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Insurance rates escalate with tickets, crashes

December 10, 2011
By DAVE WERNER ( , Franklin County Traffic Safety Board

Several years ago, we produced a "Did You Know" showing how insurance rates rose with traffic violations.

Insurance costs have changed and it's time to again show how poor driving results in serious cost increases in insurance rates. So we went to Cardinal Insurance Agency in Malone to get some examples.

In all of the following examples, coverage consists of $100,000 or $300,000 liability, coverage for uninsured motorists, personal injury protection, $200 deductible comprehensive insurance and $500 deductible collision.

In our first example, we will use a married couple, ages 57 and 63, owning their home, and driving a 2001 GMC Sierra and a 2008 GMC Yukon. Their basic insurance rate with a clean driving record is $1,214. With one at-fault collision, even if no tickets were issued, the annual rate would rise to $1,445, and with one conviction of driving while intoxicated, even if the DWI didn't result in a crash, the annual rate would escalate to $1,715. These higher rates remain in effect for 39 months.

In our second example, we have a single male driver, 27 years old, who does not own his home. His basic insurance, with a clean record, is $1,246 per year. If this driver has an at-fault collision, his annual rate increases to $1,525, and should he receive a DWI with that collision, he would pay $1,624 annually, again for a period of 39 months.

Our last example is an 18 year old male in the assigned risk pool as an inexperienced operator. His basic insurance starts at $6,443 annually. Should this driver have an at-fault crash, his annual insurance rate would rise to $7,302, and if he is convicted of a DWI, he would be paying $15,615 per year.

One last point of information insurance coverage is not a given. Based on many parameters, insurance companies may refuse to insure you, meaning you must apply to the assigned risk pool for any coverage. The point of this article is to show how poor driving results in costly insurance rates, and the ultimate cost of a ticket and/or a collision is not just the cost of the fine, the surcharges, the points on your license, and the repairs. These are the immediate costs. Then you get the bill from the insurance company which remains for the next 39 months, assuming you don't receive another ticket or have another crash. Poor driving comes with a high price - can you afford it?


To access the more than 200 "Did You Know" articles plus more information on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, go the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board's website a and click on the Traffic Safety Board under departments.



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