September 20, 2011
By Robert Lewis, InsWeb.com
With severe budget cuts forcing cities and states to increase revenue, police officers are filling the resource gap by writing more traffic tickets.
Many drivers have found that the 5 to 10 mph “speeding cushion” they once enjoyed has vanished.
A recent study* found a strong link between declining revenue and increased traffic citations. The study examined 96 counties in North Carolina from 1990 to 2003 and learned that “significantly more tickets are issued in the year following a decline in revenue.”
The good news, though, is that a single ticket won’t necessarily send your auto insurance premium through the roof.
It’s when the tickets begin to pile up that the real trouble starts—especially if there’s a DUI or other major violation tossed in.
“Multiple violations raise an automatic red flag for insurance companies, and with each new infraction can come hundreds or even thousands in premium increases,” said Paula Gold, VP of Plymouth Rock Assurance, a Boston-based auto insurer. “Insurers won’t give leniency to a driver who was illegally parked in a handicapped spot or has several tickets within a year’s time.”
Fortunately, there are ways to keep premiums low following a ticket.
“Consider increasing your deductible or bundling several policies with one provider. Also, ask for discounts—being a safe driver can help, as can having low annual mileage,” she explained. “This will help reverse some of the damage caused by a single ticket and save money over the long term.”
If you have a ticket on your driving record, compare auto insurance quotes from different insurers. Each insurer views tickets differently, and switching policies could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Additionally, if you’ve been convicted of a DUI or other major infraction, an SR22 with a high-risk insurer could help you find affordable coverage.
Shop and compare auto insurance quotes right now with InsWeb for free.
*Journal of Law & Economics, 2009