Have you ever wondered if traffic tickets in Hong Kong affect insurance premiums? There is no clear answer to this question, mainly because insurance companies do not disclose information on how they calculate premiums, and that’s why rates are significantly different from insurer to insurer, and even from case to case. That’s why it’s worth looking into the types of traffic tickets in Hong Kong that may have an impact on your premiums.
Why would traffic tickets affect my insurance premium?
Insurance companies' logic in the case of traffic tickets is that, if you have a record of multiple and severe traffic offenses, it increases the chances of you being involved in a car accident in the future, which means more risk for the insurer.
Now that you know the reason behind premium increases in correlation to traffic tickets in Hong Kong, let's find out the types of road offenses that are the most and least likely to increase your insurance rates during renewal or when shopping for a new policy.
Traffic tickets that don't raise your premiums
These are traffic tickets that won’t link directly to the increased risk of a driver having an accident or collision in the future. For instance:
- First speeding violation;
- Speeding by no more than 15 km/h over the speed limit (It will cost you HK $320, but 0 driving offense points);
- Not wearing a seatbelt;
- Parking violation;
- Excessive exhaust emissions or noise;
- Failure to follow some road signs, e.g., “no waiting” or “parking spot for the disabled”;
Traffic tickets that raise your premiums
These are the tickets that are most likely to be considered by the insurer when pricing your car insurance plan. These offenses are linked directly to offensive or careless driving, and insurers see them as a warning sign that a driver may cause an accident in the future, and subsequently make a claim for it. Examples of traffic tickets that will likely increase your premiums are:
- Speeding more than 15 km/h over the speed limit (penalty starts from HK$ 450 and three driving offense points);
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Dangerous driving;
- Causing grievous bodily harm or death due to dangerous driving;
- Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it (hit-and-run);
- Driving in a motor race or speed trial on the road;
- Driving without a license or allowing an unlicensed person to drive your vehicle.
Speeding and claims
The main thing to know about claims made due to an accident caused by speeding is that most Hong Kong car insurance policies will only cover accidents where non-excessive speed is a contributing factor. If the crash is your fault and it occurred because of your speeding, the insurer may cover the expenses if he deems that the speeding wasn't incredibly dangerous. This is a sleek term, and our advice for you here would be to read your policy carefully and look out for a clause stating speeding and insurance coverage. If you can't find one, you are most likely covered.
Tips to reduce car insurance premiums
Even if you qualify for a no claims discount, but have a record of multiple traffic tickets, you can expect insurers to raise premiums, or even quote you higher premiums when you look for plans. Here’s a short reminder of how to reduce your car insurance premiums:
Drive carefully - it's not only good for your motor insurance premiums, but also for your car, your health, your driver offense point count, and all road users.
Drive less - insurers think that the more you drive, the higher the chance that you will be in an accident, meaning higher odds for them to pay out on a claim.
Consider a higher excess - this is a risky move, but it can drastically lower your premium. With a higher excess/deductible, you agree to pay out of pocket for a portion of repair costs, and the insurer will only cover what’s left.
Get a car with a smaller engine - or a less luxurious one, as these types usually cost less to repair, which equates to fewer costs for the insurer in case you make a claim.
Avoid auto-renewal - don’t miss out on your discounts, because if you (or your broker) won’t look for it, the insurer definitely won’t do it for you.
Don’t get any traffic tickets - we already explained that insurers will not tell you by how much each ticket can add to your premium, so drive safe and don’t get any traffic tickets.
Safe driving is the key to keeping your motor insurance stable, but there are other things to keep in mind when choosing a car insurance plan. If you are looking to learn more about how you can reduce your motor insurance premium, talk with a Kwiksure advisor today.