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Insurance Penalties Associated With Traffic Violations

The Morris Firm May 28, 2024

Woman calling insurance company standing on the road after the car collisionTraffic tickets are more than just a temporary inconvenience or a minor financial burden—they can have long-lasting effects on your auto insurance rates, potentially costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in increased premiums over several years.

Understanding how traffic violations influence your insurance can help you take proactive measures to mitigate these costs. 

Attorney Raphael Morris has extensive experience assisting clients in St. Louis, Missouri, and surrounding areas with traffic violations. This post will explore the various ways traffic tickets can affect your insurance rates and provide you with valuable insights on how to maneuver these challenges. 

How Traffic Tickets Affect Auto Insurance 

When you receive a traffic ticket, it becomes part of your driving record. Insurance companies regularly review driving records to assess risk and determine premium rates. A history of traffic violations indicates a higher risk of accidents, prompting insurers to increase your rates to offset this perceived risk. 

In Missouri, there are several factors that affect the degree of increased insurance premiums after receiving a traffic ticket:

  • Type of traffic violation: Not all traffic violations are created equal. Minor infractions like speeding slightly over the limit may result in a smaller increase in premiums compared to more severe violations such as reckless driving or driving under the influence (DUI).  

  • Driving history: Your overall driving history plays a significant role in how a new traffic ticket affects your insurance. A clean driving record may lead to a more lenient increase in premiums, while a history of multiple violations can result in substantial rate hikes. Insurers view repeat offenders as higher risks, warranting higher premiums. 

  • Age and driving experience: Younger and less experienced drivers often face steeper premium increases following a traffic violation. Insurance companies consider this demographic to be at higher risk of accidents, and a traffic ticket exacerbates this perception. 

  • Vehicle type: The type of vehicle you drive can also influence the impact of a traffic ticket on your insurance. High-performance and luxury vehicles tend to attract higher premium increases due to the higher costs associated with repairs and replacements. 

Minimum Insurance Requirements in Missouri 

Missouri mandates that drivers carry minimum liability insurance coverage to legally operate a vehicle. The requirements are as follows: 

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury

  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury

  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

These minimums ensure that you have basic coverage, but it's often advisable to consider higher limits for better protection. Driving without liability insurance in Missouri is a serious offense that can lead to: 

  • Suspension of your driver's license

  • Fines and fees to reinstate your driving privileges

  • The necessity to file an SR-22 form for proof of insurance, which can increase your insurance costs

Legal Penalties for Traffic Violations 

Traffic violations can result in various administrative actions, including supervision, suspension, or points added to your driving record: 

  • Supervision: This is a form of probation where the violation is not added to your record if you comply with specific conditions. Successful completion of supervision can prevent insurance rate increases. 

  • Suspension: License suspension is a severe penalty that can drastically affect your insurance premiums and eligibility for coverage. 

  • Points: Many states use a points system where points are added to your driving record for each violation. Accumulating too many points can lead to increased premiums and license suspension. 

Engaging a knowledgeable attorney can help you fight your traffic violation and minimize the damage to your driving record and insurance premiums.  

Benefits of Driver Improvement Programs 

Missouri offers the option for drivers to take a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) to avoid points on their license for some traffic violations. While this can prevent your insurance from increasing due to point accumulation, it doesn't guarantee your rates won't go up based on the insurer's policies. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

How long does a traffic violation stay on your record? 

The duration that a traffic violation affects your insurance premiums varies by state and the violation's nature. In Missouri, traffic violations typically remain on a driver’s record for three years. However, more severe infractions, like DUIs, may stay on your record longer and impact your insurance rates accordingly. 

Can I get a no-insurance ticket dismissed? 

Dismissing a no-insurance ticket is challenging but not impossible. Attorney Raphael Morris suggests gathering proof of insurance coverage at the time of the violation or obtaining coverage shortly after the ticket was issued. Presenting this evidence in court may lead to a reduction or dismissal of the ticket. Consulting with an experienced attorney can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome. 

Will my insurance company find out about my traffic ticket? 

It's not mandatory to report every traffic violation to your insurance company in Missouri. However, when renewing your policy or when they conduct a routine check, your insurer may review your driving record and adjust your rates accordingly.  

It's also beneficial for drivers to regularly shop around for insurance quotes, as different providers may offer more favorable rates, even after a traffic violation. Understanding your rights and obligations and consulting with a legal professional can greatly influence your ability to mitigate the insurance implications of traffic violations. 

Being proactive in understanding these aspects can help drivers make informed decisions and stay compliant with state laws while managing the financial impacts. 

The Importance of Legal Support With Traffic Violations 

The importance of legal representation cannot be overstated when dealing with traffic violations and their impact on auto insurance. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable assistance in managing the aftermath of a traffic violation, including: 

  • Negotiating with the court to reduce the charges or penalties

  • Advising on the benefits of a Driver Improvement Program

  • Helping to minimize the impact on your insurance rates through legal strategies

  • Offering guidance on maintaining or reinstating insurance coverage

Reach Out to Attorney Raphael Morris 

If you have received a traffic violation and are concerned about its impact on your insurance, contact Attorney Raphael Morris today to schedule a consultation. Let The Morris Firm help protect your driving record and insurance premiums. 

Attorney Raphael Morris is committed to providing personalized legal counsel to clients in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson County, and surrounding areas. With a focus on achieving the best possible outcomes, Attorney Raphael Morris will work diligently to protect your rights and minimize the impact of traffic violations on your insurance premiums.