Do Parking Fines Affect Car Insurance?

July 11, 2019

It happens to the best of us – you park somewhere that isn’t allowed or you stay parked there longer than anticipated. When you come back to your car, you find a parking ticket on your windshield. While it’s a financial nuisance, parking fines shouldn’t have any negative effects on your insurance rates.

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But, if you let the fines go and don’t pay the tickets, your insurance rates may increase. Keep reading to learn why this could happen to you.

Parking Tickets Aren’t Moving Violation

The authorities give out parking tickets to non-moving vehicles making it a non-moving violation. Insurance companies don’t care about the non-moving violations because they don’t put others on the road at risk. In other words, a parking ticket doesn’t create a claim that the insurance company has to pay out on.

Moving violations, however, put others on the road at risk. Speeding, for example, creates a higher chance of causing a serious car accident. Reckless driving, failing to yield at a stop sign, or blowing a red light all pose higher risks of car accidents as well. The higher risk of an accident causes an increase in your insurance premiums because the insurance company has a higher risk of paying your accident claims.

Parking tickets don’t put the insurance company at risk of an accident. They are a sign that you accidentally or ignorantly illegally parked. They could also mean that you remained in a spot longer than you paid for on the meter. Again, these situations don’t put the insurance company at risk for a claim.

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When Parking Tickets Become an Issue

If you don’t pay your parking tickets, it may become an issue for your car insurance. It may not affect your premiums, but it may cause an insurance company to cancel your policy. Not paying a parking ticket means failing your financial responsibilities. It also makes registering your vehicle at renewal time impossible. If your state revokes your registration, you can’t have insurance on your car.

Once you pay the ticket and are able to renew your registration, new insurance may be necessary. Any new insurance companies will see the previous issues, which send up a red flag. Some insurance companies may deny your application altogether. If any insurance company does approve your application, they may do so with higher premiums.

How Else Parking Tickets can Affect Your Insurance

Getting your registration suspended is one way that you might have trouble with your car insurance. Other ways that you may end up with higher premiums from a parking ticket include:

  • If the issuer sends your parking ticket bill to a collection agency, it can decrease your credit score. A lower credit score makes you a higher risk, which may make some insurance companies increase your premiums.
  • If you accumulate too many ‘points’ on your record because of too many parking tickets or a ‘boot’ on your tire, you may lose your license. The DMV must tell your insurance provider of the suspension, which can result in higher premiums if you get your license back.

Receiving a parking ticket is frustrating, but don’t let the ticket go unpaid. In the long run, it can affect your car insurance rates either directly or indirectly or make it difficult to get car insurance should your company drop you.

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