I was working with a client today on her car insurance renewal and we had a discussion about how confusing it is to consumers when it comes to understanding how traffic tickets affect their insurance rates.
Avoid The Confusion
It seems most people are told (albeit incorrectly) when they receive certain types of tickets that it will not affect their insurance rates. They are advised this way by police officers, traffic lawyers, friends, relatives you name it. Everyone BUT their licensed car insurance brokers it seems, which is why this can create so much confusion, and ultimately frustration for those affected by it.
Increases In Your Insurance Rate
My client and I were discussing the specific ticket for “Failing to produce insurance card” that a police officer will issue when a driver isn’t able to produce their liability slip – or their “Pink” slip when they are pulled over. This does not mean they are driving without insurance, it could just mean they forgot to place the card in the car. It is simply a ticket given because evidence of insurance was not provided at the exact time they were pulled over, so proof of a valid policy cannot be verified.
At one time you would be provided with a 24 hour grace period to go to the police station and produce your evidence of insurance, and they would drop this ticket however they no longer offer this option. The ticket will stand regardless of whether or not you can prove you had insurance, and therefore, so will the blemish on your driving record and will result in a possible increase in your insurance rates.
Liar Liar Pants On Fire
Police officers will often times advise a driver that this ticket will not affect their insurance rates. However, this is not the case. This ticket is a minor conviction and will affect your insurance rates the same way a minor speeding ticket would.
My advice to anyone who gets this particular ticket and does have a valid policy in force is to take the option to go to court and fight it. Bring your insurance policy to court with you to prove that coverage was in force at the time you received the ticket. I’m definitely not suggesting they will drop the charge, however it’s certainly worth a try.
My Advice To You
As a final note, I want to give everyone out there some advice from a Licensed Insurance Professional who has been in the insurance business for 19 years (and counting) - EVERY conviction on your driving record, whether you lose points or not, no matter what the conviction – is rated for on your insurance policy and WILL affect your insurance for 3 years from the date of that conviction.
There are no grey areas, no talking your way out of it by explaining circumstances, nothing, a conviction is a conviction is a conviction.