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14 tickets that can raise your rates

Some traffic tickets can raise your auto insurance premiums by 22% or even more. Here's how various violations could affect your rates.

By MSN Money Partner May 10, 2013 12:46PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.


Getting pulled over is a funny thing. No matter how old you are, you still feel like a teenager behind the wheel when those blue lights come on.


But after you get a ticket and the squad car is pulling away, you have two very adult thoughts: "I wonder how much this is going to cost?" and "Oh no! What is this going to do to my insurance rates?"


From reckless driving to not wearing your seat belt, a recent study shows just how much that ticket will raise your insurance rates.


Tickets and your insurance rates

A study by Insurance.com analyzed 490,000 insurance quotes to figure out how different violations affect your car insurance rates. Here are their findings for 14 different violations:

  • Reckless driving -- 22% increase.
  • DUI (first offense) -- 19%.
  • Driving without a license -- 18%.
  • Careless driving -- 16%.
  • Failure to stop -- 15%.
  • Driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit -- 15%.
  • Improper turn -- 14%.
  • Improper pass -- 14%.
  • Following too closely -- 13%.
  • Driving 15 to 29 mph over the speed limit -- 12%.
  • Driving 1 to 14 mph over the speed limit -- 11%.
  • Failure to yield -- 9%.
  • Driving without insurance -- 6%.
  • Seat belt infractions -- 3%.

It could be even worse; those are just averages. Your actual rate will depend on a variety of factors, including your age, sex, where you live, your marital status, and how long you've been with your carrier. You can calculate your own results on Insurance.com.


How to prevent a rate hike

Traffic violations show up on your state driving record, which is accessed periodically by your insurance company. There are a few things you can do to keep a ticket from appearing on your driving record or minimize the impact on your insurance rate.


Police officer pulling over driver © Brand X Pictures, Brand X Pictures, Getty Images

Go to court. If you go to court, you may end up getting the ticket reduced to a lesser offense or having the case dismissed entirely. There are several reasons why a judge might dismiss your case. Among them:

  • The officer who issued the ticket didn't appear in court.
  • The ticket contains inaccurate information.
  • You can prove you did not commit the offense.

Hire a lawyer. A lawyer could help your case. You'll have to pay, but probably not much. A lawyer we interviewed charges $80 to handle a basic traffic case.


Attend traffic school. Some states allow you to keep a violation off your record by attending traffic school. You can attend traffic school in person (many have night and weekend classes) or online and you'll have to pass a test, but it shouldn't be difficult if you were paying attention. The fee to attend the school is usually small.


If you end up paying the fine, here are some steps to take going forward:

  • Avoid getting pulled over again. This seems obvious, but more violations will further increase your insurance rates. Keep your car maintained -- no broken or malfunctioning lights -- wear your seat belt, drive safely and defensively, and renew your registration on time.
  • Be patient. Some insurance companies will reduce your rate after a year with no violations. Many moving violations will no longer affect your rate after three years.
  • Comparison-shop for new insurance. Insurance companies treat violations differently, so another company may offer you a better rate. But don't lie about past infractions. The company will be reviewing your driving record, even if you've moved to another state.

More on Money Talks News:

29Comments
May 11, 2013 4:57PM
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How does driving without insurance raise your insurance rate?
May 10, 2013 7:16PM
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and then there are those "photo enforced" violations, which I continue to classify as a racket on the part of any city in the nation that installs them to further squeeze money out of drivers. I can see that those cameras serve as a security back up since they are mobile and with an outstanding reach, but as robo-cops to extort money from drivers,  NAH..  no wonder those fines go many times unpaid, they are criminal
May 11, 2013 6:30PM
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First accident in over 50 years of driving and only a fender bender........Geico raised my rates over 25%. Both our faults but nobody got ticketed.  Geico and I are through.  Looking for a more tolerant carrier.
May 11, 2013 5:24PM
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Lawyer charge $80? LOL...that wouldn't buy their lunch here...
May 11, 2013 3:10PM
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And just who invades our privacy and reports these violations to the insurance companies?
Is there a flaw in the slaw?

May 10, 2013 10:38PM
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Tickets are selective tazes.Small towns use them to rake in dough for the town.  Counties, larger cities do too. But, the small town police chiefs don't pay them or get them.  LEO's don't get or pay them.  City council members don't get them.  I had a city commissioner tell me if he got one, he would tear it up in front of the officer and I'm sure he would.  If I did, I would be charged.  Mayors, governeors, lawmakers, lawyers, judges, jail personnel, game wardens, and others do not get or pay them.  I have thougth for a long time, there needs to be one extra level of law enforcement only asnwerable to just one person at the state level.  This could be one person per county assigned to ticket those normally excused by "professional coutresy."  It would pay for itself!
May 11, 2013 6:50PM
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Maybe somebody can correct me on this...all according to states agreements,  if you get a ticket in another state and pay the fine,  it is not put on your driving record in the state you live in. Got a speeding ticket in Maryland a few years ago,  state police said I was doing 65 in a 55mph zone,  even though I tried to tell the officer there was a 65mph sign about a 1/2 mile back,  he would not accept my answer,  to fight the ticket I would have had to drive in Annapolis to fight the ticket,  about 60 miles in Washington traffic, I just paid the $60 dollar ticket, and because I did pay it...never showed up my home state record
May 10, 2013 6:34PM
May 11, 2013 10:01PM
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In Arizona , if the offense isn't too excessive, you can go to one day of driving school and have the ticket forgiven. But if you challenge a ticket in court, you forfeit your opportunity to attend driving school. I was nabbed for going too fast through an unmarked school crossing, which otherwise wouldn't have been speeding. I wanted to challenge the ticket, but chose to pay 100.00 for driving school instead so my rates wouldn't increase.
Mar 31, 2014 3:48PM
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The insurance companies use any excuse to jack your rates through the roof. Having a moving violation doesn't cost the insurance company a dime. They should only raise your rates once you crash and it costs them money. How many speeding tickets has Mario Andretti had, thousands? How much has he cost the insurance company? Probably zero. Is he a high risk to crash? Hardly. I also get a lot of "we raised your rates because we had a lot of claims last year." Why the heck am I paying for other people's accidents? The people that crash should have to pay for their own poor driving, not me. The insurance companies are all greedy thieves.

If your rates ever go up from a ticket, just find a new insurer. I pay like 25/month from 4autoinsurancequote for liability. if i got a ticket i'd probably just do a google search to try and find another company.
May 13, 2013 12:34PM
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How is speeding less safe (i.e. lower rate hike percent) than driving without a license?   

A license is plastic piece of paper that says you are at least 70% skilled at operating a motor vehicle.  (Or whatever the pass/fail rate is).  It says nothing about how good of a driver you are.

May 12, 2013 2:43AM
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most insurance comp allow 1 minor infraction without raising insurance. if your comp does switch to another one. or pay your insurance all at once for the year, then they can only raise it when you renew. if they want to raise it switch to a different one. All the ones that commercialize a lot are the most expensive. go to the ones that don't, then you know 60% of your payment doesn't go for their commercials.
May 11, 2013 7:42PM
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With the price of Gas and Repair Parts,Insurance,it's not worth it any more i take a bus or my bicycle more now.Ihave 2 nice cars which both have 100,000 miles took both in for tires,brakes,hoses,timing belts,water pumps,antifreeze,tuneup,plugs.wires,electric motor for driver window,clutch new convertor,BILL 10,000 $ now there both parked. 5000,00 $ inparts and 5000 $ in labor i did check around this was the cheapest price i found, both cars had to be fixed had no choice.

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