There are hundreds of reasons that you may be given a traffic ticket in South Florida and some are more serious than others. The one thing that they all have in common is they are costly. I have previously written about such costs in relation to fines and insurance rates, but sometimes those costs seem abstract. My intention with this blog is to point out to you in concrete terms just how and why a traffic ticket can be an expensive item and why you should never just pay it.
Nearly everyone who has been driving for a period of time has gotten a traffic ticket. These are often speeding tickets or red light infractions. This is a common occurrence and can happen to anyone. Although there are those drivers who claim to have never gotten a ticket for either of these offenses, it’s probably just a matter of time before they do.
We all know that traffic ticket fines are hefty in South Florida, but one major expense of getting a traffic ticket is the impact it has on your insurance. Although the fines may be the same for everyone, the hikes in insurance premiums certainly are not. Insurance companies use many factors when determining not just your insurance rate, but whether or not to insure you at all. One such factor is your level of experience versus how great a risk you represent to costing the insurance company money if you or someone else makes a claim against the company.
There are two major influences on your insurance rates which are the level of experience you have and the risk that you pose to the insurance company. It is presumed that those drivers with little to no experience at driving run a higher chance of being involved in an accident. Even if someone is older than expected when first getting a driver’s license, their insurance rates will be higher due to the lack of experience. In addition to age and experience, they consider whether or not a driver has had a driver’s education class. All of these issues speak to the level of experience of the driver, and often there is nothing to be done except allow for the passage of time.
The second major influence on insurance rates, risk, varies from experience. No matter how long you have been driving, if you have had multiple tickets or an accident on your driving record, the insurance companies view you as a high risk driver. Multiple points on your license, accidents, and DUIs are all indicators of increased risk for the insurance company. Other primary considerations for insurance companies are sex and age because men and younger drivers tend to take more chances when driving.
Yet, of all of these factors the single major red flag for insurance companies are traffic tickets. They evaluate not only the number of tickets you have had, but also what the traffic tickets were for. The probability that they will have to pay out a claim on your behalf increases if you have a history of speeding, reckless driving, or other moving traffic citations that indicate you are a less cautious driver.
Some of the greatest insurance cost increases for receiving a traffic citation in South Florida are listed below. Although this is not a complete list and these are simply approximations, this chart shows what you can expect to pay for a single traffic violation.
HIDDEN COSTS OF A TRAFFIC TICKET
Violation Insurance Increase
- Reckless Driving 22%
- DUI (1st Offense) 19%
- Driving Without a License 18%
- Careless Driving 16%
- Failure to Stop 15%
- Speeding (30 mph +) 15%
- Improper Turn 14%
- Improper Passing 14%
- Following Too Closely 13%
- Speeding (15-29 mph) 12%
- Speeding (1- 14 mph) 12%
- Failure to Yield 9%
These figures are based upon receiving just one traffic ticket. As you can imagine, subsequent traffic citations will result in much higher increases, and may even result in being unable to obtain insurance except with companies who specialize in high risk drivers. Of course, as this information shows, you pay much more for it; therefore, you should never just pay a traffic ticket nor elect to attend driving school. Contact the Traffic Ticket Team for your free consultation to learn how we can help you avoid these tremendous expenses. Call me anytime at (954) 967-9888.