YOU ASK:

Will a parking ticket or a seat belt violation ticket raise insurance rates?

WE ANSWER:

If these violations happen once in a blue moon and are minor, it won't have that much impact on your car insurance premiums, especially if your insurance company is a bit forgiving about this.

Parking tickets are really not an issue related to your risk as a driver so that will not make an impact on your insurance rates.

Some car insurance companies also treat seat belt violations as harmless and will not raise premiums because of this. In contrast, if you were able to get a discount for safety devices installed in your car, your failure to wear your seat belt may mean removal of the discount, which will effectively raise your premiums.

Basically, insurance companies base their decision to raise your premiums on the number of points or demerits you have.

  • Small violations such as having expired tags or not wearing a seat belt usually will not be given demerit points.
  • Minor violations such as speeding may raise your premiums depending on how many tickets you get. Your premium increase will increase exponentially for every additional ticket you get. For instance, one ticket may mean 5 to 7% increase in premiums. Meanwhile, if you have 4 such tickets, your premiums may increase up to 40 to 50%.
  • A single ticket due to serious violations such as reckless driving or driving under the influence may mean an increase of 25 to 30% of your premiums.
  • If you have obtained enough tickets, or if you are convicted of a DUI or a DWI, your license may be suspended or revoked, and this will mean you don't have to worry about your premiums. Your insurance company may just decide to cancel your policy! So try your best to keep this from happening.

Some violations may remain in your record for over a year, sometimes for 3 years, sometimes longer. And, as long as the violation remains in your record, you can expect higher premiums.

Also, violations may be treated differently depending on the driver's age. There are some insurance companies that charge younger drivers will higher premium increases versus older drivers who make the same violations. This is because it is deemed that teenaged drivers have a higher probability of committing the same violation.

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