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Agents Behaving Badly

insurance policyInsurance companies that serve local communities like Lamont and Shafter can decide coverages and set rates with rather minimal interference from the state. But what happens if they refuse to extend coverage, do not mention the lapse, and you have an accident?

Sylvia and Richard began dating in 2010. Sylvia wanted to add Richard to her auto insurance policy, but her agent said that was a bad idea, because Richard had two speeding tickets on his record. Sylvia agreed, and the matter never came up again, even when the couple married in 2012. Richard caused a four-car accident in July of that year, and the insurance company refused to pay, because he wasn’t listed on the policy.

Insurance companies can also cancel a policy if the premium payment is one day late; there is no grace period.

Traffic Tickets and Insurance Rates

Although the agent should have reminded the couple about the exclusion, after all, he would’ve made a commission on the deal, he was right to initially exclude Richard from the policy, because speeding tickets have a major effect on insurance rates in California.

It’s illegal for companies to use credit scores to set rates in The Golden State. But that exclusion means that driving records are about the only way that companies assess risk. Some examples include:

  • Reckless driving – 80 percent increase,
  • “Careless” driving, including changing lanes without signaling – 30 percent increase,
  • Speeding – 30 percent increase, and
  • Running a Red Light – 20 percent

These are nationwide averages, so the California increase is probably even higher, particularly when figuring lost good driver discounts. In most cases, drivers are eligible for a reduction after three years. An attorney can get the traffic ticket charges reduced, to lessen the impact on your premium payments.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.