How to reduce car insurance rates after a ticket or accident

It pays to be perfect. 

Unfortunately, perfection is easier said than done–especially when it comes to driving. 

Drivers who are fortunate enough to possess perfect records pay less for insurance. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that every day across the country, thousands of drivers get into accidents, receive moving violation tickets or both. 

And that’s when the insurance companies pounce.

Insurance companies commonly increase rates after you receive a speeding ticket or get into an accident, even if it’s not your fault. 

Keep reading to find out why–and to learn what you can do to reduce your insurance rates after a ticket or accident. 

After the incident 

It’s a common question: What happens to your insurance rates after an accident or ticket?

The first thing that happens is that you probably think to yourself, “Uh-oh.” The second thing that happens is your insurance rates typically go up. While not every accident or ticket is an indication that you’re a bad driver, insurance companies tend to view it as a red flag. 

And while not all tickets will increase your rates, most do. Speeding, DUI, reckless driving citations can all cause you to pay more in automobile insurance. As long as it appears on your driving record, you can safely assume it’s going to wind up costing you. 

The good news is that minor violations might not have much of an affect on what you pay (at least for the first violation). 

But the more serious the infraction–and the more often an infraction occurs–the more likely it is that your insurance costs will increase.

If you continue to get into crashes or collect citations, it’s possible that your auto insurance carrier could drop you altogether. 

Either way, no one wants to pay more than they have to for auto insurance. And that’s exactly why it’s good to know how you can lower your rates. 

The good news

Yes, there is some good news, even after you get into an accident or receive a moving violation. It’s that there are many ways to lower your rates. 

The automobile insurance industry is extremely competitive, so insurance companies have to work hard to attract and keep customers. After all, they know that you can switch to another company any time you want to, and for any reason. 

That’s why they give discounts–to good drivers as well as those with records that are less than perfect (which is pretty much everyone). 

Here’s a look at some of the ways you can save on auto insurance:

  • Automatic payments. Many insurance companies reward customers who have their monthly payments automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts. 

    They do this for two reasons: 1) It makes it much more likely that the company will be paid on time 2) It saves the companies money on processing costs. 

  • Bundling insurance policies. This comes down to simple math. The more services insurance companies are able to sell to a single customer, the less administrative costs they have to pay and the more money they make. 

    That’s why they tend to provide discounts to customers who have more than one vehicle insured, insure both their home and automobile, or have automobile and life insurance. 

  • Drive safer vehicles. Not all vehicles are equal. It’s a simple fact that some are safer than others–and insurance companies tend to charge lower rates for insuring vehicles with higher safety ratings. 

    For example, drivers who have vehicles with electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, anti-theft devices and passive restraints tend to pay less. This is because there is less risk to insurance companies. 

    If a crash does happen, you aren’t as likely to be as seriously injured, so the risk to the insurance company is lessened. 

Special treatment

Perfection pays, but if you can’t be perfect, you can at least take advantage of what you are. 

Many insurance companies will provide discounts to students, long-term customers, people who work in certain professions and even those who are married. If you’re able to pay in full, only drive short distances or even drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you might also apply for a discount.

But you’ll never know if you don’t ask. So ask!

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