How does a parking ticket affect insurance?

Written by jonita davis
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How does a parking ticket affect insurance?
(Spotsylvania County, Virginia Government)

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Parking tickets are a natural part of driving (and parking) in urban areas. They are so common that many drivers are wondering just how a parking ticket affects insurance. Accidents and other moving violations add "points" to the driver's record. Naturally, you would think that parking tickets do the same. Well, not exactly.

No Direct Effect

State laws govern the driving laws, and those laws virtually ignore parking tickets on the driver's record. A driving record is a history of violations (accidents, tickets) obtained while the car is moving, hence the name "moving violations." Parking tickets are considered non-moving violations and are therefore not recorded in the driving record. Insurance companies base their rates on the driving record, among other things. Because parking tickets aren't reported on the driving record, they do not directly affect insurance rates.

But Ignoring a Ticket can Effect Your Insurance

However, parking tickets can indirectly effect insurance premiums. Letting the tickets pile up can lead to not only very expensive fines, but also loss of your license and potentially jail time. Failure to pay parking tickets lead to license suspension for amounts of time that varies by state. Reinstating your license requires more fees, sometimes traffic school and court appearances. The one major detail is that suspensions appear on the driving record, because they do affect your ability to drive (or lack thereof).

More Damage

Failing to pay parking tickets effects you in another way. Drivers who move from one state to another find it impossible to receive a license in their new state of residence until those tickets are paid.

Suspensions Hurt

A suspension will definitely affect your insurance by increasing the rates. However, the amount of the increase depends on several factors such as the length of the suspension, the rest of the information on the driving record, the state you live in, credit score and so on. Furthermore, your insurance company may decide to not renew your policy if your license is suspended. Drivers trying to find new policies may find the rates too expensive to bear or an inability to obtain a policy from some companies.

What can you do?

Of course, the best option is to pay your parking tickets to avoid any of the previously described actions. However, if you have a pile of tickets, pending suspension or other penalties, check with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to see what how these will affect your driving record. In addition, unfortunately, you should call or visit your insurance to see if, and how, your pile of parking tickets will affect your insurance premiums.

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