Hefty fines and insurance hikes are no picnic. Accidents, tickets and bad decisions behind the wheel are bound to affect your insurance. To stay safe and keep your premiums low, it’s best to double check the laws in your area and ensure that you follow the rules of the road.The exact rules surrounding traffic violations can vary depending on your location, but the most common violations include speeding, running a red light, illegal parking and driving without your headlights on.
Bad driving decisions are one concern, but drivers also need to make good, informed, choices about everything from how much coverage to carry, which types of coverage they need, and which car to drive. We all know that traffic violations can lead to increased premiums, but what other choices can affect your coverage? If you've ever thought "what they don't know can't hurt me," you may want to think again. Often, those are the decisions that that could cost you extra when it comes to car insurance...
Buying the Absolute Minimum
Making the smallest investment you can when it comes to car insurance may sound like a good idea initially (you're a great driver!)...but it may come back to bite you in the end. Drivers involved in an accident that exceeds the limits in their policy could wind up paying for the remainder of damages out-of-pocket if they don't have enough insurance coverage. Worse, your assets could be at risk if you don't have the money out-of-pocket.
Filing Frequent Claims
Crashes are one thing, but filing a claim every time you need a small repair on your vehicle may bring unwanted attention to your account. Many serial claimants will see an increase in their rates, making that side mirror repair something to consider paying for out-of-pocket.
Forgetting to Mention New Drivers
Teenage drivers are an important risk you need to alert your insurance agent about - as soon as their foot hits the pedal. If they're not on your policy, and they cause an accident, you could be denied benefits or have your policy canceled.
Lending Your Vehicle to a Friend or Relative
"No good deed goes unpunished," as they say. Lending your vehicle to a friend is a wonderful idea, until you realize that you are also lending them your car insurance. If they cause an accident, you will have to file a claim, pay a deductible, and may see an increase in rates. You could even be sued if your friend is uninsured and causes a serious enough accident.
Texting While Driving
Texting while driving has been labeled "more dangerous than drunk driving," and insurance companies take it seriously. If you are caught engaging in this dangerous behavior, it your account could be deemed ineligible for renewal by your insurer.
Could your car choice also be a bad decision?
From time to time, everyone makes an accidental traffic violation. However, a recent study from Insurance.com has shown that some vehicle models are ticketed more frequently than others. (Begging the question, is it the cars that attract more attention? Or the type of drivers that are attracted to these cars?) After examining over 323,000 insurance quotes, Insurance.com determined the percentage of drivers who were issued traffic violations for each vehicle model.
Here are the ten vehicle models that received the highest number of traffic tickets:
- Lexus ES 300: 33.4 percent
- Nissan 350Z: 32.5 percent
- Dodge Charger: 32.1 percent
- Volkswagen Jetta GL: 31.4 percent
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT: 30.8 percent
- Mazda 3S: 30.3 percent
- Volkswagen GTI: 30.3 percent
- Dodge Stratus SXT: 30.2 percent
- Acura 3.0S/CL: 30.1 percent
- Toyota Tacoma: 30.1 percent
The following are the ten vehicle models that received the lowest number of traffic tickets:
- Buick Encore: 3.2 percent
- Lexus IS350: 3.4 percent
- Acura ILX: 5.6 percent
- Cadillac ATS: 6.2 percent
- Chevrolet Express: 7.7 percent
- Cadillac Escalade: 8.1 percent
- GMC Savana: 8.8 percent
- Audi A3 2 Series: 9.2 percent
- BMW 320I: 9.9 percent
- Land Rover Range Rover: 10.9 percent