What you may not realize is that the cost of your auto insurance is also going to rise – in many cases substantially, even after receiving a minor ticket. Car accident lawyers in West Palm Beach want to drive home this point because those who pay a higher cost for insurance are more apt to scrape by with bottom-of-the-barrel coverage or lapse on their payments altogether, which would result in no coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage carried by the victim is supposed to provide remedy, but auto insurance firms have a well-established reputation for systematic denial of claims. In some cases, there has been documented proof that insurance firms have offered rewards to employees who successfully decline the most claims.
With that in mind, consider the astronomical cost increases that insurance companies tack on to the policies of those who have received a ticket. According to the latest report from insuranceQuotes.com, a driver who is ticketed for a seat belt violation can expect to pay a 5 percent higher insurance rate.
In Florida, the average annual car insurance policy costs about $1,830. A 5 percent increase means you can expect to pay $91 more.
A driver who receives a ticket for failing to signal or failing to yield to a pedestrian can expect to pay a premium that’s 19 percent higher than the average. That translates to an extra $350 on your annual policy in Florida.
A driver who is caught speeding 15 miles-per-hour over the limit can expect a 21 percent increase, or about $385.
The highest penalty by far is for those motorists who are convicted of driving under the influence. They can expect an increase of 93 percent, meaning their cost will almost double, from $1,830 annually to $3,530 a year.
These penalties usually last an average of three years – sometimes longer, depending on the severity of the offense and whether the driver has re-offended.
From the insurance company’s standpoint, these kinds of violations are indications that the driver is more likely to be involved in a future accident. However, drivers may have the option of shedding these penalties sooner if they agree to complete a driver safety course. That may in turn make us all safer.
For those who are currently dealing with an uncooperative insurance company, the best way to handle it is to contact an experienced injury lawyer. A few other steps you may consider:
Keep all documentation from the crash in a safe place and make copies. These will include the police report, photographs, a copy of the other driver’s car insurance policy, as well as your own.
Keep any and all receipts or invoices for doctor’s visits, medication and vehicle repairs.
Do not sign or agree to anything unless you’ve had it first reviewed by your lawyer. Insurance companies are very adept at bullying injured parties into accepting a settlement offer that is for significantly less than what is deserved. Know that you have the right to fight back.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.