Here at Staybull Insurance we specialize in high risk auto insurance of many types. It can be hard to find affordable auto insurance in Florida if you are considered to be a bad driver. Some of the things that can make you look like a bad driver include PIP claims, accidents, and tickets. Having a bad driving record can make your insurance expensive by itself but combine that with living in a highly populated area such as Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, or Miami, and it can make things much worse. Insurance can be more expensive in these areas due to the population and rate of claims. Insurance companies give these areas a higher rate because you are more likely to get into an accident if you live in one of these locations. If you are having a hard time finding affordable insurance in Florida and think you might be considered a bad driver please feel free to give us a call and we will do our best to help.
What are things that can make you a bad driver?
Accidents – Having an accident on your record will make you look like a bad driver. If you have more than one accident this can make things worse. Insurance companies charge a higher rate to people that have accidents simply because they think you are more likely to have another accident in the future. Accidents typically stay on your driving record for a period of three to five years. The more accidents you have in that time period the higher your insurance rates will be. Even if you are not-at-fault for an accident it can still make your rate higher. In some cases the severity of the accident can also make a difference. If the accident that you had resulted in a very large claim including injuries it can put you in a higher risk category.
PIP Claims – Personal injury claims can make your insurance rates increase drastically. In Florida if you are injured in an accident the first $10,000 in medical expenses is paid by your own auto insurance policy regardless of fault. This means that even if you were not at-fault for the accident your insurance company has to pay these expenses. Insurance companies typically charge a higher rate if you have a pip claim on your record because of the high frequency of fraud in Florida. Many people try to claim fake injuries so they can sue and get money and it is hard for insurance companies to determine if claims are fraudulent. If you have two pip claims this can be much worse and insurance can be very expensive in this situation.
Traffic Violations – Driving infractions such as speeding tickets, reckless driving, driving under the influence, or driving while you have a suspended license are all things that can make your insurance skyrocket. Minor violations such as a seat belt ticket or a vehicle equipment violation can also increase your rate but are not as severe. Insurance companies use your DMV driving record to determine your risk of getting into an accident so the more violations you have the higher your rate will be. These types of violations typically follow you for a period of three years while accidents can follow you for up to five years. When violations fall of your driving record you should start to see the rate come down assuming you do not get any new violations.
What to do if you think you might be considered a bad driver
Traffic School – In most cases if you receive a violation such as a speeding ticket in Florida you can attend traffic school to have the points removed from your license. It is important to note that you usually need to “elect” to take the driver improvement class within 30 days of receiving the ticket. After you you elect to take the class you should have 30 to 90 days to complete it. Upon completion of the course “adjudication of guilt” is withheld and the points will not be assigned to your driving record. It is important to confirm that the violation you received is eligible for traffic school. There are also limits to the amount of times you can elect to take the driver improvement class. We always recommend that you take the class if you are eligible because this can save you a lot of money over a three year period. If you do not elect to take the class it will cause the violation to be on your record for the next three years and the cost of that can be very high. The class is only four hours so it is worth the time and it also has good information that can help you be a better driver.
Drive Safe – The best thing you can do to improve your driving record is to drive safe. Many people get caught up in day to day life and forget the importance of driving carefully. This causes people to get more traffic violations and accidents. We see many people get themselves to a point where they cant get ahead because they are paying so much for insurance or cant find it at all. You have to remember that every time you get behind the wheel it is very important to be aware of everything. It is important to pay attention to the road, your speed, and traffic signs. Last but not least never use your cell phone while driving as this is one of the biggest things that can cause an accident. The longer your are accident and violation free, the better off you will be!
Drive Less – This might sound petty but every time you get behind the wheel you are at risk of getting into an accident. So naturally if you drive less you will have less exposure to these accidents. It might seem hard to limit your driving but it can be done.