets.

The survey, which polled 1,000 drivers of all ages, discovered that overall only 31 percent of respondents who received some sort of traffic citation in the last five years paid increased insurance premiums.

While this certainly seems like an encouraging finding, a closer look at the numbers reveals that some drivers -- particularly those of a younger age -- will still want to think twice before flouting the rules of the road.

Specifically, InsuranceQuotes.com found the following:

  • 41 percent of drivers between the ages of 18-29 who received a ticket in the last five years paid increased premiums
  • 32 percent of drivers between the ages of 30-49 who received a ticket in the last five years paid increased premiums
  • 15 percent of drivers age 50 and older who received a ticket in the last five years paid increased premiums

The most common amount by which insurance premiums were found to increase was $100 a year or less.

Why then are younger drivers so much more likely to see their insurance premiums increase than older drivers?

The answer, according to officials with InsuranceQuotes.com, has to do with how insurance companies monitor Motor Vehicle Reports, meaning the documents outlining any and all traffic violations a person is issued.

Specifically, insurance companies view younger drivers as inherently more risky due to their inexperience and a variety of other factors. Because of this, they pull Motor Vehicle reports on their younger customers far more often (sometimes as often as every six months). However, because pulling these reports costs money, they do it on a far less frequent basis for their older customers, whom they view as inherently safer drivers.

It should be noted that officials with InsuranceQuotes.com also noted that drivers should attempt to have tickets expunged from their driving records whenever possible, and that those drivers who have been issued multiple and/or serious traffic citations should strongly consider retaining the services of an attorney given the stakes involved.

"An attorney can help you navigate the laws of your state and help you understand your options," said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for the site.

Stay tuned for more from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...

If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source:

ABC News, "Traffic tickets often don't raise insurance costs, survey finds," Alan Farnham, Feb. 20, 2013

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