If you are caught running a red light, either by a traffic camera or law enforcement, your car insurance rate will likely increase.
Most traffic infractions, including red light tickets, are added to your license using a point system. As you accumulate points, it becomes more likely that your insurance company will notice and raise your rate.
Fortunately, some auto insurance companies are more lenient than others. This is why it’s a good idea to shop around for a policy to find the best rate, especially if you have multiple traffic violations on your record.
How Does the Demerit Point System Work?
Running a red light is usually a more serious traffic offense than speeding or receiving a parking ticket. Because of this, running a red light can affect your driving record more than other violations.
Most states follow a demerit point system. It’s simple—every time you earn a traffic violation, a certain number of points are added to your license. The more points you receive, the more likely your insurance is to notice and increase your rate.
Each state is different, but typically you’ll gain at least 2 points, and as many as 50, for running a red light. In Illinois, for example, a red light conviction adds 20 demerit points to your driving record.
If you gain enough points in a short amount of time, you could have your license suspended. Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also result in a reckless driving conviction.
Does Running a Red Light Ticket Affect Your Insurance?
Yes, receiving a red light ticket can increase your insurance rate. However, whether or not your rate increases will depend on your insurance company and your previous driving history. Some insurance companies are more lenient than others and will choose to ignore a red light violation.
Does a Red Light Camera Affect Insurance?
If your traffic offense was caught by a red light camera rather than a police officer, you may not face the rate increases that you would have had been pulled over.
This is because many states treat automated red light camera tickets like speed camera tickets, rather than more serious traffic violations. If you live in one of these states, your insurance company may elect to ignore the ticket and your rate will stay the same.
What About First Time Offenses?
In many cases, your insurance company will not increase your insurance premium if your red light violation is a first-time offense.
This is because most insurance companies have a first-time forgiveness policy. This means you will not see a rate increase the first time you’re in an accident or receive a traffic violation.
Ways To Avoid a Rate Increase
If you have traffic tickets on your record, there are still a number of ways you can try to prevent a rate increase.
Contest the ticket
If you have a valid reason, you can challenge the ticket to try to get the conviction reversed. If the judge agrees with your reasoning, you may have the points on your record reduced or removed entirely.
Defensive driving course
In many states, you can take a defensive driving course to remove demerits from your license. Taking this course voluntarily helps show that you’re making a good faith effort to improve your driving skills.
Wait a few years
Fortunately, demerits on your driving record won’t affect your insurance rate forever. Your insurance company will usually excuse offenses that are at least 3-5 years old.
Some insurance companies are more forgiving than others, so make sure to shop around to find the best auto insurance rate.
Find Affordable Auto Insurance
If you’re looking for affordable auto insurance, look no further than Accurate Auto Insurance.
We help all drivers, regardless of their driving record, to find the insurance they need to stay on the road. Best of all, we offer cheap SR-22 insurance for anyone who’s been deemed a high-risk driver.
Call us today at 1-800-999-1034, and we’ll work to find a rate that fits your budget.