How Different Types of Tickets Affect Auto Insurance Quotes

Getting a ticket while driving always has an impact on car insurance rates, but the significance of the impact that is made to car insurance rates differs according to the violation. While it is important to avoid breaking laws while driving, knowing just how serious a violation can be in relation to car insurance rates can help you understand how you’ll need to budget for higher rates after getting a ticket.

Myths About Traffic Tickets

A common myth that many drivers believe is that they will not have to worry about an increase in car insurance rates if they receive a traffic ticket while traveling in a state other than the state in which their car is insured. DMV.org reports that this is a misconception. Tickets in other states count against a driver just as much as tickets received in their state of residence.

More serious consequences can be suffered if a person ignores a ticket that is received in another state. License suspension and hefty fines can make a car insurance rate increase the least of a driver’s worries.

Temporary Increases in Car Insurance Rates

Nearly all types of tickets will only impact car insurance rates for a temporary period of time, but the exact length of time that rates are higher varies according to the type of ticket. According to Esurance, moving violations stop affecting car insurance rates as soon as they are removed from a person’s driving record. Some insurers prefer to put a set time limit on the effect that tickets have on rates because it may take a long time for violations to be removed from a driving record.

Moving violations relate to violations that occur when a vehicle is in motion. Speeding is the most common moving violation. Talking on a cell phone while driving or failing to use a turn signal can also be considered to be moving violations.

Many insurers choose to focus on moving violations that have occurred in the past three years. According to Autoinsurancecenter.com, when drivers are answering questions about violations in order to receive an insurance quote, they can discover the impacts of a particular violation on their auto insurance rate.

People who have been driving for a long time may have more leeway when it comes to moving violations. New drivers who have received a ticket shortly after becoming licensed may find that their rates are significantly higher than more experienced drivers.

The Impact of Serious Offenses

Serious offenses such as a DUI tend to impact car insurance rates significantly for a long period of time. InvestorPlace reveals that reckless driving and DUIs have the most significant impact on car insurance rates. Each of these violations can keep insurance rates high for up to 10 years.

Tickets can have a serious impact on the amount of money that a driver pays for a car insurance policy. Minor violations may only have a small impact on rates, but major infractions can significantly boost insurance rates for up to 10 years after the date of the violation.

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    My understanding is any moving violation has a negative effect on your insurance. I incurred a ticket a few years ago and went to traffic school (online) to nullify the ticket. Traffic school cost was nominal, but I saved much more in my insurance costs.

  2. 2

    says

    It’s been over 10 years since I got a ticket *knock on wood* but when I did, I always went to court and offered to pay the fine and have the points waived. At the time, this made it so that the insurance company didn’t get wind of the violation as they just pulled points. I’d have to check to see if that’s the case, because I’d imagine the database and information is more sophisticated these days.

  3. 3

    says

    That’s why it is always best to be careful when on the road. We should try as much as possible to avoid getting tickets to avoid problems in our insurance coverage. We don’t want to be causing any trouble, right? Extra caution is necessary.

  4. 7

    says

    So there’s no “license to speed” outside my home state – but what about other countries? As a public service to your readers, I conducted an experiment on this a few years ago. The result? I learned that my insurer speaks Canadian fluently. (RCMP was decidedly unmoved by my “but the KMPH signs were just so darn confusing, eh?” explanation.) Any volunteers to test all the other countries?

  5. 8

    says

    Pro tip – Traffic violations and tickets received in other states most likely will not have an effect on your premiums. Unless you tell your agent about them, they most likely will never find out. So, if you have to speed, do it out of state.

    • 9

      Len Penzo says

      That’s good to know. On a somewhat related note … More than a few years ago, I was pulled over for speeding outside of Ithaca, New York. Seeing that I was from out of state, the trooper told me if I never planned on coming back to NY that I could ignore the ticket and not pay the fine. I couldn’t believe the guy even told me that.

      I paid the fine anyway. My rates didn’t go up either. Now I know why.

  6. 10

    says

    You mentioned DUIs. Not only are the tickets expensive and you will be in for an insurance nightmare, but there will be many, many more costs headed your way that are associated with drinking and driving if you are cited!

  7. 11

    says

    A great article. It does depend on many things. In the case of a speeding ticket for example, it is not easy to predict how the current insurer will adjust its premium.
    In general, a ticket for speeding affects cost but there may be no increase from an existing insurer. Using speeding as an example: it can depend on the state and zip code, MPH over-limit, current tenure with insurer, driver’s age and how many tickets they have racked up in the last three years.
    How auto insurance companies will treat violations in terms of premium affect is difficult to compare. For speeding tickets, here is a general indication: One ticket, premium +10-18%; two tickets, premium +30%; three tickets, premium +50%. So if you’ve already got two ticket violations, it maybe time to shop for another carrier.

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