The following is a contributed post from Jenna, a freelance blogger who is mainly focused on business innovation.
If you’ve had your fair share of traffic violations, you know that it will most likely affect your future driving record. One thing that you may not consider at first is how it may affect your auto insurance. Even if you currently have an existing auto insurance policy, once you have a moving violation, it’s at risk for going up or getting canceled. While you can’t control what your auto insurance does, you can take steps to improve your trustworthiness. Here are just a few things to improve on if you are denied auto insurance or you see your existing rates suddenly skyrocket.
Pay Off All Outstanding Tickets
Do you have a lot of tickets that haven’t been paid? It’s against the law to not pay a traffic violation, and in some cases, a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest. Ignoring a ticket, such as a speeding or drunk driving ticket will only make it worse on you and your future insurance coverage.
Ignoring a drunk driving ticket can turn a temporary suspended license into a revoked license that can’t be obtained for several years. You may have to get a special certificate called an SR-22. This is often court ordered by a judge to be in place before you can get auto insurance coverage. Acceptance Insurance offers insurance coverage to high risk drivers with an SR-22, excessive traffic violations or a DUI driving charge.
Improve Your Credit
If you’ve been listed as high risk with your current insurance provider, there are several steps that you can take to lower your premium. Your provider may want you to pre-pay your six-month premium in advance. This can be pricey as opposed to paying smaller monthly payments. To lower costs, make sure that your credit is in good shape. Simple ways to achieve this include:
- Improve your FICO credit score number
- Pay off all outstanding debt
- Work on bringing your credit card balances down to zero
- Make all payments on time
- Avoid accumulating new debt loads
Improving your credit will reduce your auto insurance rates by putting you at lower risk for defaulting on future premium payments. Consider automatic withdrawals with your monthly payments. This is another way to make the policy affordable and within your budget.
Take Advantage of State Offers
Sometimes, if you’re a first time offender, the state may offer a reduction in points on your license in exchange for passing a test or taking a class. Some examples of traffic violations that may be eligible for this special offer may include:
- Driving on a suspended license
- Failure to produce valid auto insurance or operating a vehicle with no auto insurance coverage
- No valid vehicle registration
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Speeding over 25 mph
There is no guarantee that you will receive a letter or that the program is available in your area. If a program is offered, it may help reduce points and also lower your auto insurance rate when applying for a new policy.
Improve Your Future Driving Record
Another way to qualify for a good auto insurance rate or keep your current rate reasonable if you have an SR-22 is to not get any more driving infractions in the future. If you feel you have a problem with substance abuse, seek help now. This could save your life and improve your financial future as well. Avoid speeding and reckless driving. If you currently have an auto policy and it’s pricey, don’t let your policy lapse. Failure to make your monthly premium payment and allowing your policy to cancel can put you in a high risk group. This will raise your rates, even if your driving record improves.
There are several ways to improve your overall driving situation and get the best insurance rates on the market. It may take time, but in the long run it will benefit your lifestyle and your pocketbook.