January 30, 2010

Limiting A Traffic Citation’s Effect On Your Auto Insurance Quotes

Anyone who has had a traffic citation in the past knows that it can certainly have a negative effect on your auto insurance. While it is not always possible to completely stop a citation from affecting your auto insurance coverage or an auto insurance quote, it is possible to limit the effect that it has. Here are some tips for keeping that traffic citation as painless as possible for your car insurance.

If you have received a traffic citation, you should make every effort to keep it from appearing on your driving record. If a traffic citation is paid, you will then have a notation of that on your driving record, which will almost always eventually cause your auto insurance rates to be raised. However, if you are able to go to a court-approved driver safety course, you can avoid having the citation on your record. You can normally request taking a driver safety course, or traffic school,’ with the court at the time you call or report to your court date. The court will give you a time and place to report to the driver safety course, and you will need to pay an enrollment fee (normally around $35) as well as court administrative fees. Typically, the cost for the driver safety school will be less than the cost of the ticket would have been. Completion of the course will allow you to keep the traffic citation off your driving record and will therefore help you avoid an increase in auto insurance coverage.

Another way to limit the effect a traffic citation has on your car insurance is deferred adjudication, which is a form of plea bargain that is available only in certain states, so you will need to check with your local court. If you choose deferred adjudication, you will usually enter a guilty or a no contest plea. You will then be placed on a type of driving probation in which you will need to maintain a clean driving record for the next 90 days. Upon completion of that period, the traffic citation will normally be dismissed. In this way you can avoid any appearance on your traffic record as well as any damage to your car insurance rates. There are some minimal court costs associated with deferred adjudication, which vary by state.

While you may not be able to avoid getting the occasional traffic citation, you can make every effort to be a smart and safe driver. When you do have to deal with a traffic ticket, try using the methods above to limit the effect it has on your auto insurance.