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Does a parking ticket affect my car insurance?

Here's what you need to know...

  • Urban areas usually have additional parking enforcement.
  • Unpaid parking tickets can have consequences.
  • Insurance companies may raise your premium or not renew your policy due to unpaid parking tickets.

Generally speaking, a parking ticket will not affect your car insurance. On the other hand, if you have racked up your fair share of parking tickets without paying them, you may be in store for an increase in your insurance premium, along with some other added surprises. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above! Let’s take a look at some of the factors that determine how parking tickets can affect your car insurance.

Parking Tickets in Urban Areas

Parking tickets have long been a nuisance for those living in urban areas. This is usually a result of cash-strapped cities and other municipalities attempting to tap into every other source of revenue available. In 2011, Washington D.C. was able to take in an astounding 92.6 million dollars in revenue from 1.6 million parking tickets issued.

Violations that Result in a Parking Ticket

There are many different types of parking violations that are likely to get you a ticket if you’re not careful. Have you ever found yourselves in such a hurry that you are willing to ignore the signs and park just about anywhere? Here are some examples of violations in which a police officer may issue you a parking ticket:

  • Parking in front of a fire hydrant.
  • Parking in a handicapped zone with no permit.
  • Parking for longer than the designated time.
  • Parking at a meter without paying.
  • Parking in the roadway without the vehicle being properly licensed.
  • Double parking.
  • Parking more than 18 inches from the curb.
  • Parking in a “commercial vehicles only” area.
  • Parking too close to a crosswalk or intersection.

Unpaid Parking Tickets

If you are not careful about paying your parking tickets, you could face some undesirable consequences. An unpaid parking ticket, if unresolved for too long, may result in a hold or even a suspension of your license.

Too many unpaid tickets at the time of license renewal may result in you not being able to get your license renewed.

Most insurance companies will raise your premium after being notified of a license suspension. Each insurance company is different as to how they deal with hikes in rates. For example, one may raise your rates for a few years while another may add a surcharge on top of your premium. Here are some other unpaid parking ticket consequences:

  • Boot on your vehicle.
  • Towing or impounding of your vehicle.
  • Suspension of your vehicle registration.
  • Non-renewal of your insurance policy.
  • Sent to collections agency.
  • Possible damage to your credit.

Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket

How can you avoid a parking violation when there is competition for parking spaces? The best way to avoid getting a parking ticket is to pay the meter, and most importantly, heed the signs. If you can find a parking garage, it is often a better and cheaper option in the long run, especially if you are planning to stay for an extended period of time.

Always check for “no parking” signs or curb markings signaling that it is a restricted parking area.

In the event that you do get a parking ticket, pay it off as soon as possible. Many places, such as New York City, try to give you the added convenience by allowing you to pay your parking ticket online.

Appealing an Unjust Parking Ticket

Appealing an unjust parking ticket may be able to get out of paying the fine, without having to sacrifice your insurance rates going up. In this case, don’t pay the fine for a parking ticket if you have decided you have a reason to contest the ticket. If at all possible, contest the ticket right away. Note if there are any mistakes on the ticket. Take photos of the parking area where you were parked before you move your car. Request an in-person hearing and study the local ordinances before appearing and presenting your defenses. If you don’t win your case, then it is appropriate to pay the ticket.

Comparing Insurance Companies

If your insurance carrier has raised your rates based on parking violations, look around for another provider with better options. Non-moving violations are generally not a big concern to most insurance companies. It is always best to shop around and find the best deal, because more often that not, there is always someone else who can offer your something better than your current provider.

While the number of parking tickets you have won’t affect your car insurance rate, if you receive a parking ticket, the best thing to do is pay it. Although you may get a certain satisfaction from not paying a ticket, the truth is sooner or later the unpaid fines, as minor offenses as they are, will catch up to you. And when they do, they’re going to cost you a lot more than what you bargained for. Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

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