Will that affect my insurance? Why did my rates go up? Traffic Tickets and Insurance Premiums in North Carolina
Understanding the complexities of North Carolina Traffic Laws and how they affect your Insurance Premiums takes careful consideration of prior moving violations, wrecks, and tickets – Bill Powers
Can They Raise My Premiums?
Traffic Laws in North Carolina, especially as they pertain to Insurance Points and Insurance Premiums can be complicated. Even with the best driving history, certain violations, especially involving high speeds that might otherwise revoke or suspend a license, may result in a pretty hefty bill from your insurance company.
The North Carolina General Assembly, in an effort to encourage safe driving, has established something called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan. Sometimes people refer to that as the SDIP or the Safe Driver Program.
In any event, the purpose of the “Plan” or program is to set forth a consistent, fair method to control insurance premiums. . .especially for drivers with good driving records or a history of safe driving.
The answer to “Can They Raise My Premiums?” is often: It Depends.
Experienced legal counsel normally will want to ask of series of questions, including:
- Have you had any Moving Violations in the last three years?
- Have you had an Traffic Ticket Reductions?
- Have you been to Driving School?
- Have you received an PJC or Prayer for Judgment?
- Is there anyone else on your Policy?
- Are there any other Drivers in the household?
- Have you had any “at fault” accidents or wrecks in the last three years?
- Has anyone else on your policy had any tickets?
- Has anyone else in the household had any wrecks?
- Has anyone else used an PJC?
Can I Handle My Own Ticket in Court?
You sure can. You can always act as your own lawyer.
There is no law against it.
You can also give yourself a haircut. Sometimes that works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.
We don’t mind talking to you, and after asking questions about your driving history, priors, etc., we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on.
We’ll give you best-case and worst-case scenarios.
We regularly advise people it might just be better to pay a citation or handle something themselves.
But there are also times when handling your own ticket might be a really bad idea.
That’s exactly why we offer a free consultation.
It costs nothing to talk to us, to ask questions, and then for you to decide what you think what will work best for you.
We won’t pressure you.
We want to help guide you through the process. We want to help.
That’s why our telephone number is: 704-342-HELP
Truths About Traffic Tickets:
Not every ticket results in insurance points
Not every ticket results in motor vehicle or DMV points
Not every ticket will suspend or revoke a license
Prosecutors cannot give legal advice or advise insurance consequences
Judges cannot give legal advice or advise insurance consequences
What About Suspensions?
There are some types of tickets that even with a perfect record you may end up receiving a Notice of Revocation or Suspension from DMV.
By the way, that’s true too for certain out-of-state citations too!
Modified Transcript of ” ” for the Hearing Impaired
Well gracious, I’m glad you checked out this page. Of all the different videos I do and questions I get on a different list-servs, everyone wants to know about insurance and that’s for a good reason. Insurance costs money.
- Sometimes when you have a traffic offense, it’s a lot of money and you’re trying to figure out how should I handle a ticket?
- What’s the smart thing for me to do?
- What works best in my individual circumstances to avoid the issuance of points?
Now, believe it or not, in North Carolina, our General Assembly is frankly really pretty reasonable and generous in this. They won’t just leave it up to some arbitrary and capricious decision with DMV, or excuse me, with the insurance companies. We have set forth something called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan.
Now, this video is meant to be general in nature. I’m taking a satellite view and looking down at planet Earth. If you want to know some real specific answers to real specific questions, check out our blog, check out our links to different websites or just frankly give us a call.
We’re going to ask you a bunch of questions and weren’t not going charge anything to talk to you. It’s going to be completely confidential.
The Safe Driver Incentive Plan, SDIP, rewards safe and otherwise lawful driving.
Frankly, it sets some restrictions on insurance companies of what they can do. The reason we ask different questions with tickets and insurance points, and we do look at these after the fact, is because the legislature through the law and the laws that they pass say “if you do this, then you can charge this, but if you have a clean record, maybe you cannot do this,” and there are certain wavers.
We hear this. People often refer to it as the nine over. That if you get a speeding ticket and you haven’t had any other moving violation within the preceding three years and you get a nine over ticket, it doesn’t affect your insurance.
Well, actually it’s 10 over. We say nine over just to be safe.
We oftentimes get it reduced to that, but that’s assuming there was nothing else going on with a prior wreck.
That waver would be subject to or when I say waiver, I mean they’re not going to raise their rates, they can’t raise their rates, maybe, prohibition is the better word. If you had a wreck that was your fault, then it was a certain value of property and a carrier covered it even if you don’t want them to, you may not be eligible for the nine over or as I said the 10 over.
Similarly, you may have something like an improper equipment, where the General Assembly has allowed to get a proper to improper equipment. You have a limitation of how many you can get within a certain number of years.
There’s not the issuance of points, assuming that you don’t have another improper equipment, or you haven’t had something else go on, or there’s not some other type of confluence of a wreck or other tickets.
It’s even more complicated by the fact that this SDIP program at least in part takes into consideration the other motorists on your insurance policy. I call it the 12 days of Christmas because there are all kinds of different permutations and combinations here.
If you’ve had a PJC and then someone in the household had another PJC, can you have one in three years for individuals and two in five years for a policy?
Is there a seven year window?
Gracious, it’s complicated.
I encourage you, don’t just listen to Uncle Freddy.
What may have worked in Rockingham back in 1973 when he was a state trooper is probably not going on now.
The law has changed. The law has developed.
That’s why we offer free consultation.
If we think you can handle a ticket by yourself, we’re going to tell you that – Bill Powers
There are times where it’s just say, we tell people “Hey listen, just pay the thing off or if you want to do x, y, and z, you can do that.” If we think we can help you, we’ll tell you that. We’re not charging to talk to us. What you tell is confidential, so we’re not going to call up Cousin Freddy or we’re not going to tell your spouse or we’re not going to tell your parents that you got a ticket.
We call the attorney client privilege, we say it is “inviolate,” meaning we don’t violate it. It really should be called the client attorney privilege because it’s your privilege that we protect.
Telephone number 704-342-HELP.
I really, really encourage you on this particular page to check out maybe one of our quizzes that we have online, how much do you know about traffic law in North Carolina, maybe check out our other blog post about the SDIP program, check out the links to the insurance laws in North Carolina, and then give us a ring.
If you want to handle it yourself, use our website as much as you want, use the links. If you want some legal advice, even where to start, we’re here for you.
Talk to you soon.