Does a seat belt violation affect your insurance?
UPDATED: May 16, 2011
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Asked May 16, 2011
The deciding factor for this from the legal point of view is whether your state assesses points for seatbelt violations. If points are assessed, then your insurance is more likely to increase because the insurance company uses the points on your license as one of the indicators of the risk you pose for the company. Minnesota reportedly does not report seatbelt infractions, for example, but the laws are different from one state to another, as well as from one insurance company to another.
From the insurance point of view, seatbelts reduce risk. If you receive a ticket for failure to wear a seatbelt, you are flaunting your contempt of safety and the law, and increasing the amount of risk involved in insuring you. Because of this, the insurance company is within their rights to increase your premiums for the offense. Because you have chosen to take the chance of sustaining more serious injuries, the insurance company is forced to consider you a higher cost-risk. Wearing the seatbelt reduces the risk to insurers, which is why insurance companies are big advocates of using safety restraints.
Child safety is taken even more seriously than driver safety. If you are found guilty of failure to properly restrain an infant or small child, you may be subject to harsh civil penalties, and may even have points added to your driving record due to some peripheral charge such as endangerment. In this situation, your insurance premiums will probably increase.
Most insurance companies only check your driving record when a change is made to the coverage, or it is renewed. This means that a seatbelt violation may not be discovered by the insurance company for several months, but it should be noted that some insurers make regular or random checks on customer driving records and your rates could increase at the next monthly billing.
Answered May 16, 2011 by Anonymous