Accidents are an unfortunately common part of driving. Most drivers will be in an accident during their time on the road, and many experience multiple crashes throughout their lives. Fortunately, many of these accidents are relatively minor: backing into obstacles, sliding into a ditch, or other incidents that cause minor damage and few, if any, injuries. However, to say car crashes can come with severe consequences would be an understatement. A larger accident brings all kinds of negative impacts to you and your life—and that’s certainly true if you caused it. Here are some of the consequences of causing a car crash you might face. (more…)
If you’re facing a recent DUI conviction, you’ve probably noticed that it has affected more of your life than you originally thought. A DUI charge won’t show up directly on your credit report, but it has lasting effects that can influence your finances for months or even years to come. From putting fees on a credit card to dealing with a higher insurance premium after the conviction, here’s how a DUI can affect your credit now and down the road. (more…)
No one wants to carry an SR22 insurance policy around with them. From the mark on your driving record to the extra costs on your auto insurance, the SR22 can turn into a hassle at times. However, if you don’t keep up with your SR22 insurance requirements, the stress gets a lot worse. It’s important to maintain your policy for as long as your state requires. What happens when you let your SR22 car insurance cancel? Read up on the process and consequences here. (more…)
Road rage is an all too common behavior behind the wheel. Everyone gets aggravated from time to time, especially when they’re driving during rush hour, through a major traffic jam, or in other stressful conditions. However, while a bad mood or surly demeanor might seem like a harmless, temporary thing, it can actually hold a lot of consequences for you and your driving career. Even though road rage itself isn’t a crime, the reckless driving that ensues is. When you experience road rage, you’re more likely to drive aggressively, breaking the basic rules of the road and putting you and any nearby drivers or passengers in danger. The violations and accidents that result from road rage and reckless driving also impact your car insurance rates. To help you learn more, here is our guide to how road rage can affect car insurance rates.
Let’s say you need to be somewhere quickly, but traffic is heavy and the people in front of you are slow. You’re a decent driver—surely an illegal pass just this once won’t do any harm. Impatience and irritability on the road often lead to breaking even the most basic of traffic rules. Even though this may seem harmless in the moment, the truth is that you never know how dangerous this type of behavior can be until something bad happens. Even if you don’t do any damage the first time, this kind of behavior leads to a habit of reckless driving. This, in turn, increases the probability of you getting a ticket or hurting other drivers, both of which affect your car insurance rates.
As stated above, road rage and reckless driving often lead to breaking the rules of the road. If you’re frustrated or in a hurry, you’re more likely to run a stoplight, drive over the speed limit, or cut off another driver. These and other traffic violations lead to police officers pulling you over and giving you a ticket. While a single speeding ticket probably won’t impact your auto insurance rates, these violations can build up quickly. Too many tickets can even lead to the state suspending your license. These consequences can stay on your driving record for years, informing auto insurance companies about your history of reckless driving.
When road rage leads to traffic violations, insurance companies begin to classify you as a high-risk driver. This means that you’re seen as more likely to commit traffic violations, get into accidents, or display other dangerous behaviors that can cost the company money. Some insurance providers won’t insure high-risk drivers, while others have exclusions on their policies and won’t offer certain options for your plan. You might also have to pay more for your plan than individuals with a clean driving record. No matter what, as a high-risk driver, you’re going to have a harder time finding an auto insurance policy that works for you.
Losing Your License
Even the most minor of violations can add up, and too many traffic violations can cause you to lose your license. Many states have a point system: every violation is worth a certain number of points and receiving too many points means the state will revoke your license. Minor moving violations like running a red light or speeding slightly will cost fewer points than major violations such as driving under the influence or attempting to flee the police. If you receive too many points—or lose your license any other way—the hassle doesn’t end when you reinstate it and regain your driving rights. Your state or DMV might require you to take certain driving courses or pay an extra fine. Your suspended license will also go on your driving record, which means insurance companies will know about it and likely label you as a more expensive high-risk driver.
If your road rage causes you to lose your license, you will likely need SR22 insurance to reinstate it. Sometimes referred to as a certificate of financial responsibility, SR22 insurance is a special form that many states use to ensure high-risk drivers keep up with their insurance requirements. Insurance companies add SR22 insurance to your policy and make sure you meet the requirements every month. If you let your SR22 insurance lapse, the insurance company must contact your DMV, who will suspend your license once again. Some insurance companies don’t offer SR22 insurance, and the ones that do will likely charge you higher rates, which makes it harder to find a policy that works for you. Fortunately, Serenity Group can help you shop around for the best rates. If you’re looking for the cheapest SR22 insurance in California or anywhere else you drive, let Serenity Group find the best policy for you.
In addition to legal consequences, road rage can also lead to dangerous accidents. High emotions, less focus, and shorter tempers can be destructive when you’re behind the wheel. While car accidents are relatively common, having multiple or serious incidents on your record means insurance companies will consider you a dangerous driver. Reckless or dangerous drivers are statistically more likely to get into more accidents, which means insurance companies are afraid you’ll cost them more money. To make up for this, they’ll likely charge you higher premiums if you have serious or multiple accidents on your record.
What You Can Do to Lower Your Rates
If your road rage—and any ensuing accidents or violations—causes your car insurance rates to go up, there are a few things you can do to counteract it. Always shop around and get multiple quotes before choosing an insurance policy. Every company is different, and just because a provider gave you a good deal in the past doesn’t mean they’re the best option currently. You should also be on the lookout for any discounts our insurance provider might offer, such as a good student, senior, or military discount. Perhaps most importantly, do your best to be a safe and responsible driver. Many violations leave your record over time. The better a driver you are, the better your insurance rates will be in the future.
What You Can Do to Avoid Road Rage
Now that you know how road rage can affect car insurance rates, you’re probably wondering how you can avoid these issues in the first place. Everyone gets annoyed or stressed occasionally, but you can’t let these emotions impact your driving. To keep yourself calm and relaxed behind the wheel, try listening to music, practice deep breathing techniques, and avoid driving when tired or stressed. If you know you’re prone to road rage, try to schedule your drives around heavy traffic times. You should also make a point of leaving extra space between yourself and the car in front of you.
If you find yourself facing an SR22 insurance requirement, one of your first questions might be, “How long am I going to have to deal with this?” No one wants an SR22 penalty. They cost extra money and make your auto insurance even more of a hassle than usual. Fortunately, no SR22 requirement lasts forever. The rules pertaining to SR22 insurance vary from state to state, so it’s important to learn more about your state’s requirements. To help you find out more, here’s our guide to how long SR22 penalties stay on your record. (more…)
Alcohol can cause problems for people of all ages, but it has particularly severe consequences for minors. While the United States makes it illegal to purchase or consume alcohol under the age of 21, many teenagers still drink. Unfortunately, teens who drink are far more likely to practice and develop unsafe habits. Studies show that roughly one in five teenagers are or become problem drinkers who get into personal, professional, or legal trouble due to their drinking. Here are just some of the risks and consequences of underage drinking. (more…)
Your driving record is an important part of life behind the wheel. Every traffic violation you commit—from recent minor tickets to major infractions—stays on your record and has a major influence on your life both on and off the road. Because of this, your driving record has a major impact on your life now and further down the road. Learn more about how your driving record affects your future with this overview.
What Makes Up Your Driving Record?
To understand how your driving record influences your life and future, it’s important to know how it all works. Each state handles driving records differently. Some use a point-based system, where violations are worth a certain number of points on your record. After a certain number of points, you start to face consequences such as losing your license or paying more for auto insurance. Infractions that might show up on your driving record include running a red light, causing an accident, driving under the influence, or any other type of moving violation. Some items stay on your record for a few years, but others might be there for much longer. For example, a red-light ticket might be on your record for three years, while a DUI might be there for life. The severity of the violation and the amount of time it stays on your record varies depending on your state.
How Your Driving Record Affects Your Future
Whether you commit a major violation, or you simply have one too many minor infractions, a poor driving record eventually catches up to you. You can probably predict the immediate effects of this. The actual traffic violation might result in fines, a revoked license, or even an arrest. Beyond this, however, the items on your driving record can cause some major complications for you down the road. From insurance rates to your career, your driving record influences many different aspects of your life.
Your driving record doesn’t just consist of traffic violations. Unpaid tickets also accumulate on your record, and they can have serious consequences if you leave them there for too long. Most states will place fines on unpaid tickets, which means you can end up paying much more for it over time. If left for too long, your unpaid ticket will seriously harm your credit score, which can then cause issues for you every time you seek a loan, credit card, or other financial help. In some states, an unpaid ticket is even cause for an arrest warrant.
Car insurance companies are more hesitant to insure riskier drivers. The items on your driving record play a major role in deciding your insurance premium. Someone with a poor record will end up paying much more every month than someone with a clean record. Depending on the type of violations you commit, you might even need to obtain SR22 insurance to reinstate your license and stay on the road. Because items stay on your driving record for a few years, you’ll have to deal with these increased rates for quite some time.
Just like auto insurance companies, life insurance providers are warier of high-risk drivers. As an unsafe driver, you are statistically more likely to experience a serious accident. Because of this, life insurance companies look at your driving record to help determine your premium. This can be extremely costly, especially if you have severe infractions—such as a DUI—on your record.
If you lose your license due to a poor driving record, you might also end up losing your job—especially if your career requires you to get behind the wheel. Even if you don’t drive regularly for your job, your status as a high-risk driver makes it harder to insure you when you use a company vehicle. Complications like this might lead your employers letting you go. This same logic applies to anyone trying to get a new job with a poor driving record. Many employers perform background checks before hiring new employees. When your traffic violations or unpaid tickets show up in a background screening, it might set you back from other candidates for the job. Some careers pay special attention to driving infractions. Public officers, law enforcement, educators, and pilots may all face severe professional consequences if they have a poor driving record.
Getting into College
There are some careers that are extremely strict when it comes to your driving record. These difficulties might start even before you try to get a job in that field. Many universities and academic programs take your driving record into consideration when accepting applications. For example, students applying for law school or medical school face strict acceptance policies. If they have a serious infraction on their driving record, programs are less likely to accept them.
The items on your driving record might also make it difficult to find your ideal apartment. It’s common practice for landlords to conduct background checks before renting to new tenants. Like employers, they want to ensure that they’re going to be working with safe and responsible individuals. For example, if you have multiple unpaid tickets, your potential landlord is probably wondering if you can keep up with rent payments. When looking over housing applications, landlords and leasing companies are less likely to accept a tenant with a poor driving record.
Adopting a Child
Adopting a child can be a rigorous process, and a poor driving record makes it even more difficult. While there is no law saying you can’t adopt after losing your license or committing a serious traffic violation, every adoption agency has its own policies. Many of them will look at your driving record when they review your application. This can sometimes result in a long, intensive interview about the infraction. It might also mean the agency automatically refuses your application.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage caused by a poor driving record. If you lose your license due to the items on your driving record, your first step is to reinstate your license and regain your freedom. If you need SR22 insurance in Denver, Las Vegas, or any other part of our service area, contact Serenity Group. We’ll help you find the best SR22 insurance policy so you can meet your requirements and start taking the steps to build a cleaner record.
Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense, but it can mean a wide variety of behaviors. Every state defines and handles these violations differently, but in general, reckless driving refers to anyone who disregards traffic laws and creates an unsafe road for other drivers and pedestrians. As always, it’s important to stay informed about the different types of charges and why you might face them. To stay safe and knowledgeable, learn more about these four different types of reckless driving charges.
Distracted driving includes anything that might take your attention away from the road—even for a few seconds. This is the most common of the different types of reckless driving charges, which is why it’s crucial to always pay attention to the road and the other drivers around you. Even everyday activities such as eating and drinking, texting, or changing the music can lead to a distracted driving charge.
Because you can never be certain when other drivers or pedestrians will appear, street racing is extremely dangerous. There’s also the risk of property damage and injury to yourself and other drivers. Most of the time, street racing takes place on private property or at a seemingly abandoned location. However, these actions are still illegal and can lead to a reckless driving charge, fines, and other penalties.
Driving behavior often emerges as two different styles: defensive and aggressive. While defensive drivers are cautious and considerate of the people around them, aggressive drivers are usually forceful or careless behind the wheel. Aggressive driving behavior includes tailgating or cutting off other drivers, refusing to yield, weaving through traffic, or otherwise harassing or harming others.
Disregarding Traffic Laws
There are always legal consequences to disregarding traffic laws. However, if you do so with deliberate or malicious intent, it counts as reckless driving. Speeding, running stop signs or traffic lights, and passing illegally are all examples of traffic violations that can lead to a reckless driving charge.
In many states, a reckless driving charge can cause you to lose your license. If this is the case, you might need SR22 insurance to reinstate your license and get back on the road. Fortunately, Serenity Group is here to help you find the cheapest SR22 insurance in California or any other state where you received the reckless driving charge.
There’s something different about driving a car that’s your own. From the personal touches in and on your vehicle to the title with your name on it, there’s a rush of pride and independence that comes with your very own car. Of course, car ownership also comes with a lot of responsibility—such as insurance. If it’s your first time purchasing an auto insurance policy, all the requirements, options, and other information can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be, though. Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find the perfect policy for you and your vehicle. To help you through the process, here are five tips for buying car insurance for the first time.
Know Your State Laws
Every state requires drivers to have car insurance, but the specific regulations vary depending on where you live. Some states only require liability coverage, which covers the costs for others and their property if you’re at fault for an accident; however, the minimum liability limits will change from state to state. Other states have additional coverage requirements, which you can read about below. Before you start shopping around for a policy, read up on your state’s minimum requirements so you know you’re meeting them.
Understand the Different Types of Coverage
Every driver is different, which is why auto insurance companies offer plenty of coverage options. More coverage options mean a more expensive policy, but they might offer the necessary protection for you and your vehicle. It’s important to understand what each of these coverages means so you can get the most out of your policy and money.
Bodily Injury Liability
Every state—excluding Florida—requires drivers to have bodily injury liability insurance. If you cause a car accident, this covers medical costs and other expenses for anyone else involved. The minimum liability requirement changes for each state, but most states have a requirement of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people. If these are the coverage limits for your policy, it simply means that your insurance would pay up to $25,000 in injury costs to another person and $50,000 in costs for everyone involved in the accident.
Property Damage Liability
Property damage liability works the same way bodily injury liability does, except it covers damages to someone’s property rather than the injury of the individual. Every state in the U.S. has a minimum property damage liability cost, though it’s often less than bodily injury requirements. You can always purchase above your state’s minimum liability requirements, which is why it’s important to consider your options before making a final decision.
Personal Injury Protection
Unlike bodily injury or property damage liability, personal injury protection covers you and your passengers in the event of an accident. Details of the coverage vary depending on your state and insurance provider. In general, personal injury protection may cover medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs. Only a handful of states require personal injury protection or similar forms of first-party benefit insurance.
Collision and Comprehensive
Both collision and comprehensive insurance are optional in the United States. They serve to help repair your vehicle or reimburse you if something happens to it. Collision coverage pays for car repairs after an accident. This policy also reimburses the value of your car if you total it in an accident. On the other hand, comprehensive coverage pays for damages your vehicle suffers outside of an accident. This can be storm damage, vandalism, theft, or collision with an animal.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
If you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, you might have to pay the medical bills yourself. Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for these and other costs if an uninsured driver causes an accident. If the other driver has an insurance policy but it isn’t enough to cover your bills, underinsured motorist coverage can make up for what their policy doesn’t cover. Some policies also offer uninsured or underinsured property damage coverage, which reimburses you for vehicle repairs when the other driver’s policy cannot. About half of the states in the U.S. require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy.
SR22 insurance is a type of coverage for drivers with severe traffic violations such as reckless driving or a DUI. Almost every state requires drivers to add SR22 insurance (or a similar policy, such as FR44 insurance in Florida and Virginia) to their policy after a DUI or reckless driving charge. The exceptions are Delaware, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Like with bodily injury and property damage coverage, SR22 insurance rates depend on your state’s minimum liability requirements. Not all insurance companies offer SR22 insurance, but an online SR22 company such as Serenity Group can help you find a provider and policy that’s right for you.
Consider Your Coverage Needs
All these coverage options can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can lower your rates and save money. Carefully consider your coverage options and decide what works for your budget and driving record. For example, a higher deductible means you’ll save money on your premium, but you would pay more out-of-pocket if you’re in an accident. You should also consider the market value of your car. If you have an older car, the cost of collision or comprehensive coverage might not be worth what your insurance provider would reimburse you if the vehicle becomes damaged or totaled.
Other Ways to Save Money
There are a few other ways to lower your car insurance rates. Many providers offer discounts for students with high GPAs, members of the military, individuals with a safe driving record, and more. You can also often get a discount for bundling your car insurance with home insurance or other policies through the same company. Here are a few other ways you might be able to save money:
- Take refresher courses, such as a defensive driving class
- Install anti-theft devices and other safety features in your vehicle
- Choose a paperless billing option
- Pay your premium in full rather than in monthly installments
One of the most important tips for buying car insurance for the first time is to take your time and look at a few different providers before making your decision. Most insurance companies will provide you with a free quote so you can compare prices and coverage options. Before committing to a company, consider your budget, your required coverage, and the type of coverage you want. Having all of these in mind will make it easier to find and choose a policy that fits you and your needs.
While driving is a big part of everyday life, many variables come into play when you get behind the wheel. In order to become a safer, more responsible driver, you must know what influences your driving skills and judgment. Here are some of the factors that can affect your driving ability while on the road.