What is a Moving Violation and How Will It Impact My Insurance Rates?
A moving violation, by its simplest definition, is anything a driver does while operating a motor vehicle that is against the law. These violations vary in severity, ranging from speeding tickets to more serious offenses like reckless driving or a DUI.
What Happens When I Receive a Moving Violation?
If a police officer pulls you over, he’ll ask for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of automobile insurance. If you’ve broken a traffic law they will issue a ticket and that ticket will instruct you to either pay the fine or to appear in court on an assigned date if you wish to challenge the charge.
The violation you are charged with will usually come with a set fine as well as a set number of “points.” The number of points will vary depending on the type of violation. A speeding ticket for going only a few miles over the limit may result in 2 points, for example, while a reckless driving ticket may result in 4 points. The Department of Motor Vehicles tracks the number of points you have. If you accumulate too many, a number set by each state, you may end up having your driving privileges revoked.
Your insurance company can access your point total by pulling your MVR (Motor Vehicle Report). How a moving violation impacts your insurance rates will vary from company to company. Some companies will forgive one violation, without raising your rates, while others may increase your rates if they discover to many violations. Your driving record can be reviewed at each renewal, and most insurance companies look back 3 years for moving violations and accidents.
If your insurance provider reviews your account after a violation/s there are a couple things that can happen. The company can renew your policy “as is”, raise the rate, or non-renew your policy. Most companies won’t cancel your policy unless you accumulate too many points or have a severe infraction, such as a DUI. In some states, a particularly poor driving record will disqualify you from insuring with a standard carrier and a non-standard provider may be the only option until your record clears up. If you have car insurance in Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, or Alexandria VA you should contact your local agent for information on how tickets could affect your insurance.
Can I Prevent a Rate Increase?
The best option is always to drive safe and avoid violations. If you do get a ticket consider going to court and seeking a reduced charge. Sometimes a lower violation, with a lower fine and lower number of assigned points, can be negotiated (especially if you’re a first-time offender).
If that doesn’t work, talk to your insurance company about defensive driving courses. Many states require them of drivers who have too many violations, but your insurance company may forgive some of your points, or give you a small discount, for having taken the class.
If that doesn’t work, talk to your insurance agent about what other options might be available. Even with points on your license, you may just find a better deal is out there.