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Colorado Insurance Blog

Why is the Estimated Replacement Cost of my Home Different Than the Home’s Value?

The cost to rebuild a home is often very different than the market value of the home. A home’s value is based on what someone is willing to spend to buy that home, and largely depends on the area the home is located. A home in a desirable neighborhood may cost the same amount to build as an identical house in a less desirable neighborhood, even though it would sell for more.

Insurance doesn’t cover the the price you paid for your home, the taxable value, or even the potential sale price. The purpose of homeowners insurance is to indemnify you in the event of a loss. In other words, insurance is designed to make you whole again. When it comes to your home, that means insurance will pay to rebuild your home with like-quality materials.

Over the course of your homeownership, both the replacement cost and the market value of your home can fluctuate. At some point, they might be similar values, and other times the replacement cost could be higher or lower than the market value. It all depends on what is happening with the economy and housing market.

Here’s a breakdown of some important factors that can impact the replacement cost and/or market value of your home:

Impactful FactorsReplacement CostMarket Value
Age of HomeXX
Size of HomeXX
Home Features and FinishesXX
Labor CostsX
Cost of MaterialsX
Houses on the MarketX
Land Value X
Desirability of Area (Schools, Safety, Etc.)X

As you can see, things like cost of labor and materials impacts the replacement cost of your home, but not the market value. That’s because when someone is looking for a house to buy, the amount it would cost to build the home isn’t a huge factor since the house is already constructed. Once you own the house, the cost of building materials and labor matters more because you have to insure the house for what it would cost to rebuild it if you suffered a total loss.

While the quality of the schools, parks, and safety of your neighborhood certainly impact the price you could sell your house for, it doesn’t effect the cost to repair or rebuild your home if you had a loss. The same goes for the number of houses on the market and the land value. Whether there are 100 or 1000 houses for sale in your area, it would cost the same amount to rebuild it. Insurance doesn’t cover the value of the land since the land would still exist even if the house was destroyed, so the land value doesn’t factor into the estimated rebuilding costs.

There are some factors that impact both the reconstruction cost and the market value of a home. Specifically, the age, size and features of the home. A home that is 1000 square feet would cost less to build and sell for less than a comparable home with 2000 square feet. Similarly, if you update your kitchen to have custom finishes, that increases the cost to rebuild as well as the resale value of the home. That’s why it’s important to talk to your agent and make sure your home has adequate insurance anytime you make improvements or additions.

If you have questions about how the replacement cost of your home was determined, give us a call. We’re happy to help you decide if the coverage you have is appropriate for your home.

Home Security Technology

Home Security is Easier — and Better — Than Ever

Think home security is still about bulky camera equipment and wires running all throughout your home? Think again.

Today, things have changed quite a bit, and the playing field has been leveled. Advanced tools and security systems are more accessible and affordable than ever. (And installing them might get you a discount on your homeowners insurance, too.)

Full-service systems are still a popular option with many people. Companies offer central monitoring, video surveillance, smoke/carbon monoxide detection and more. Some even include home automation tools so you can control appliances from anywhere, and many will send text-message alerts in response to specific occurrences, such as when the kids enter the house after school.

Do-it-yourselfers who don’t want an all-in-one system have many choices as well. Here are three of the newest and most popular security tools:

1. Smart (and small) cameras

Cameras today can be tucked anywhere and don’t require wires. With a good battery and wi-fi connection, you can see what’s happening outside — or inside — with a glance at your phone or computer.

2. Key-free doors

Say you have a friend stopping by to check on your dog while you’re gone for the day. You don’t have to risk leaving a key outside. With a code-based entry system, you can simply provide your friend with temporary access that turns on and off when you want. Most key-free doors can also be programmed to automatically lock after a certain period of time, like 30 or 60 seconds. That can eliminate the worry about whether or not you locked the door behind you.

3. Home automation products

It’s easier than you think to give yourself remote access to the lights and appliances in your home. At least one available product can be used with your existing power outlets; simply plug it in and control the power to that outlet from an app on your smartphone. Don’t ever worry about forgetting to leave a light on again.

Of course, even “old-school” tools, such as motion-activated outdoor lights, can still have a big impact on security. So whether you choose high-tech tools or stick to the basics, you’ll be making your home a less attractive target for burglars. Many insurance companies also offer a discount for having a security system in your home. If you have a burglar or fire alarm system, be sure to talk to your agent about available discounts.

Five Ways to Get your Car Stolen

Five sure-fire ways to get your car stolen

Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own — if not the most valuable. Despite that, however, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy.

At Integrity First Insurance, we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving a store only to find some broken glass left behind in your parking space. So take care to avoid these five mistakes.

  1. Leave your car running … and unattended. We know it can be chilly in the mornings, and who wants to wait in a cold car while it warms up? Well, a thief certainly won’t mind the chill — as he’s driving away in your car while you’re finishing that cup of coffee in your kitchen. If your car is running, you should be in it. Period. Even if you’re just running over to the ATM to get some cash or dropping off some mail.
  2. Keep a spare set of keys inside the car. Law enforcement agencies say this is a great way to turn a car prowler into a car thief. They’re already breaking into your car to get a phone, or a laptop, etc. What do you think they’re going to do when they find a set of keys? They’re not going to drop them off on your porch with a nice note, that’s for sure.
  3. Put valuables in plain sight. Seems simple, but we’ve all made this mistake. You’ll just be in the store for a second, after all, so who cares if you leave your smartphone on the front seat? Or items from your other errands in the back seat? Be smart — if you have to leave items in your car, put them in the trunk, or at least hide them as best you can. And do it before you get to your next destination.
  4. Leave your car unsecured. The best thieves can work wonders with a window that’s left open even just a crack. And even the worst thieves can steal a car that’s been left unlocked, with no alarm set.
  5. Assume nobody would want to steal your car. Think your car is too old or too undesirable for a thief to bother? Scrap metal is worth money, so never assume that your car is safe — even if you think it’s just a “junker.”

Keeping thieves away helps to keep everyone’s insurance costs down, so avoiding these mistakes not only will save you hassle, it will save you money as well. So stay safe, not only on the roads, but in the parking lots as well!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

Talking to your Teen About Safe Driving

When teens begin to drive, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council, the sobering statistics start to pile up:

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 14 through 18.
  • A teen’s crash risk is three times that of more experienced drivers.
  • Being in a car with three or more teen passengers quadruples a teen driver’s crash risk.
  • More than half of teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

You can help your young driver make better decisions behind the wheel, however. Start by setting a good example yourself. And set time aside to have a serious discussion about the following issues, all of which have a large impact on the safety of teen drivers:

  • Speed: According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding continues to grow as a factor in fatal crashes involving teen drivers. Thirty-three percent of such accidents in 2011 involved excessive speed. While a lot of emphasis is rightfully placed on the risks of driving under the influence or while distracted, the danger of speeding is just as important.

  • Alcohol: If drivers are under 21, driving with any amount of alcohol in their system is illegal. It’s as simple as that. And not only does the risk of a serious crash increase once alcohol is involved, jail time is a possibility as well.

  • Seat belts: Teens don’t use their seat belts as frequently as adults, so it’s important to set a good example and always have yours on. Seat belts are the simplest way to protect themselves in a crash, so let teens know that buckling up is mandatory.

  • Phones: Distracted driving is dangerous driving, especially for an inexperienced teen. That means no calls or texting when behind the wheel — no exceptions. Again, it pays to set a good example when you’re driving with your teen in the car.

  • Passengers: The risk of a fatal crash goes up as the number of passengers in a teen driver’s car increases, according to the NHTSA. Depending on your state’s licensing laws for young drivers, limiting your teen to one passenger is a good guideline. (And some states don’t allow teens to have any passengers for a time.)

Of course, any driver needs to have a good grasp on the laws and rules of the road, and, because teens don’t have much experience, it’s important to have regular conversations about safe driving. How teens drive doesn’t just depend on them. It depends on you, too!

Don’t Let the Cold Get to Your Pipes This Winter

It’s hard to think of a worse start to a winter day than turning on the faucet and … nothing. Maybe there’s a trickle of water, but it’s clear you have a frozen pipe. So, what now? Here are some smart tips to help you prevent or address what could easily become a very messy and expensive situation:

  • See to your outdoor water lines: Before cold weather arrives, drain water sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines, and remove, drain and store outdoor hoses. If possible, close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open the outside hose bibs for draining. Keep them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. If you can’t shut off the water from the inside, pick up some foam faucet covers.

  • Keep your home warm: Maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re sleeping or not at home. Seal any drafts and leave interior doors open to help keep an even temperature from room to room. Your policy may not cover freezing of plumbing or heating systems or any appliances if the heat hasn’t been maintained in the home.

  • Tend to those pipes: Leave the cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom so your pipes aren’t shut off from the warm air. You can also insulate your pipes with sleeves, heat tape or heat cable. Insulation is especially important in unheated areas, such as your attic, basement, garage or crawl space, and for pipes running along exterior walls. During severe cold spells, you may want to leave all faucets, both hot and cold, running at a slight trickle.

  • Call in a professional: Frozen water in your pipes can cause them to burst, meaning you’ll have a mess on your hands once that water unthaws. So, act quickly to shut off your main water supply, and call in a licensed plumber to see to the situation. When selecting a plumber or contractor, it’s important to find a company or individual that is local, licensed and insured. If possible, try to avoid signing a contract prior to filing a claim and speaking with your adjuster.

If you do have to call in a professional or spend any money on mitigating water damage, be sure to keep all receipts and notify your agent as soon as possible. Don’t agree to have any repairs started, other than cleaning up the sitting water, without talking to your agent.

Claims adjusters often need to inspect the damage before moving forward with a claim, so they need to be informed before the repairs begin. If there is an urgent need to begin repairs, try to take adequate photos or videos of the damage before any cleanup so you can provide evidence of the damage.

Finally, be sure to touch base with us at Integrity First Insurance to check whether you’re covered for the damage a frozen pipe may cause. We’re happy to answer all of your policy questions this winter, and beyond.

How to Stay Safe After a Winter Car Accident

The days are short. The air is cold. And, roads are often slick with rain, snow or ice.

It’s winter driving season in Colorado. And, while most people know what to do to try to avoid an accident, many don’t know what to do after one. It’s vital knowledge to have, because the aftermath of a crash can be just as dangerous as the crash itself — especially when it’s cold and snowy.

Here are five things to do (or not do) if you’re in an accident this winter to help keep yourself and others safe:

  1. Make sure everyone’s OK — then get off the road if you can. The safety of everyone involved in a crash is the first concern, of course. So, check on the occupants of each vehicle and call for emergency assistance if it’s needed. Then, if the vehicles are drivable, get them off the road as soon – and as carefully – as possible.

  2. Stay in your car if you can’t safely move away. If you can’t get your car off the road, but you can get off the road, wait until there’s no traffic around and then move well out of the way. Otherwise, stay in the car so you’re protected from other vehicles.

  3. Stay visible — and warm. Turn on your hazard lights and put up road flares so other vehicles know something is wrong. And, grab your vehicle emergency kit (you have one, right?) for blankets and extra clothing. If you’ve run off the road and you’re still in your car, make sure nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. Otherwise carbon monoxide may build up.

  4. If you’re stranded, stay put. Running off the road in a remote area is scary, but resist the urge to try to walk for help. You risk getting lost, especially during a storm, if you set off on foot.

  5. See a crash? Don’t always stop to help. Being a Good Samaritan could cause more problems than it solves. So, if those involved aren’t in immediate danger, call 911 and let the professionals help with medical aid and traffic control.

It’s not always easy, but keeping a cool head after an accident will do more than help everyone get through a stressful situation — it will help keep everyone safer, too.

And, remember, if something does happen on the road this winter, Integrity First is here to help with your auto accident claim. If you’re unsure whether you’re carrying the right coverage, call now before it’s too late!

Protect Your Home from Water and Ice Damage

Water and ice damage affects homeowners everywhere, but you can protect your home with the following tips.

Icicles hanging from gutter along roofline

Water damage can cause serious problems, ranging from mold and mildew to structural weakness. Between 2015 and 2019, 1 in 50 insured homes filed a water damage claim with their insurance. While it’s important to have homeowners insurance to protect your property from water damage, you can avoid these problems by taking care of your property.

Clean and Protect Your Gutters

Your home’s gutters protect your house from water damage by directing water away from your roof and foundation. Clogged gutters overflow during rainstorms and allow water to pool around the eaves and foundation, which can cause problems like soil heaving, foundation cracking, ice dams, and roof leaks.

Clean your gutters at least once annually to prevent your gutters from clogging. You may need to clean your gutters multiple times per year if your property has a lot of trees.

If your gutters need more than twice the annual cleaning, gutter guards can protect your gutters and prevent them from clogging. Trim nearby trees to remove overhanging branches that will drop leaves, sticks, and needles into the gutters.

Insulate

In 2021, many residents of Texas experienced a winter storm that froze pipes and caused ice dams. This storm was a perfect example of what happens when power outages and extremely cold temperatures co-occur. A survey of affected Texans showed that approximately 15% of impacted homeowners had frozen pipes, and countless others saw ice dams form on their roofs.

What’s an ice dam? An ice dam happens when “hot spots” on the roof cause snow to melt. The melting snow rolls down the roof to the colder eaves, where it refreezes. Eventually, the ice backs up under the shingles and into the attic itself.

How can you protect yourself? Insulation can protect your home’s pipes from cold temperatures in winter. Attic insulation also promotes even heating of the roof, which can prevent an ice dam (and thus a roof leak) from forming.

Insulate the pipes in your home with pipe insulation. Pipe insulation wraps around the pipes and protects them from below-freezing temperatures. You can find pipe insulation at hardware stores and home improvement centers. Simply cut down the insulation to the length of the pipe, remove the adhesive backing, then attach the insulation.

Insulate your attic if it’s needed. You’ll know your attic needs more insulation if you can see the floor joists. As a general rule, insulation should cover the joists so they can no longer be seen. For best results, hire a professional to install attic insulation.

Regulate Your Home’s Temperature

Never turn off your thermostat in winter, even if you’re leaving town. If you’re planning to be out of the house for a few days, turn down your home’s furnace to 55 degrees. This allows you to save money on heating costs while preventing your pipes from freezing.

Some additional tips:

  • Program your home’s thermostat to maintain a temperature at or above 55 degrees
  • Service your home’s heating system in the fall or early winter to avoid a furnace breakdown
  • Leave a trickle of water running when temperatures outside are expected to drop below freezing

Seal Cracks

Tiny cracks in your home’s siding or foundation can become a hiding place for water, which can freeze during times of severe weather, causing cracks to widen and make way for water leaks. Seal all cracks in your home’s exterior before winter comes.

Update Your Homeowner’s Policy

Water and ice damage can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Is your house protected? Contact your insurance agent to evaluate your coverage.

Content and photo provided by Safeco Insurance

Driving this Thanksgiving: Safety Tips That Save Lives

Safe driving saves lives. If you’re traveling this holiday season, follow these tips to protect yourself and others on the road with you.

Traveling during the holidays brings us closer to family and loved ones, but sometimes, traveling also puts us in harm’s way. According to the National Safety Council, 406 people died in traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. This number is not atypical for the holiday season: NSC consistently estimates that between 400 and 500 people will die over the 4-day period we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. The following tips can help you avoid accidents that can lead to injuries and even fatalities.

Wear a Seat Belt

Seat belts save lives. According to the United States Department of Transportation, seat belts saved nearly 15,000 people who survived car accidents in 2017. Whether you’re going to see a relative in your town or traveling hundreds of miles from home, wear a seat belt. Be sure the other people in your vehicle buckle up as well.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Thanksgiving weather can vary, from snowy to icy to beautiful and sunny. Pay attention to the weather at your point of departure, your destination, and the route in between. Watch for low temperatures, chances of precipitation, and more.

Know Your Route

How will you be arriving at your destination? If you’re using a GPS device or GPS on your smartphone, plug in the route before you start driving.

Avoid Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving caused over 600 traffic deaths in 2020. Driving drowsy can reduce your reaction time and cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel. To avoid drowsy driving:

  • Drive with a partner and take turns driving
  • Get out to walk around periodically
  • Avoid driving at times when you would usually be sleeping
  • Drink coffee or another caffeinated beverage
  • If you’re feeling tired, roll down your window to increase your alertness
  • Listen to music or talk to people in the car with you to increase your alertness
  • Divide long journeys into segments and know when to stop for the night

Put Children in Appropriate Seat Restraints

Children are required to ride in seat restraints. The youngest children must ride in rear-facing car seats until they graduate to front-facing car seats and, finally, booster seats. Pay attention to the weight requirements for each type of car seat, and know the seat restraint laws in your state.

Watch Your Speed

Of course, you should follow the posted speed limits along your route, but sometimes driving the speed limit is too fast for your journey. The speed limit may be dangerously fast if the road is icy, wet, snowy, or in poor condition. Use common sense when selecting your speed. Don’t prioritize a quick journey over the safety of you and your passengers.

Don’t Drive Distracted

Over 3,000 people die in distracted driving-related accidents every year. Pull over if you must take a call, send, or read a text message while driving. If someone is in the car, let them take the call, change the radio station, read the text message aloud, and adjust your GPS device. Never read or send a text message while driving.

Drive Sober

In 2019, nearly 1/3 of traffic fatalities involved alcohol. Alcohol-related traffic deaths are entirely preventable.
It’s common for people to have a drink or two when at a relative’s house for a holiday celebration. Before arriving at your destination, designate a sober driver – or plan to stay the night.

Update Your Auto Insurance Policy

Take steps to protect yourself this holiday season. Call your insurance agent to check (and update) your auto insurance policy.

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

What is Cyber Protection and Do You Need It?

Many businesses carry insurance to protect them from cyber risks, but most people don’t know that you can also get Personal Cyber Protection. Several insurance companies now offer a Cyber Endorsement on their homeowners policies. If your home policy doesn’t offer that coverage, there are separate policies you can purchase to cover your cyber risks.

How Common are Cyber Attacks?

In 2021 alone, there were 847,376 complaints of cyber attacks reported to the International Crime Complaint Center. With those complaints, the potential losses exceeded $6.9 Billion.

According to Forbes, there are more than 4,000 ransomware attacks every day in the United States. That’s a 300% increase in ransomware attacks since 2015.

Sobering Cyber Stats from Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Who Needs Cyber Protection?

With the number of smart devices in most homes, nearly everyone has some amount of cyber risk and could benefit from coverage for cyber losses. If you fall into any of the categories below, cyber insurance might be useful for you and your family.

Anyone with:

  • Home security cameras
  • Smart appliances
  • Amazon Alexa or other smart devices
  • Smart phones
  • Gaming systems

People who use:

  • Online banking
  • Venmo or PayPayl
  • Social Media (or children with social media)
  • Online shopping
  • Apps that link with bank account or credit card information

The more smart devices you have, the greater the chance you have of getting targeted by a cyber criminal. You could lose privacy, money, a sense of security, your reputation and more. Cyber coverage can’t prevent a cyber crime from happening, but it can help make you whole again if you’ve been targeted.

What Does Cyber Insurance Cover?

Each insurance company may offer different variations of coverage for cyber risks, though most will offer some combination of the following.

Identity Recovery

If your identity is stolen, Identity Recovery coverage help to cover the costs associated, including legal fees, notary fees, credit bureau reports, and possibly a case manager to help guide you through the recovery process.

Cyber Extortion

Cyber Extortion is the demand for money or something else based on a credible threat to damage, disable or deny access to a device, system or data. One example is a hacker locking someone out of their computer and only returning access if they pay a ransom.

With coverage for Cyber Extortion, you’ll be provided professional assistance from an expert in the matter who will help you respond to a threat. In certain cases, your policy may also pay the ransom for the extortion threat.

Cyber Attack

A Cyber Attack is a malware attack against or unauthorized use of a computer or other connected home device.

Cyber Attack coverage can help pay for the cost of a professional firm to replace lost or corrupted data and restore the device to its original state.

Data Breach

If there is a breach where personally identifying or sensitive information is lost, stolen or released, Data Breach coverage can help resolve the situation. Coverage includes a forensic IT review to determine the extent of the breach, legal counsel to develop a response, and can help pay the cost to notify affected individuals.

Fraud

Fraud includes unauthorized use of a card, card number, account number or forgery of a check. Fraud coverage helps reimburse the insured for the resulting financial loss.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person by sending, posting or sharing negative, harmful, false or mean content.

There are a select few companies that include coverage for Cyberbullying in their Cyber protection. If Cyberbullying coverage is provided, it can cover mental health counseling, temporary relocation expenses, private tutoring and enrollment expenses if a student needs to relocate to an alternative school.

If you’d like to discuss your cyber insurance options, give us a call. We’re happy to walk you through the coverage and help you find the right fit for your family.

Sources:

2021 Internet Crime Report. Internet Crime Complaint Center. (n.d.). Retrieved September 7, 2022, from https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2021_IC3Report.pdf


Metz, J. (2022, June 7). Do you need personal cyber insurance for cyberattacks? Forbes. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/personal-cyber-insurance/

What Happens If You Get a Speeding or Parking Ticket in Another State

For many drivers who travel for work or go on vacation frequently, out-of-state travel can involve dealing with different laws and speed limits, inconvenient or unusual parking scenarios and the threat of receiving a speeding or parking ticket.

If You Get a Speeding or Parking Ticket in Another State, What Happens?

For many drivers who travel for work or go on vacation frequently, out-of-state travel can involve dealing with different laws and speed limits, inconvenient or unusual parking scenarios and the threat of receiving a speeding or parking ticket.

Should you have to deal with a speeding or parking ticket in a different state, you may have a number of questions, including what to do about it, where to go in order to deal with it and whether or not you have to pay for it. Read below to find answers to the most common questions related to this scenario.

Parking Tickets

It’s not uncommon to receive a parking ticket in a strange town, especially if you are out after dark and the signage is difficult to read. It’s normal to be frustrated after receiving a parking ticket, especially considering that parking ticket offenses can cost anywhere from $60 to $240, depending on where you receive the ticket and why. What are your options? You have several to choose from:

Parking Ticket Option 1: Pay for the Ticket

It makes good financial sense to promptly pay the fine associated with the parking ticket, mainly because the fine generally increases the longer you wait to pay it. Although it might be frustrating, paying the fine as soon as possible might cost you less in the long run.

Parking Ticket Option 2: Ignore the Ticket

In certain municipalities, a gradual increase in the amount of fine you pay is only the first step in the process. If parking tickets remain unpaid, county authorities may also place a vehicle-immobilizing device, or “boot,” on your car. If you rarely visit the state where you received the ticket, getting a boot might not seem too scary, because you can pay the ticket and have the boot removed. The next step, when the municipality sends your parking ticket to a collection agency, might be a bit more concerning. Depending on the state where you live or where you received the ticket, you could end up with a negative impact on your credit, in addition to being unable to renew your license or registration. The threat of these negative repercussions may influence your decision, and you may determine that ignoring a parking ticket is not worth the additional hassle!

Parking Ticket Option 3: Fight the Ticket

If you feel as though you were wrongly ticketed, you can fight the ticket in court, even if you don’t have an attorney. You have several additional options:

  • Send a written affidavit to contest the ticket.
  • Directly contact the local prosecutor.
  • Pay for an attorney to defend you.

You may want to carefully considering the additional cost of time and travel expenses involved, as this option might not be worth it financially.

Speeding Tickets

Driving faster than the posted speed limit is one of the most common traffic violations in America, and even the best drivers may overlook the speed limit and end up with a ticket at some point. If you’ve already received a speeding ticket in another state, there are a few facts you should know.

Computers are always monitoring speeding drivers. The computers we’re referring to are used to help enforce the “Driver’s License Compact” (DLC) and the “Non-Resident Violator Compact” (NRVC). These compacts and the data they gather are part of an agreement between states to share information on drivers who have moving violations. This agreement is called the Driver License Agreement, and only two states (Wisconsin and Michigan) do not participate.

You may wonder how this agreement affects you. As an example, if you receive a speeding ticket in another state and choose not to pay it, the information is forwarded to your home state. When your home state receives the information, they may pursue payment on the fine.

Speeding Ticket Option 1: Pay for the Ticket

Although no one enjoys getting a speeding ticket, the fastest way to deal with it is to just pay the fine. Regardless of whether you receive one in your home state or another state, it’s a lot less hassle to pay for the ticket.

Speeding Ticket Option 2: Ignore the Ticket

Failing to pay for a speeding ticket that you received in another state can affect your license or insurance in a number of negative ways, including the following:

  • Your license may be temporarily suspended.
  • Your car insurance premium may increase.
  • Your car insurance company may drop your coverage.
  • You may receive significant fines.
  • You could even face imprisonment.

With serious consequences like these, not paying a speeding ticket is not a safe bet for any driver!

Speeding Ticket Option 3: Fight the Ticket

As we discussed above, fighting a parking ticket is usually not worth the additional effort. Because a speeding ticket is more severe and is usually expensive, fighting it is more common, regardless of the state. People commonly fight tickets for the following reasons:

  • They want to avoid adding more points to their license, which could put them at risk of having their license suspended and impact their ability to travel to and from work.
  • Their job requires that they have a license with no moving violations.
  • They want to avoid potential increases in insurance premiums.

You can hire a traffic attorney to help defend you, which is especially helpful if you hire someone in the jurisdiction where you received the ticket. These attorneys are familiar with local laws, which can help with your defense. There is always a chance that hiring an attorney may not pay off, as you still run the risk of losing in court. Potentially, you may end up having to pay your fine and associated attorney fees, which could cost you more in the long run.

Receiving a ticket while driving in another state can impact your driving history, your credit score and your insurance rates. Every driver makes mistakes, and if you have questions about how your out-of-state ticket may impact your car insurance rates or coverage, give us a call. We’re available to answer your questions and help you get the coverage you need to fit your budget and lifestyle.

Blog courtesy of National General Insurance

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