Seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror may cause immediate panic, especially if you already have some traffic violations on your record. Depending on the situation, breaking traffic laws could impact everything from your driving privileges to how much you owe your insurance company.
Knowing how a traffic violation could impact your insurance can help you prepare for what comes next.
Assessing the violation
A single traffic violation will rarely do much to your insurance rates. For example, speeding a few miles over the speed limit may leave you with a fine and the requirement to participate in a driver improvement program, but upon completing these steps, you may see no signs of your violation. However, a serious violation, such as reckless driving, may cause your insurance premium to skyrocket alongside other consequences.
How much your insurance goes up or whether it will increase at all weighs heavily on the seriousness of your offense. According to The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, your insurance company will assess your case and determine the outcome. Their investigation and subsequent decision run independently of any demerit points you receive on your driver’s license.
Identifying the risk
Sometimes, your insurance company may rely on proof that you completed a driver improvement course to keep your rates the same. However, they may only allow so many exceptions before raising your rates. The more traffic violations you have on your record, the bigger of a threat you pose which is why your insurance company may raise your rates.
If you have accrued more than one traffic violation, make sure you understand the requirements for having them removed from your record eventually. Mistakes on your record or outdated charges could impact your insurance rates unfairly. Driving responsibly and following the rules of the road can help you prevent repeat offenses so you do not have to deal with long-term consequences.