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How Negligent Driving Can Impact Car Insurance

Most drivers have an unspoken claim or belief in invincibility and think that “it cannot happen to them.” Consequently, they say “yes” to the last martini or rum and coke when they have crossed the line between intoxication and sobriety. They self-analyze the situation and convince themselves that although inebriated, they can effectively drive. Sometimes, they are lucky and make it home unscathed; but more often than not, there is an incident, an accident, and the accompanying ticket for negligent driving, a proverbial “red flag” to automobile insurance companies. This will force people to find car insurance quotes in order to offset the violation.

Negligent driving means a failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care that results in damage or injury to a person or property. The critical word is “reasonable” which is defined as the act or action that a normal, sober, and rational person would take in the same or similar situation. For example, a reasonable person would get a sober, designated driver to drive them home thereby avoiding a ticket for going the wrong way at a freeway entrance, or failing to maintain adequate distance between cars before changing lanes. In a matter of seconds a good driver can become a negligent driver, due to a simple action such as texting one word, ignoring the stop sign, and receiving a citation for driving through the intersection without making a complete stop.

A driving record with a negligent driving violation is usually lowered by one to three points for the first violation; a misdemeanor. However, the one point deduction can result in an increase of twenty six percent in the insurance rate. Subsequent violations will classify the driver as a high risk.

The reduction in the driving record is not a one-time occurrence that ends in a single rate increase. The violation remains on the driving record from three years for the first incident to five years for repeat offenders. The rate of increase depends upon the insurer and their policies, but serial violations can result in a 26 % increase or more.

Repeat negligent driving violations can result in an insurer declining coverage or a refusal to insure that driver altogether. Admittedly, the policyholder can obtain coverage at an insurance company who specializes in high-risk policies. However, the rates can be as high as 300% higher than a similar policy for a driver without a negligent driving violation. In states where automobile insurance is mandatory, there is a state operated insurance pool for drivers who cannot obtain insurance such as SR-22 coverage. A driver has to consider, is the pleasure worth the punishment? Obtaining car insurance quotes will be your next move.

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