How Much Will a Traffic Ticket Raise My Insurance Rates?

Ask the Detroit Detroit Traffic Ticket Attorney:
How Much Will a Traffic Ticket Raise My Insurance Rates?

As experienced Detroit traffic ticket lawyers, we are often asked how much effect points will have on a client’s insurance rates. The short answer is “a lot.” But the full answer is much more complicated than that.

While traffic ticket fines can be different from Court to Court, driving record points are set by the Michigan Vehicle Code and are the same across all of Michigan, for any given traffic ticket. In other words, a careless driving ticket is always 3 points – whether you get it in Detroit or in Romulus or in Kalamazoo.

However – and this is a BIG HOWEVER – every insurance company treats points differently. Each auto insurance company has their own unique formula (“algorithm”) for determining your rate increase after you’ve had accidents or received driver’s record points.

This means that not every insurance company will penalize you the same, for the same number of points. For example, one major traffic ticket can increase your car insurance rate by only 20% with one insurer – and by 40% with another auto insurance carrier.

Obviously, the more points you have on your driving record, the more likely your insurer is to raise your rates.  But the number of points on your driving record may be treated differently by different car insurance companies.

Most insurance companies actually have their own point system – that is different than the Secretary of State point system. The insurers assign their own “point values” to each traffic ticket or accident. Then, they use their rating system to evaluate your insurance increase based on their “points” instead of each infraction.

If you want to find out what the specifics are for your insurance company, you should can request a copy of their rating factors from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). However, even with this information, it can be difficult to apply their exact formula to calculate your rate increases.

How Can I Keep Insurance Rates from Going Up When I Get Points?

If you already have points on your driving record, your best recourse is often to “shop around” for the best insurance rates. Since every insurer will treat your driving record points differently, you may find a difference of 30% or more. On a $2000 annual auto insurance policy, a savings of 30% saves you $600 per year.

But, by far, the best way to ensure that points do not raise your auto insurance rates is to hire an experienced Detroit Traffic Ticket Attorney to get the points reduced or dismissed entirely.

Detroit Traffic Ticket Attorneys Can Reduce Points

Under Michigan’s traffic ticket point system, points are placed on your driving record only after you have been convicted of, or found guilty of, or admitted responsible for, the traffic offense. So no points will affect your insurance rates if you are able to “beat” or “fight” your ticket. But remember, just paying the fee instead of “fighting” the ticket will result in automatic points. Also, ignoring the ticket will result in an automatic assessment of points.

Our Detroit Traffic Ticket Attorneys Can Help

If you are concerned about traffic ticket points, our experienced Detroit traffic ticket attorneys can help you understand the points you are facing – and fight to get them reduced or eliminated. Our lawyers have helped hundreds of Detroit residents reduce fines and points, and wherever possible even get their traffic tickets dismissed. Call us today for a free consultation with an experienced and affordable Detroit traffic ticket attorney.