In most cases, getting just a minor traffic ticket of some kind will not usually affect the rates you pay for car insurance; however, getting multiple tickets or one major type of traffic violation can affect the rates you pay. If you are currently paying too much for auto insurance due to traffic violations on your record, here is some information to help you understand how long these violations may affect the rates you are paying for auto insurance coverage.
Minor Violations Drop Off Within a Few Years
The first thing you should know about traffic violations is that minor ones tend to drop off your record within a few years. The exact amount of time depends on the rules you have in your state, but three years tends to be the longest amount of time a minor traffic violation will stay on a person's record. Minor traffic violations can include tickets for speeding, failing to come to a complete stop, or not wearing a seatbelt.
Major Violations Take Much Longer
Getting a major violation is much different than getting a minor violation, and a major violation may include something like a DUI. When you get a DUI, you will automatically be considered a high-risk driver to insurance companies, and this will result in paying more money. In fact, many people who get DUIs will be required to purchase a special type of auto insurance policy called SR-22, and this type of policy always costs more as it is designed for high-risk drivers. The amount of time the DUI will stay on your record also depends where you live, and there is a chance that it will always be on your record. After a few years, though, it may not affect your rates a whole lot. It just depends on your state and on your driving record.
Steps to Reduce Insurance Costs
If you are hoping to save money on car insurance but do not foresee that your violations will fall off your record any time soon, you could talk to an insurance agent about ways to save money. One option is to take a course that teaches defensive driving skills. Another option is to raise your deductible, and you could save money simply by dropping some of your coverage. If you need help with this or have questions about it, you can always learn more by talking to an auto insurance agency.