I was talking with a client about their upcoming renewal earlier this week, specifically his family’s car insurance. He let me know he’d received a speeding ticket in Dallas going to work last month and wanted to know what the impact would be on his car insurance which is set to renew next month. Will it go up, and if so how much?
I’m asked this question on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s with a client and sometimes it’s with a prospective client. In addition to the standard questions I ask to quote someone’s car insurance such as VIN numbers, how the cars are driven, who drives which one, etc., I also ask whether there are any tickets or accident claims that will show up when I run the MVR and CLUE reports. Sometimes people admit they have a ticket, others don’t (they forget), and occasionally I’m told none that will show up.
The state of Texas does allow driver’s who’ve been “awarded” a speeding ticket to take defensive driving once every 12 months. The advantage of taking a defensive driving course is that it keeps the speeding ticket off your record. If it’s not on your record, then it doesn’t show up on the Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), and that keeps your car insurance lower.
Defensive driving can be taken for a variety of tickets including:
- Speeding (as long as it’s not more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit)
- Improper turns
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
- Other minor violations
A Texas defensive driving course may not be taken to dismiss the following violations:
- Driving more than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
- No car insurance
- Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run)
- Passing a school bus
- Construction zone violations
I asked my client whether or not he intended to take defensive driving? Unlike many of my clients, he didn’t plan to. He’s in a busy season of life right not and doesn’t want to part with the 6 hours required to take the class.
His current company may or may not find out about the speeding ticket. Not every company runs a new MVR at every renewal. Some do, some don’t. I won’t know until we get closer to his renewal date. I did let him know what the impact would be if we moved him to another insurance company; it’s between $200 and $500 a year depending on the company. The other downside of not taking defensive driving is that his car insurance rate will be higher for three to five years, depending on the carrier.
Whenever possible, I advise my clients to take defensive driving and slow down. If it were you, would you take the class? Share your comments, questions, and experiences with me on my Google +, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages. I’d love to hear from you!