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Through The Roof

pricingWhy does a traffic ticket in Lamont or Shafter increase your auto insurance rates at such an alarming rate? The answer may lie in all the things that California insurance companies can’t do.

Insurance companies set rates according to the policyholders’ risk. Rightly or wrongly, the thinking is that drivers in big-city Fresno County are more likely to get in an accident than motorists in small-town Mono County, and drivers with poor credit scores are more likely to file false or exaggerated claims. But these two measuring sticks – ZIP codes and credit scores – are illegal in California.

State officials are also cracking down on price optimization, a practice whereby longtime customers who don’t shop around are charged higher rates.

Traffic Tickets and Insurance Rates

Since two of the biggest risk assessment tools are unavailable in The Golden State, insurance companies place even more emphasis on driving records. And motorists get the double whammy.

Generally speaking, any moving violation disqualifies the policyholder from a good driver discount, which can be as much as 25 percent of the premium amount. Any risk assessment increase is added on top of that, and this increase varies widely. As a rule of thumb, however, 100+mph speeding tickets and reckless driving citations may nearly double your rate, and the sliding scale gradually declines from there.

The traffic ticket increase is not nearly as bad in other states, because driving records are not placed under a microscope.

After three years, you can shop around for cheaper insurance, because the ticket will fall off the radar by that time, at least in most cases.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.