I keep hearing and reading that it’s best if you take the drivers ed course, in order for the conviction for a speeding ticket not to appear on your record, which would increase your car insurance rates.
Yet, I have not seen any hard numbers on how much the car insurance rates will go up. I understand that it depends on the individual and on the insurance company and other details, but it would be good to see at least a range of numbers for the actual insurance rates increase.
Do any of you know what the impact would be for someone with a perfect record so far?
Have any of you decided against drivers’ ed, and saw an increase in insurance rates?
If you are very curious, go to some insurance companies website and fill out the forms for two insurance quotes. Fill them out identically except for a hypothetical speeding ticket, and see what the increase in rates is.
Most likely different in different states and insurance companies. What I’ve noticed from personal experience and from people I know around here (Texas) is that most insurance will forgive one issue. The issue can be a traffic ticket or a minor collision. But if you have two in a 3 year period they are likely to label you “high risk” and drop you from the regular policy.
Therefore it is important to get a simple ticket dismissed (by taking defensive driving) so that if you have a fender bender you won’t get dropped.
I don’t know how bad it gets once you’re “high risk”, I’ve used defensive driving classes to keep my record clean.
Thanks for the info. From the ‘personal experience’ you mention, should I take it to mean that you did not take the drivers’ ed course after a ticket and saw no impact?
See, this whole thing looks like a racket to me. Companies are so nebulous about what actually happens in these cases that people are bullied into taking these defensive driving classes for fear of what might happen.
Personal experience was a fender bender last year (first one in 20 years!) and no rate increase.
I know a person who had a small accident, no rate increase. 2 years later a speeding ticket and was promptly dropped by the ins co. When the person called the ins co they were told 2 incidents equaled a high risk label and no renewal offer.
The insurance companies I’ve worked for have classified things something like this:
Minor violation (speeding 1-15 over, failure to yield, etc.)
Major violation (reckless driving, passing a stopped school bus, speeding 15+, leaving the scene)
Minor at-fault accident (under $1500 - or whatever their thresshold is)
Major at-fault accident ($1500+)
Every company has its own setup and the ones with a setup like the above have their own “buckets” and their own rules about how those affect what you pay.
Maybe they forgive the first minor violation and charge 10% for the second. Maybe they charge 10% for the first. And another company might have decided they’re going to sock you for 30% on the first minor violation. Maybe they consider “failure to take your class” (or whatever it shows up on your record as) a minor or maybe they consider it a major. Or they might not look at that at all and only look at the original violation (that’d be my guess).
Also, the last company I worked for had a points system where each of those things counted as a certain number of points. If you hit that number of points your file got reviewed. Another company used a system of something like one at-fault accident plus one violation gets you reviewed. Or two minor violations gets you reviewed. Can you imagine that we used to review this information on every policy, by hand, before it was allowed to be renewed?
In order to know how your situation is going to affect your rates you’d have to know what the underwriting guidelines are for *your *carrier. This information should be available at your state insurance commissioner’s office but I doubt if they’re going to look it up for you. They’re going to ask you what company you want the rate manual for and probably charge you to copy and mail it. And by the time you get it the rates/rules may be out of date. Some states require companies to file the rates with them so they can review everything before the company puts them in place (prior approval), other states allow companies to implement the rates as soon as they’re filed (file and use). Plus, by the time your policy comes up for renewal they might be even further out of date. And you don’t know how often your company orders an MVR (motor vehicle record) on you. I don’t think most companies do it more than once a year unless you have a history, and companies are always trying to cut expenses so it may be less often. MVR’s aren’t cheap when you’re ordering a zillion of them. If things time out right you could go two years before they even find out about it.
Call your agent (if you have one) or contact your insurance company if you really want to know. I wouldn’t though. They might order an MVR now rather than waiting however long it would have otherwise been before they ordered it.