Do Parking Tickets in New York Affect Auto Insurance Rates?
Last Updated on November 24, 2020
Parking tickets can be incredibly frustrating. Even the most careful drivers can occasionally rack up a parking ticket or two. This is an especially common problem in big cities like New York, where it can be very difficult to find parking. You might be wondering if parking tickets in New York can affect your insurance rates. Here’s what you need to know.
In General, Parking Tickets Do Not Affect the Cost of Your Car Insurance
Many New Yorkers will be relieved to find out that parking tickets do not affect the cost of car insurance in most cases. This is because you can be a very safe driver and still get a parking ticket, so companies do not look at it as an indication of your driving skills. It’s very normal to get a parking ticket for things like failing to refill a parking meter in time or misinterpreting a sign on the street.
The only instance in which a parking ticket could have an effect on your insurance rates is if your car gets towed as a result. This could happen if you are double-parked or parked in an area that is completely off-limits to cars. Since parking this way could be dangerous, your insurer could see this as a risk and increase your rates slightly. Most car insurance plans do not cover the cost of towing. In the most serious instances, you could end up with a boot on your car, which can be very expensive to remove and could even damage your car.
You Could Be in Trouble if You Fail to Pay Your Parking Tickets
While you likely won’t see a rate increase just for getting a parking ticket, you could see a rate increase if you pay your parking tickets later, or fail to pay them altogether. This is because unpaid parking tickets can have a negative effect on your credit score. Insurance companies look at your credit score when determining your car insurance rates. Those with a low credit score are considered riskier to insure, because they are statistically more likely to make late payments or miss payments.
Unpaid parking tickets can also get you in trouble with the DMV in New York State. After failing to pay a certain number of parking tickets, you could have your registration suspended. This happens if you have three unpaid tickets in an 18 month period or five unpaid tickets in a 12 months period. You’ll need to pay for the tickets in order to get your registration back. To do this, you’ll need to get paperwork proving to the DMV that you have resolved the tickets. Insurance companies do look at your driving record with the state when determining your rates, so having your registration taken away can also have a negative effect on your insurance rates.
How to Avoid Parking Tickets
Parking tickets in New York are very expensive. Taking extra care when you park can help you avoid them. Make a rule to always park away from fire hydrants, and never park in a crosswalk or bike lane.
When filling a meter, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to go refill it so it doesn’t expire. Put the receipt in a very visible place on your dashboard where everyone can see it. If the parking signs in any given area are unclear, always be cautious and follow the most restrictive option, or avoid parking in the area. It can be tempting to let your guard down and park in a restricted area at times, especially if you’ll only be there a short time, but don’t – parking tickets can happen quickly. If you’re driving to an area you are unfamiliar with, look up parking restrictions ahead of time, or consider taking public transportation if that option is available.
Of course, there are instances where parking tickets are given out unfairly. For example, you could park in a space with a broken or outdated meter. If you are going to contest your parking ticket, you’ll need to do it sooner rather than later. If you wait more than a month to file a dispute, you could be out of luck. Luckily, New York and many jurisdictions within the state give you many different ways to dispute a parking ticket. You can do so in person at your local DMV, but you can also file online or using the DMV mobile app. They conduct hearings both in-person and online, which makes filing a dispute much easier for those with busy work or family schedules. Since parking tickets can be expensive, don’t be afraid to file a dispute if you think you have a valid reason.
Final Word on NY Parking Tickets and Your Insurance
Parking tickets can be very frustrating, and for many New Yorkers, they’re just a way of life. However, they likely won’t affect the cost of your car insurance unless you fail to pay them. If you do get a parking ticket, make sure you pay it (or dispute it) as soon as possible so that it doesn’t get ahead of you. While unpaid parking tickets won’t affect your insurance, they could hurt your credit, cause your registration to be suspended, and accrue high penalty fines.