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Will your traffic ticket raise your insurance rates?

I went to traffic court yesterday and a women came in to pled guilty to her speeding ticket and pay the fine.  I cringe every time I see someone just pled guilty and pay the traffic ticket.  Once you pay the ticket, you are admitting guilt.  Not only are you paying that high fine but you are giving your car insurance company ammunition.  Ammunition to RAISE YOUR CAR INSURANCE RATES 3-5%!  That’s right.  What many people think is just a simple quick “oh I’ll just pay it” turns into a 5 year ordeal.  How is this so?  Read on my friend…

First and foremost, it’s important to realize that not all traffic tickets are created equal. Minor infractions, such as a simple speeding ticket or a non-dangerous lane change, typically have a less severe impact on your insurance rates compared to more serious offenses like reckless driving, DUIs, or hit-and-run accidents. The severity of the violation plays a significant role in how much your premiums might increase.

Most people ask “how long will it take to the see the effect?”  In most cases, you might not see the increase for 6-12 months down the line. Generally, the insurance company won’t raise your rates immediately after receiving a traffic ticket. Instead, they typically review your driving record during policy renewals, which usually occur every six months or annually. If your insurance provider discovers a recent violation on your record, they may decide to increase your rates.  Especially in Louisiana where car insurance rates are at an all time high across the country!

The actual increase in your insurance premiums can vary widely depending on several factors. These include the severity of the offense, your driving history, your insurance company’s policies.  Generally, you can expect your rates to rise by a certain percentage for a specified period, often three to five years.

However, there’s good news. You can hire an attorney to talk to the city attorney (in Louisiana specifically) and we can get your ticket reduced or sometimes outright dismissed.  Our goal is to reduce it to a non-moving violation so it doesn’t effect your car insurance rates.  If it’s a higher level ticket (excessive speeding, reckless driving, etc), may Parishes offer offer defensive driving courses or traffic school programs that, when completed successfully, can mitigate the impact of a traffic ticket on your insurance rates.

Bottom line, don’t be that women that goes into traffic court just pleading guilty to a traffic ticket that will effect your for 5 YEARS.   Give us a call first for a free consultation at 504-434-7000.  We’ll review your ticket and make sure you don’t even up paying more than you have too.