What is a Moving Violation and How Will It Impact My Insurance Rates?

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What is a Moving Violation and How Will It Impact My Insurance Rates?

A moving violation, by its very simplest definition, is anything a driver does while operating a motor vehicle that is against the law. These violations vary in severity, and include:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper lane changes
  • Following a vehicle too closely
  • Violating a state law of texting while driving

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 the police will issue a ticket and that ticket will instruct you to either pay a fine or to appear in court on an assigned date if you wish to contest the charge.

The violation you are charged with will usually come with a fine as well as a number of “points.” The number of points will vary depending on the type and seriousness of the 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 for running a red light 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.  One additional expense you should be aware of is auto insurance rate increases. Most likely after getting convicted of a traffic violation, your car insurance premium go up.

Your insurance company can access your point total by pulling your 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 too many violations. Your driving record can be reviewed at each renewal, and most insurance companies look back 3 years for moving violations and accidents.

Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation

An accumulation of points resulting from traffic tickets may lead to some significant restrictions of your driving privileges.

  • License Suspension―Your privilege to drive has been withdrawn temporarily.
  • License Revocation―Your privilege to drive has been completely terminated; reapplication is possible after the revocation period ends.

The following are just a few reasons the state will suspend your driver’s license:

  • Failing to pay court fines and costs for convictions for motor vehicle related or non-motor vehicle related violations.
  • Failing to complete a driver improvement clinic.
  • A court order based on a reckless driving conviction.
  • Excessive accumulation of points related to convictions for traffic violations
  • Failing to satisfy an outstanding judgment related to a motor vehicle crash.

The following are just a few reasons the state will revoke your driver’s license:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from driving a motor vehicle.
  • Felony violations in which a motor vehicle was used.
  • Failure to stop and disclose your identity at the scene of a crash.
  • Accumulating 3 points for violations (including safety belt and child restraint violations) committed while under 18 years old.

Can I Prevent a Rate Increase?

When your insurance provider reviews your account after a moving violation 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 poor driving record will disqualify you from insuring with a standard carrier and a non-standard provider may be the only option you have until your record clears.

The best option, obviously, is always to drive safely and avoid moving 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 agent or company about defensive driving or driving improvement 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.

Contact Foundation Insurance Group

The knowledgeable insurance professionals at Foundation Insurance Group, located in Falls Church, Virginia, and St. Matthews, Kentucky are always available to review your current auto insurance policy, driving record and answer any questions you might have.  Contact our Virginia or Kentucky office today.

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