When you make mistakes behind the wheel and officers are around, you can get pulled over and cited for the violation. Some mistakes are a bit more serious than others.
If you’re caught slightly speeding or rolling through a stop sign, you’ll pay a fine for the minor violation you were cited for. If you’re cited for reckless driving or driving under the influence, you’ll have to do more than just pay a fine.
The first thing you have to deal with after a ticket is paying the fine or appearing in court. While both of these things are important, you can’t overlook how the encounter with the officer will affect your insurance.
Whether your record is good or bad, you can save money by comparing car insurance quotes. Enter your zip code above to get started.
When you’re applying for insurance, the insurer’s agent must review your records. Here’s what you need to know about Motor Vehicle Records:
When do you need to disclose your tickets?
When you start to comparison shop for auto insurance, your quotes are only as accurate as the information that you provide for the quote.
When you’re getting insurance quotes, the agent is going to ask if you have tickets. You should know what the ticket was for and the month and year when the ticket was written.
If you don’t disclose your speeding tickets or serious moving violations while you’re getting quotes, your rates will change when the policy has been reviewed and is issued.
Sometimes, your rates won’t just change, you’ll receive a letter saying your coverage will be canceled because you don’t qualify for insurance.
Do agents run your driving record when you’re getting a quote?
It’s not common for auto companies to ask for driving record requests before the client applies for coverage. Running an electronic request, even as an insurance company, costs money.
If the company were to run your Motor Vehicle Record and you don’t proceed and complete an application, the carrier would spend too much money trying to acquire the customer.
In some states, it’s not legal for the carrier to run your driving record at the time of the quote because you haven’t agreed to it.
When a disclosure is required to show that you give the insurer permission to run your records, the insurer can’t actually run the electronic report until you sign the document.
How do insurance companies run your Motor Vehicle Report?
There are a couple ways that insurance companies can request your motor vehicle records.
They can either get the report by filling out a request form through the state Department of Insurance or they can hire a risk solutions company to collect data from all of the motor vehicle agencies in the US.
The most common solutions company used currently is LexisNexis.
The carrier will only run a record for each of the drivers rated on the policy one time when you’re applying for insurance.
After the policy has been issued, the carrier won’t run your MVR again until it’s time for the policy to renew. If you’re a preferred risk, some carriers won’t even run your record again for two years because of the cost.
How far back is the carrier looking when they assess your driving record?
If you know you have a violation in the past but it’s been a few years, the record won’t impact your quote. It’s important that you’re aware of how far back the company is looking when they are determining your rates.
In most states, companies can only penalize policyholders for minor violations for up to three years after the citation date. If you have a more serious violation, like a DUI, carriers can look at the conviction and penalize you for it for longer.
In some states, it’s five years and in other states, it’s as long as 10 years.
Can the insurer see a ticket if you just got it?
When you’re issued a ticket, there’s a process. Your Motor Vehicle Record doesn’t automatically update showing you have a pending ticket in the books. Here are the situations where your insurer won’t see your ticket:
- You are not convicted of the offense when you go to court.
- You complete traffic school.
It’s not until after the offender goes to court or pays the fine to admit guilt that they will be convicted.
In some events, offenders win and are determined to be not guilty.
The insurer can’t see the infraction or violation until after you’re convicted. After the conviction, the file is updated to show the date that you were ticketed, what you were ticketed for, and that you were found guilty.
Anytime you fight a ticket and win, the insurer will not be able to see the violation.
If you are eligible to complete traffic school, you should complete it. If you only have one or two infractions in the past three years, most judges will allow you to complete school through an approved provider.
Doing this erases the ticket from view. The ticket still shows in the agencies’ systems, but the insurance company can’t see it or charge for it.
How will the violation impact your rates?
If you have a blemish-free record, some companies will forgive the first ticket. This isn’t common when you already have a spotty record.
How much your rate will go up all depends on the following:
- how old you are
- if you have accidents
- if you have tickets
- if the offense disqualifies you from receiving specific driver discounts
Your rates could go up five, 10, 15, or 20 percent after just a ticket. This is why you need to start comparing rates with some of the leading providers in the state when you see a rate increase.
You can get quotes instantly if you use an online quote tool that connects you with multiple companies at once. Enter your information into our tool, disclose your violations, and see if you can save money by switching your coverage.