- November 22, 2021
- Posted by: Western Mass Auto
- Categories: Auto Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Insurance Coverages, Massachusetts Laws, Points Drivers
How will a traffic ticket affect my Massachusetts car insurance rates?
Massachusetts traffic tickets may result in fines or fees, but you may also see an increase in your car insurance rates! People often ask us how traffic violations affect drivers when they’re trying to find car insurance. It’s important for drivers to know the answers to these questions so they can be aware of what causes their premiums and or policies to increase. These are the reasons a traffic ticket can increase your rates, and we also included ways to reduce the impact of the ticket.
Massachusetts uses a point system on your driving record
Like many other states’ motor vehicle departments, Massachusetts’ Registry of Motor Vehicles uses a points system in order to track violations and assess penalties. For violations, points are given and penalties accrue when a driver’s point total increases. The points work in the same way as golf scores: the more points a driver has, the better.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles assigns points for the following surchargeable events:
- Minor traffic violations: Speeding is 2 points
- Traffic violations of major importance: Driving under the influence is 5 points
- Minor at-fault accidents: Accidents involving claims between $500-$2,000 is 3 points
- Major at-fault accidents: Accidents with claims exceeding $2,000 is 4 points
Most common types of moving violations, such as speeding and failing to stop, are given a certain number of points. Insurance companies track these points with driver records or claim histories that they maintain for each insured person. Generally speaking, when you accumulate six or more points within three years, your insurance company will raise your rates. If you accumulate two serious infractions (e.g., reckless driving) within three years, you must notify your insurer most carriers will cancel your current policy.
Will a speeding ticket increase your car insurance?
History of traffic tickets or car accidents may increase your rates
Most auto insurance companies provide discounts for safe driving records. If you’ve never received a traffic violation or had an at-fault accident, you should be able to receive the best rates every time your policy is up for renewal. However, if you have had one or both of these events on your record, the company will review them when deciding whether or not they can offer lower rates than their competitors. Again, this discount varies by company and may only last three years depending upon the insurer’s policy structure.
If your insurance carrier has raised its premiums because of traffic incidents that occurred during the previous 36 months that may be too recent for other carriers to consider. On average, it takes three years before a premium increase from an event will affect your rates.
Since most insurance companies review a claim history for three years after an incident, you may still be able to find lower comprehensive and collision premiums with another insurer if the rate increases have been within that time frame.
How tickets increase points
Tickets for moving violations can be charged and will usually result in points being added to your license. Your auto insurance rates will likely rise as a result. The severity of the offense and the number of points (if any), on your license, will determine how much your premiums rise. The average premium increase lasts three to five years.
A ticket for a moving violation can almost certainly raise your auto insurance premiums. However, there are many ways to reduce any rate increases. Traffic violations or accidents can cause your rates to rise, but some insurers monitor these claims more closely than others. Even if they increase your premiums, it may only last three years depending upon the company’s policy structure. In order to receive the best deals on car insurance keep a good driving record and work with an independent agent who is familiar with all of the discounts that are offered by Massachusetts-based insurers.
What you can do to reduce car insurance after a ticket in Massachusetts
Fight your ticket in court
The first step is to fight the ticket in court. Your premiums won’t likely be affected if you can get the ticket reduced to non-moving violations or thrown out. A ticket that is a lesser moving violation or reduced can make a big difference in how much you pay for auto insurance.
To help you with your legal defense against the ticket, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. Knowing the laws for car insurance in Massachusetts may also be helpful. It may seem expensive to hire a lawyer. However, if they can get your ticket dismissed, you may be able to save more on future car-insurance premiums than what you paid.
Take a driver safety or defensive driving course
A defensive driving course is your next best strategy. A defensive driving course that is approved may help you get in front of a judge. In some cases, the judge might make it compulsory to take a defensive driving course. Even if you don’t need it in traffic court, a defensive driving course can help lower your auto insurance rates.
Many insurers offer discounts for drivers who have completed approved defensive driving courses. These discounts are usually offered in a percentage and often a substantial percentage.
These discounts are usually offered at a percentage so drivers with higher premiums will benefit more by taking a course. A percentage discount can save you more money if your rates rise than before your traffic ticket.
Working with an independent insurance agent
Working with an independent insurance agent like Western Mass Auto Insurance is the best and most effective strategy. They will help you compare your car insurance policy to other policies. While most insurers will raise your premiums once points are added to your driver’s license, the amount they increase your rates will vary. Independent agents can help you compare quotes from different Massachusetts insurance companies so that you can find an affordable policy.
Massachusettes Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of tickets affect your insurance?
Some companies consider moving violations more heavily than others based on your age and the number of points you’ve received in the past three years. If you have had one serious ticket (such as reckless driving) within this time frame, it is likely that your carrier will cancel your existing policy instead of raising premiums. A new company may offer lower rates if they review a claim history for 36 months after an incident or violation.
Do speeding tickets affect insurance in Massachusetts?
A speeding ticket in Massachusetts is considered a minor traffic violation. It can result in two points on your driving record. A speeding ticket can also affect your car insurance rates when you go to buy an insurance plan. The average insurance increase after a speeding ticket in Massachusetts is 33 percent.
Do tickets increase insurance?
Yes, speeding tickets may increase the amount you pay for car insurance. Tickets are considered part of your driving record. The perception that you’re at higher risk of an accident because of traffic violations on your driving record may affect the cost of your insurance.
Does a speeding ticket without points affect insurance?
If you are successful in either removing the speeding ticket from your record or having the points reduced to zero, it is likely your insurance rates will not increase.
In fact, your insurance company may never learn of the ticket at all.
How long do traffic violations stay on your record in Massachusetts?
Most convictions stay on your record 5 years from the date of the conviction.