Police officers often seem to have a gift for pulling people over exactly when it is the most inconvenient. Someone who is already running late for work or a medical appointment and sees those flashing lights in the rearview mirror will quickly realize that their day just got that much worse.
Frequently, those issued a ticket during a traffic stop will automatically pay the citation. Their goal is to put the matter behind them as quickly as possible, and they may not see the value in trying to fight the ticket. Depending on someone’s driving history and the alleged traffic infraction, the fine associated with the ticket might not be that much money. However, the traffic ticket could cost someone far more than they originally realized because it will affect how much they pay for insurance.
How much will a policy increase after a ticket?
Every insurance company underwriting liability policies in South Carolina does a driving record check on those applying for coverage or renewing existing policies. Any records indicating recent citations or collisions will have a direct impact on how much someone pays for their coverage.
Women tend to pay slightly more for insurance because they are more at risk of severe injury if a crash occurs, but the increase they experience after a ticket is slightly lower. When looking at the average cost of annual car insurance coverage in South Carolina in 2021, 40-year-old women saw a 17% increase in policy premiums after a speeding ticket, while male drivers the same age saw a 20% increase. That increase in costs could add up to hundreds of dollars over the next few years, possibly even more if someone has multiple prior tickets. In particularly serious cases, motorists might even lose their insurance coverage after receiving too many tickets.
There is also the risk of career consequences. Those who drive as part of their job may need to report the matter to their employer, and the company may not be willing to absorb the costs associated with higher insurance premiums.
South Carolina motorists who defend against traffic tickets can potentially eliminate the risk of incurring extra expenses that could potentially bust their budget or put their career development on hold. Defending against a traffic ticket instead of paying it will often be the right approach for those hoping to minimize long-term consequences from a traffic stop.