Summit Insurance Advisors
by Michael Harbron on Apr 10, 2019
There’s something uniquely American about a cross country trip. There’s nothing like taking to the highway and soaking up the views of the great American outdoors. However, often when we are on the road, we get a little too relaxed and end up putting the pedal to the metal more than we should.
When this happens, it could be easy to find ourselves out of our element, which could lead us into a whole new world of trouble. Maybe we’re not familiar with the area and its unique set of traffic laws, or we are on the highway and don’t know the areas where the speed changes, or perhaps we just forget and wind up violating an already familiar regulation. If this has happened to you, then chances are you’re wondering if that out of state ticket is going to have an impact on your Phoenix auto insurance.
How it Works
You might think that because it is out of state, and your insurance coverage is for Arizona that the report won’t get back to your insurance company, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Traffic tickets are treated in the system in the same way as any other crime. While the offense is not as major as stealing a television set, the records go through the exact same process. So, when it comes time for your insurance renewal, the insurance company will do a check of your driving records and it will show up on your motor vehicle report.
In some cases, you may have the option to pay a fine so that the violation does not go against your driver’s license, but that does not guarantee that the “points” won’t count against your insurance policy. This is because automobile insurance points are not the same as those assigned by law enforcement. As a result, it is quite possible that your car insurance rates will be affected.
What Will Your Insurance Company Do?
Whether the insurance company will raise your rates or not will depend primarily on your relationship with them. If you are a long time customer with a good driving record, they could opt to show forgiveness for a one time offense. However, if you are a repeat offender with a number of tickets to your name, it may not go so well for you.
One way to avoid an increase in insurance rates is to take violations seriously. When you’re planning an out of state trip, take some time to learn the new traffic laws so you are prepared for them. If you do get a ticket, do not put off paying it because you are out of state. Take care of it as quickly as possible, pay the penalties and let your insurance company know ahead of time. That way, it won’t look like you’re hiding the truth.
You could also purchase minor violation forgiveness coverage before you take your trip, which will give you added protection when you’re away from home. Traffic violations stay on your record for several years, so the best way to avoid this kind of negative impact is to avoid getting a ticket in the first place.
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