There are a lot of things that go into calculating the cost of your car insurance. Your age and sex are two really big factors. Men under 35 pay a lot more than women. It makes sense since they are a bigger risk and get into more accidents. But where you live seems unfair. Literally, if you live on the wrong side of the tracks (Dixie Highway), you pay more.
It makes sense with homeowners insurance, but not car insurance. If you live in Miami-Dade, you pay more than Broward residents. If you live in Palm Beach County, you pay less than your neighbors in Broward. Still seems unfair. The type of car seems fair game. Lets face it, people buy fast sports cars to drive fast. That mean they are more likely to get into an accident. In this day and age of massive amounts of information, your credit score can even cost you more on car insurance. This too seems unfair since people with low credit scores are probably less likely to have the money to pay higher premiums. But you know what seems really unjust? How much your auto insurance goes up because of one lousy ticket.
Clients often ask me why “should I hire a traffic ticket lawyer to fight my ticket”. It’s usually a speeding ticket, but there are a lot of other traffic tickets. I tell them the three reasons are as follows. Time. It’s the one thing you can’t buy or get more of. If you fight the ticket yourself, you will lose about 10-20 hours of your life. And I promise, it won’t be fun. The second reason is tied to the third. Points and money. If you pay the ticket it will be expensive and you will ge points on your record. That’s okay you say, I will pay the $250. This is where a little education comes in handy. It’s not just the cost of the speeding ticket. It’s the points on your license. The points show up on your driving record and then your insurance company uses the points as an excuse to raise your rates. But just how much will your insurance increase on your car if you get just one traffic ticket? Below are the average increases to your auto insurance for just one traffic ticket.
- Reckless driving: 22 percent
- DUI first offense: 19 percent
- Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
- Careless driving: 16 percent
- Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15 percent
- Failure to stop: 15 percent
- Improper turn: 14 percent
- Improper passing: 14 percent
- Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent
- Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12 percent
- Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11 percent
- Failure to yield: 9 percent
- No car insurance: 6 percent
- Seat belt infractions: 3 percent
These numbers might not seem like much, but lets take #10, since it’s a common traffic ticket in South Florida. If you are caught speeding doing 50 in a 35 (very easy to do in Florida), you are looking at around a 12% increase in your insurance. The average cost of car insurance in Broward County is around $1,200 a year. So a 12% increase would be $144 per year. Lets say you don’t get any more ticket in the next ten years (not likely), you would pay an extra $1,440 for that one ticket. If you are a teenager, or a man or had a prior accident, you can double that to $2,480. That’s just one of the many reasons to always fight a traffic ticket in South Florida. If you have any questions, please feel free to call for a free consultation.