August 17, 2010

How Getting Arrested Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Premium

An auto insurance quote for a good driver should remain fairly constant throughout the duration of a policy. Getting cited for a traffic violation, however, presents a different story. When it comes to auto insurance, arrested drivers are almost guaranteed to see their premiums climb.

Speeding is a common violation, and every time a driver is cited for speeding, the insurer is more likely to impose a premium increase. While speeding is usually a minor violation, exceeding the speed limit in special cases—school zones, construction areas, village or city limits—can cause a driver to be hit with a reckless driving charge. That puts points on the driver’s license, plus a fine. Points on your driving record constitute an alert to your insurance company. It can raise your auto insurance premiums by as much as 50 percent. Continued bad driving can get your policy suspended.

A more serious offense is driving under the influence or DUI. This arrest can result in the loss of your license and, summarily, your insurance policy. Nothing else on your driving record could make it harder for you to find a reasonable auto insurance quote. It’s very simple: don’t drink and drive. If you have been drinking, put your car keys away and let someone else take you home.

States vary when it comes to adjudicating minor traffic offenses. However, a pattern of minor violations can impact car insurance premiums. Running through stop signs, failing to signal for turns and being cited for other minor infractions will convince insurance companies that you are a high risk. Your insurance premiums should demonstrate clearly just how much insurers keep a close eye on your driving record.

Good drivers reap the benefits of staying within the law while on the road. Their insurance premiums don’t increase, and when they look for auto insurance quotes, they get the best offers. That puts them in the position of always having auto insurance, which is a requirement across the United States. There are severe penalties for driving without insurance, and the laws pertaining to that offense are vigorously enforced. Driving while uninsured can get your license revoked and will make renewing your license very difficult. Also, think about what you might have to tell a prospective employer about the blemish on your driving record.

The worst part of any traffic violation is that you could face imprisonment. Being involved in a serious or fatal accident, and being found at fault, puts virtually the rest of your life in jeopardy. Use common sense and drive your car safely. And when it comes to affordable auto insurance, arrested drivers need to know that they may have placed their financial security at risk.