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Does a parking ticket affect my car insurance?

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Things to remember...

  • Parking tickets cannot raise your premiums
  • Failure to pay parking tickets can raise your premiums, so they should be paid immediately
  • Figure out what you can control, and then shop and compare for best rates

Some people worry that their parking tickets will affect their insurance rates and premiums.

It is simply given because you either parked in the wrong space or you parked at a meter where the time ran out before you could return. A parking ticket is not considered a moving violation. Therefore, it is not counted against your driving record.

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Unpaid Parking Tickets

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Unpaid parking tickets are a slightly different situation. When you leave a parking ticket unpaid over a long period, you risk large fines in addition to the parking ticket fines themselves.

This situation usually happens because someone has gotten into the habit of parking illegally more than once or let the ticket go too long before paying it. Procrastination can make a bad thing worse in this case, and you can be fined large amounts if you wait too long.

Additionally, your fines can double or triple after a period of time, and you could be issued a bench warrant to appear in court or have your car towed.

Other Possible Results of Unpaid Tickets

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In addition to these exorbitant fees that might be incurred due to nonpayment of fines, you could also experience the following penalties:

  • Car towing fees
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Increased premiums

Notice the last point in this bullet list? But you thought we said parking tickets would not increase premiums, right? Note that it was not the parking ticket itself that increased the premiums or risked the loss of license. It was the fact that someone failed to pay the fines.

When you fail to pay parking tickets, you are failing to observe your obligation to pay local government for money that you owe. In essence, this is the same as taking money from the government.

It is not as severe and is just related to payment of amounts due, but it is serious due to the lack of responsibility toward a fiduciary responsibility.

It is viewed by insurance companies as a risk and has to do with credit ratings indirectly as well.

So if you do get a parking ticket, make sure you pay it as soon as possible. You will avoid the possible problem of being accessed extra fines and risking having your car towed, which results in further fees, as well as even losing your license.

Just like not having insurance is a huge financial risk, not paying parking fines is a financial risk as well. So, if you are in a hurry one day and park in someone else’s spot, you need to pay the fine.

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About Moving Violations

Also remember that, unlike a parking ticket, citations and tickets you receive from moving violations are a misdemeanor crime and do remain on your driving record.

The amount of time they will remain on your record will vary according to the state that you are in.

Additionally, you should refrain from drinking and driving at all costs, as well as any other type of risky behavior that are big red flags for driving records.

You should also be aware of the state laws governing these infractions and how such offenses can influence your driving record and insurance rates.

Other Factors that Influence Car Insurance Rates

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There are other factors that can influence your car insurance premiums. Some of these are listed and described below:

  • Decline in credit rating If you prove that you will pay your bills on time and are responsible for paying your debts, companies will reward you with good rates. If you fail to pay too many bills, this will become a part of your rating.
  • Accidents Having an accident or other traffic mishap is one of the most influential factors in your insurance premium because accidents raise your level of risk as a customer to the insurer.
  • DUIs There is hardly any riskier behavior than driving while under the influence. Statistics prove that more accidents occur due to DUIs more than to any other cause. Madd.com reported other statistics that illustrate the severe risks of drunk driving.
  • Any moving violation Moving violations such as failure to yield, running a stoplight, or disobeying road signs are also leading causes of severe accidents. Citations for these offenses will raise your premiums, due to the sheer risk of these behaviors for a severe accident.
  • Moving to another state If you move to another state, you will be under laws, mandatory requirements, and minimum insurance requirements that are different from your previous state of residence. It is your responsibility to make sure you understand the new laws so that you do not violate a statute in your new state.
  • Changing marital status or job status If you change your job status, your premium might change, especially if you lose your job. You should report any such changes to your insurance company so they can update your file. In some cases, changing a job might increase your discounts.
  • Change in company’s policies In some cases, changes in the policies of an insurance company might change your premiums. It is the company’s responsibility to tell you when this happens, though, in writing.
  • Federal or state legislation Federal or state legislation can influence your insurance rates. Be aware of any changes in legislation that come from the government that either increases or decreases your premiums. Competition between companies, checks, and balances and other factors may sometimes come into play.

Focus on What You Can Control

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The key to getting the best insurance and keeping your premiums low is to shop and compare your insurance options before you buy and consider all of the factors that you can control.

Some of the factors that you have in your control include:

  • Your driving habits
  • Your credit history
  • Parking ticket payment
  • Payment of premiums

When you watch your driving every day and use hands-free devices to talk on the phone, obey all traffic signs, pay parking tickets on time, and pay all premiums on time, you lower your risk substantially.

You will be rewarded, in turn, by your insurance company that must keep up with their checks and balances and keep themselves solvent from debt to protect their customers.

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