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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car insurance rates are determined by multiple factors. Some of them are within the insured person’s direct sphere of control: how many claims he’s filed, what kind of car he drives, what coverage he chooses to carry on the policy. Other factors are based on a person’s demographics, and cannot be easily changed: marital status, age, credit history or even where he lives.
In order to receive the most affordable premiums, you should focus on safe driving. More than any other factor, your driving history plays the largest role in your car insurance rates. Safe driving can counteract your age, where you live, poor credit or any other items you cannot control. Alternatively, people can quickly lose their affordable rates if their driving begins to pose a risk of claims to the insurance company.
Of course, driving history counts for more than whether you’ve been involved in any accidents. If a person seems to be at high risk for an accident, the insurance company will charge a higher premium regardless of whether any accidents have occurred. One potential indicator of a risky driver is a history of traffic violations and citations.
Citations are given out when drivers engage in risky behavior such as speeding, following too closely or failing to yield the right of way. Recently, tickets for distracted driving have become a major influencing factor in determining how risky a driver is. All of these behaviors can lead to an accident, which is why they are considered to be high-risk and can lead to insurance premium rates. Not all tickets are the same, however, and they may not always lead to a rate increase.
Do Parking Tickets affect my car insurance premiums?
While it’s clear to see why speeding violations could cause an accident, there is no such correlation between parking tickets and car accidents. Parking tickets are given to individuals who park in spaces they are not allowed to be in, such as handicap spaces or in fire zones. Parking tickets have no bearing on the quality of a person’s driving.
A parked vehicle cannot be liable for an accident. Even if a vehicle is parked illegally, the fault will always rest with the moving vehicle that collided with the parked car. A driver is responsible to avoid any sort of fixed object, including parked cars. Because of this, your parked vehicle does not pose any risk to your insurance company. Therefore, parking tickets have no effect on your premiums.
Unfortunately, being not-at-fault for a car accident does not always mean that your vehicle will be repaired. Depending on what coverage you carry, your insurance may not pay for hit-and-run damage to a parked vehicle. If someone hits your parked vehicle and leaves the scene, you could be stuck paying for that damage out of pocket. This is a good reason to be mindful of your parking habits and avoid double-parking; even if you don’t receive a ticket, the damage a careless driver could cause to your vehicle is definitely not worth the convenience of parking where you shouldn’t.
Can parking tickets cause my driver’s license to be suspended?
Of course, simply because your car insurance rates are not be affected is no reason to allow yourself to receive parking tickets. Parking violations can become expensive, and can also lead to your license being suspended if you gain too many and do not pay them back. While the parking tickets themselves would not have any affect on your car insurance, a suspended license may.
Because you cannot legally drive with a suspended driver’s license, your car insurance company may refuse to insure you until your license is reinstated. If they determine that your license was suspended, your policy may be canceled and you will have to reapply for insurance once your tickets are paid off and your license is reissued. For this reason, it’s important to avoid parking citations whenever possible and pay them off as quickly as you can once one is received.
Ultimately, the best way to keep your premiums down is by driving safely and responsibly. While parking tickets will not directly influence your car insurance, care should still be taken not to receive too many. By acting responsible behind the wheel at all times, you can prove to your insurance company that you are a safe drive rand worthy of low premiums and discounts. You can also save money by avoiding tickets.