How Will My Insurance Company Find out About a Traffic Conviction?
Did you know that your insurance company looks at your driving record when determining how much your insurance premiums will be? Although the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not inform your insurance company of points assessed against your license for traffic convictions automatically, it will provide your driving record to your insurance company upon request. Insurance companies typically request your driving record when your policy enters its renewal period, when you are involved in an accident, or when you seek to modify your policy.
Because of the information-sharing agreements that many states have, your insurance company can learn of a conviction in Virginia even if you live out of state.
How Will a Traffic Conviction Affect My Auto Insurance Premiums?
The impact of a traffic conviction varies by insurance company, depending on the proprietary formula that the insurance company uses to evaluate how much of a risk you are to insure. Other factors such as age and city or county of residence are also considered. However, it is clear that a conviction for a traffic offense can greatly increase your auto insurance premiums. This is true even for ordinary traffic offenses like speeding tickets. Of course it is also true for more serious traffic offenses like reckless driving or DUI.
We’re not just making this up. Forbes magazine ran a story in 2012 called “Got A Ticket? Here’s How Much Your Car Insurance Premiums Will Increase.” This story reported that, on average, a conviction for reckless driving might increase your insurance premiums by 22% and that a conviction for DUI (even for a first offense) might increase your insurance premiums by 19%. That same story also reported that, on average, a conviction for speeding only 1–14 mph over the speed limit might increase your premiums by 11%! Even a simple speeding ticket can translate into hundreds of dollars of increased insurance costs each year.
Insurance companies openly admit that they will likely raise your premiums if you are convicted of a traffic offense. Check out what State Farm, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and Liberty Mutual have to say on the matter.
And, if you currently receive a “good driver” discount, understand that you will quite possibly lose your “good driver” discount upon conviction of a traffic offense. The loss of the “good driver” discount by itself might add 10%, 20%, or more to your premium.
If you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), conviction of a traffic offense can increase not only the premiums on your personal insurance policy, but your work policy as well, making you more expensive to insure and employ.
Let Our Skilled Traffic Lawyers Help Protect Your Driving Record!
As you can see, keeping moving violations off of your record is vitally important. Our lawyers are experienced in defending our clients’ driving records in local courts throughout Southside Virginia, including the courts in Amelia County, Appomattox County, Buckingham County, Brunswick County, Campbell County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Halifax County, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, and Prince Edward County. If you have been charged with a traffic offense in Southside Virginia, contact one of our experienced traffic lawyers without delay to discuss how we can protect your driving record—and your wallet!