Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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Nope! You sure don’t. That’s the good news. The bad news is they are going to find out about it whether you tell them or not.

Insurers do not require you to report changes in your driving record during any particular policy term.

In fact, the speeding ticket you just received will not have an effect on your policy whatsoever…until your policy renews.

The premium you and your insurance company agreed to, whether for six or 12 months, is set in stone for that time frame.

Tip: Always consider a 12-month policy term for your car insurance if you have the option. Most national “chain” insurers don’t offer the 12-month policy for this reason.

Also, if they simply want to raise everyone’s rates (whether your driving record has worsened or not), they can do it much quicker if all of their insured have a six-month policy.

How do they find out?

Insurance companies have access to some of the biggest and best data reports available, and they use them. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people out there who would lie through their teeth to pay lower insurance premiums.

This is part of the reason car insurance rates are so high. Not so much on the tickets/accidents side of the equation, but more on the insurance claims side.

There are two main reports that are “run” when you apply for auto insurance coverage. Specifically, these are your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) and Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report (C.L.U.E) .

Tip: These reports, just like your credit report, may contain errors that could cost you thousands of dollars in additional premium if they are not corrected.

[What if my CLUE and MVR reports are wrong?]

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What else do they know?

A third report, which not all insurers review, is a “Potential Household Member” report, which provides the insurance company with the names and birthdays of all potential drivers in your household.

This may include people with the same last name as you or people who have any “record” of using your current address.

Sounds a little “Big Brother,” doesn’t it? So, why would a potential car insurer care who may be living in your home? It’s simple. As discussed earlier in this post, people will try just about anything to get lower car insurance rates.

This includes “forgetting to mention” a teenage driver or an uncle who lives under the same roof, who has two DUI’s and regular access to your car. The, “they are not allowed to drive my car” defense doesn’t fly with most insurers.

Teenagers commonly don’t listen to their parents and people with multiple DUIs clearly don’t have a good record of following the rules, so insurers want to be certain to collect a premium that’s inline with their “exposure” to paying claims.

[How much is car insurance for a 16 year old?]

Put it this way; if your teen (who wasn’t “allowed” to drive your car) severely injured someone while driving your car (while you were sleeping or out of town), you’d expect the insurer to defend you in court and pay for the damages, right?

Well, that’s not what most court records reflect. There are thousands of lawsuits per year for this exact reason.

Do unpaid parking tickets raise your insurance rates?

Tickets for non-moving violations, such as parking tickets, do not raise your auto insurance premium. However, if you have unpaid parking tickets, it will affect your credit score, and your credit score affects your auto insurance rates. Also, if you have unpaid tickets, you may not be able to renew your vehicle registration.

Pay the tickets for any parking violations in a timely manner and you shouldn’t be hit with an insurance rate increase or any other problems.

How can you save on your auto insurance rates?

So, you got a traffic ticket, your auto insurance company knows, and you’re dealing with a rate increase. What do you do now? There are a number of ways you can lower your insurance costs. The first big possibility you want to investigate is auto insurance discounts. Most insurance carriers offer discounts, including the following:

  • Safe driver discount
  • Good student discount
  • Vehicle safety features discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Military discount
  • New vehicle discount

You can also ask your auto insurance provider about a usage-based insurance program. A usage-based program uses a telematics device or mobile app to monitor your driving habits and issues you a discount for safe driving. Often, you’ll even get a discount just for signing up for the program.

Obviously, if you sign up for a program like this, you will need to obey the speed limit and drive carefully. Some companies will even raise your rates if it turns out you’re driving recklessly.

You might also consider raising your deductible temporarily to lower your insurance rate, or dropping extra coverage options that you don’t need right now.

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What’s the next step?

So you got a speeding ticket and your rates are going to go up at renewal, assuming you didn’t opt for the ticket forgiveness coverage.

What can you do? Well, assuming you can’t get the ticket cleared off your record with a defensive driving class, your best move is to shop your rate online or visit an independent insurance agent who can get quotes from several different insurance companies.

Your current insurer may put you through the ringer for a ticket, but there are plenty of insurance companies out there that specialize in insuring those of us who have a not-so-perfect driving record.

Make sure you give them a shot to be certain you aren’t overpaying for a momentary lapse in judgment.

Either way, don’t feel like a criminal or that you’re going to “get in trouble” if you can’t remember your driving history for the past 3-5 years when asked by prospective insurers during the quote process.

The reports mentioned above will fill in the details. However, it will help you obtain more accurate insurance quotes if you know this information.

Some insurers do not order these reports until later in the process, which can lead to an unwelcome surprise when your quoted premium increases as this information is discovered.

Read more: How do insurance companies find out about speeding tickets?