Do Parking Tickets Raise Your Insurance?

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Take comfort knowing your parking ticket probably won't affect your insurance rates at all.
Take comfort knowing your parking ticket probably won't affect your insurance rates at all. (Image: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You probably know that speeding tickets can raise your insurance. If you've received a parking ticket recently, you may be concerned about whether it will raise your insurance too. The good news is, parking tickets don't usually raise your insurance. Tickets that raise your insurance are usually for moving violations, which mean violations that occurred while you were driving.

Why

A speeding ticket can raise your premium for obvious reasons: This type of violation puts others, as well as you and your vehicle, at risk. Still, insurance companies frequently forgive the first offense, although rates can escalate after two or more, according to the website DMV.org. Parking tickets don't necessarily put anyone, or your vehicle, at risk. They may merely cause a hassle for others, like the churchgoers attempting to park in that reserved lot in which you parked, or that street cleaner who comes around every Tuesday morning. Insurance companies typically look at the nature of the violation, and usually parking violations don't fall into the category of "dangerous."

Exceptions

DMV.org says it's unlikely, but not impossible, that your rates will go up with a parking ticket. Don't make a habit of parking in dangerous ways, or your insurance company could peg you as a safety hazard. Parking improperly on a slope, for example, creates a safety hazard that could endanger other people and vehicles as well as your own. Likewise, if you park in a parking lot lane, an alley or any other spot where your car risks being hit or harming others, you put your car and others at risk. Your car could cause an accident, and then your rates might skyrocket.

Avoiding Tickets

Tickets for parking in a reserved space or lot, or for forgetting to put more change in a parking meter, are unlikely to cause a raise in insurance premiums. However, you'll save yourself money and hassle by trying to avoid the tickets in the first place. No one is perfect, but by making a practice of reading parking signs when you step out of your car, and re-parking if need be, you'll avoid many tickets. Knowing the law, like how far you may park from a fire hydrant or stop sign, will help you avoid tickets too.

Dealing with Tickets

If you don't pay your tickets on time, or accumulate many of them, your license could be suspended. If your license gets suspended, your insurance premium could escalate. You can challenge a ticket in court if you believe it is unfair. Otherwise, paying tickets on time will pay off. If you don't pay on time, the fine normally grows and may increase periodically.

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