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Speeding ticket = 18% rate hike

The best way to keep car insurance premiums low is to not commit moving violations.

By MSN Money Partner May 24, 2011 12:00PM

This post comes from partner site MainStreet.


Consumers may know that their bad driving record will raise their car insurance, but just how much will a single moving violation cost them?


Plenty, according to a new analysis from The website looked at 32,000 of its auto insurance policies sold in 2010 and found that those with zero moving violations on their driving record can expect to pay, on average, $1,119 a year in premiums. However, as soon as a consumer had a moving violation on record, the quotes skyrocketed. Their analysis found that:

  • One violation led to an average annual premium cost of $1,318, an 18% increase.
  • Two violations lead to average annual premium cost of $1,497, a 34% increase.
  • Three violations lead to an average annual premium cost of $1,713, a 53% increase.

Violations that can cause these spikes include speeding, careless or reckless driving, running red lights, failing to yield or stop at a yield or stop sign, improper passing, making an unsafe U-turn, and failing to use a child restraint. (You'll also pay for fleeing from police, driving the wrong way down a divided highway, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but, perhaps, in those instances, a higher insurance premium is only part of your problems.)

"The lesson is simple: Drivers who speed, drink and drive, or engage in other bad driving behaviors will pay through the nose if they want to keep their car insurance," Chris Kissell, managing editor at, said in a press release "The best way to save money on car insurance is to drive responsibly at all times."


The average annual premiums were calculated by examining 32,746 single-driver, one-car insurance policies sold in 2010. For people seeking new insurance, the site also looked at how violations affect new customers by examining 397,000 insurance quotes generated through


The analysis illustrated that policies offered to drivers with violations depend on the age of the driver.

For instance, policies offered to drivers 65 and older who have two violations are 57% more costly than those offered to people of the same age who have no infractions. Drivers with two violations in the next closest age group, 55 to 64, only experienced a 47% rise in their rate quotes compared with people in that group who had no violations. suggests that anyone being charged high rates due to a poor driving record enroll in a driving safety class to help lower rates. They can also raise their deductibles on an auto policy as another way to lower their premiums.


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