Average Car Insurance Rates and the Costs of Tickets

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

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Every time you receive any kind of traffic violation, it becomes part of your driving history. To calculate your car insurance rates, your insurance provider reviews your driving record to determine your overall risk of causing an accident. At least once per year, the insurance company checks your record and makes adjustments to your rates based on any new infractions you’ve received since your policy was last renewed.

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Do speeding tickets affect insurance? Yes, and so do other driving violations. If you get cited for speeding, reckless driving or any other moving violation, expect your auto insurance premiums to increase. However, the amount your rate will increase can vary. An analysis of nearly 500,000 policy quotes conducted by Insurance.com found that getting a single ticket can raise an average driver’s auto insurance premiums by as much as 22%. For drivers with a first offense DUI, their insurance rate could increase by nearly 80%.

How much your car insurance goes up after a ticket

The most common question after these incidents is, “how much does my car insurance go up after a ticket?” The following is a list of how much certain tickets will raise auto premiums, on average, as reported by Insurance.com.

Offense Rate increase
DUI (first offense) 79%
Reckless driving 73%
Highway racing 71%
Speeding 30 mph over the limit 30%
Careless driving 26%
Texting while driving 23%
Speeding 16 to 29 mph over limit 22%
Improper turn 20%
Improper/illegal passing 20%
Following too close/tailgating 20%
Speeding 1 to 15 mph over limit 20%
Failure to yield 20%
Failure to stop 19%
Driving without a license or permit 12%
No car insurance 10%
Seat belt infractions 3%

After an at-fault accident or a serious infraction on a driver’s record (such as a DUI or reckless driving), it’s common for car insurance providers to increase a premium by 20 to 40% of the insurer’s base rate, which is a standard practice from the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The base rate is calculated by taking the average rate charged in the state before discounts and adjustments, plus the insurance company’s claims-processing fee. The surcharge for multi-car policies is 20% of the base rate for the first two vehicles on the policy, and 40% for a single-car policy.

Depending on your insurer, the company may increase your rates more or less than the aforementioned averages. If you suspect your insurer is gouging you, shop around. If you find a good quote from another company, provide it in writing to an agent or representative, and then request they match or beat the quote. If your insurer refuses, it’s probably a good time to switch to a more lenient company that won’t assess your next accident so severely.

If your insurer is offering you a competitive rate based on your driving history, you can further lower your insurance costs by raising the amount of your deductibles for collision, underinsured motorists and comprehensive. Insurance.com reports that raising such deductibles from $250 to $500 can lower your rates for those sections of your auto policy by as much as 30%.

If you have an older car that’s not worth more than a couple thousand dollars, consider dropping such coverages altogether to save even more money – but maintain your state’s minimum required liability insurance to stay legal on the road.

How long will my insurance rate be higher after a ticket?

Your insurance rates won’t immediately increase after you receive a traffic violation. At least once per year, your insurance provider reviews your driving record and make adjustments to your monthly premium based on new violations. Only then will your rates increase.In the same way, your rates won’t go back down as soon as a violation falls off your record.

After receiving a traffic violation, expect to pay higher monthly premiums for several years. The timing will vary based on the specific incident, but most companies will surcharge your rates for three to five years. If you get a traffic violation before your policy renewal date, the penalty period could extend beyond the typical three to five year period.

Frequently asked questions

How can I lower my insurance rate after getting a ticket?

Even if your auto insurance rates increase after getting a ticket, there are ways you can lower your premium that don’t require you to have a clean driving record. Most insurance companies will give drivers a discount on rates if they take a defensive driving class, increase their deductible, have a good credit score, bundle their policies or have certain safety features installed on their vehicle.

Should I tell my insurance company about a ticket?

No, you’re not required to tell your insurance company after you get a ticket. Your insurance company will find out about any new traffic violations you’ve received when they review your driving record before renewing your policy.

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