Traffic Tickets Often Don't Raise Insurance Costs, Survey Finds

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Every insurer, she says, treats getting of a ticket differently. For that reason you'd be wise, when shopping for insurance, to ask your agent to explain the company's policy. He or she should be able to give you a ballpark idea of what the consequences will be if, say, you get two tickets in two years. "It's very worthwhile to discuss that in advance, especially for younger drivers," say Adams. But most consumers, she says, don't ask. It's only after they've gotten ticketed that they find out what penalty (if any) they will pay.

What about senior drivers—people well beyond their 50s? What happens to car insurance costs for an 80-year-old who gets a ticket? Likely nothing, Adams says. The insurer's assumption is that an older person's sight and reflexes are up to par, unless these were discovered to be deficient the last time they tried to renew their license. Absent such deficits, an older driver is not going to get special scrutiny from an insurer. Their years of experience behind the wheel spare them the same scrutiny a 19-year old would get.

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