Tickets that Have the Biggest Effect on Car Insurance

police car stop

Most drivers have been caught speeding, and probably a good chunk of those individuals were lucky enough to only get a speeding warning ticket. Other tickets that people get while driving are for forgetting to use their turn signal or for breaking other rules of the road.

The violations may vary, but you can end up facing a variety of costly penalties, especially with your car insurance provider. Those who have received driving tickets may have noticed an increase in their insurance policy rate without completely understanding why they were charged that rate.

Well, an increase in car insurance rates is because those who have recent tickets or car accidents on their driving record are considered high-risk drivers. Insurance providers charge these types of drivers more as a way to protect themselves financially if the driver ends up in an accident.

However, knowing which tickets have the biggest effect on your car insurance can help you make wiser decisions on the road in order to prevent a policy rate increase.

Violations that Increase Your Car Insurance Rates

A traffic violation can raise car insurance rates by as much as 82 percent per year. Almost every type of violation can negatively affect your insurance policy, even if the ticket was not given specifically for dangerous behavior behind the wheel. 

You can get a ticket for driving too slow and receive the same rate increase as much as someone who was speeding. Many believe that driving dangerously is the only cause for a rate spike, but that is not always the case. 

Take a look at some of the lowest and highest costing violations that you can receive while driving on the road and how much that violation can cause your insurance rate to increase per year: 

 

 

The Violation

How Much Insurance Rate Can Increase Per Year

 

Driving without lights

2.4% ($51)

 

Not wearing a seat belt

4.0% ($59)

The Cheapest Violations

Not-at-fault accident

6.7% ($98)

 

Failure to show documents

8.7% ($128)

 

Driving with expired registration

10.9% ($161)

 

Hit and run

82.2% ($1,209)

 

Refusal of breathalyzer/chemical test

74.1% ($1,089)

The Costliest Violations

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

73.9% ($1,086)

 

Racing

73.7% ($1,084)

 

Reckless driving

70.4% ($1,034)

Though these are not all the violations that you can be ticketed for on the road, you can see that even the lowest costing offense can have a costly effect on your car insurance. Even if you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance rate can increase by at least 6 percent, and filing a claim for damage raises your premium as well.

The size of the claim, who was at fault, and the terms of the insurance policy plays a role in how much the rate will increase per year. A single medical or personal injury claim or a single comprehensive claim can raise your rate anywhere between 0.5 and 5 percent. 

Two medical or personal injury claims or two comprehensive claims can raise your rate anywhere between 6 and 11 percent. 

For those who are unaware, a comprehensive policy claim covers damage to a car that is not caused by an accident such as vandalism, weather damage, or theft. A personal injury or medical claim pays for treatment and recovery costs for those who were injured because of a car accident.

Why Speeding Tickets Affect Your Insurance Rates

mobile speed camera

As mentioned before, drivers who receive ticket violations or have accidents on their driving record are considered high-risk drivers. These individuals can be charged more for insurance even if they did not directly file a claim with their insurer. And unfortunately, speeding tickets do increase car insurance rates.

Insurance providers make money by taking on clients who are less likely to get into an accident. Doing this means they will not have to pay out large chunks of money to cover any damages filed by a claim. If you take too many risks while driving on the road, your provider may opt to not renew your policy altogether. 

The exact percentage that your rate can spike various by the provider, but here is a list of factors that are commonly considered when determining the rate increase after a moving violation: 

       Amount of time since your last moving violation

       Your prior driving record

       Whether the ticket was the first offense

       How many miles per hour you were going over the speed limit

       The location where the violation occurred

How to Reduce Your Insurance Premium After a Ticket

If you have received a ticket that caused your premium to spike, there are ways to help lower the cost of your auto insurance policy. 

For starters, you can try fighting the ticket if you feel you did not legally deserve to be ticketed. Situations like this will often require a lawyer and solid proof. An example of this may be receiving a red-light camera ticket even though you were not the driver of the car. 

Changing your policy coverage could also lower your premium, but this depends on your personal needs. If you are a driver that absolutely needs the amount of coverage you currently have, then it can be risky to lose that. 

Speaking with an insurance representative about such a decision would be wise before making the next steps. 

Last, taking a safety driving course can give you a discount that knocks your rate back down. In some states and with some insurance providers, taking a defensive driving or accident prevention course can grant you a hefty discount.

How to Avoid Getting a Speeding Ticket

Though the likelihood of receiving an insurance rate increase is high after getting a ticket, especially a speeding ticket, your insurance provider may not do so if you have not had a violation in the last three years and if you’re over the age of 25.

The best way to avoid getting a speeding ticket and risk a premium spike is by driving safely and legally at all times. You should also avoid using your phone while driving because cameras may enforce texting while driving laws without you realizing it, and that will definitely increase your insurance rates.

As a general tip, taking a driving course every couple of years is also a great way to remain a skilled driver. 

Imani Francies
Imani Francies writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance101.com. She earned a bachelor of arts in film and media and specializes in various forms of media marketing.

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