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Simple Ticket Can Double Insurance Rates

Even minor infractions can result in major hikes.

by on Mar.27, 2014

A simple speeding ticket can raise insurance rates as much as 30% annually.

If you think that speeding ticket you got for going “just five over” isn’t going to have an impact on your insurance premiums, think again. Drivers ticketed for a “minor” speeding violation, such as 1 to 15 mph over, pay an average of 21% more for car insurance.

A report from shows that drivers who commit major infractions, such as driving under the influence (DUI), see a major hike in their premiums, minor transgressions can raise rates for as long as three years.

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According to Mike Barry, spokesman for the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute, the study shows how insurers use various driving infractions to assess different levels of risk for individual drivers.

“Insurers base their rates on experience, so the violations that cause premiums to jump the most are the ones that, over the years, insurers have found are strong indicators that the driver is likely to have an accident in the future,” Barry said in a statement.

These are the average national premium increases for several traffic moving violations from greatest to least:

  • DUI — 93%
  • Reckless driving — 82%
  • Speeding 31+ mph over the limit – 30%
  • Speeding 16 to 30 mph over the limit – 28%
  • Careless driving — 27%
  • Speeding 1 to 15 mph over the limit — 21%
  • Failure to stop — 19%
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians — 19%
  • Driving in a carpool lane — 18%

The two infractions that beg further scrutiny are reckless driving and careless driving. Aside from the 45% gap in the premium hike, what’s the difference between the two? Reckless driving is cited for intentional behavior, such as drag racing or talking on a cell phone. Careless driving is for unintentional actions.

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The infraction that carries the lowest premium increase is a seat-belt usage violation with a just a 5% jump. Some insurance companies do offer ways of offsetting the increases.

(Click Here for more about the pressure on General Motors to create a fund for recall victims.)

“Drivers who commit moving violations can take safety classes to improve their skills and remove blemishes from their records,” said Laura Adams, senior analyst at

(Nissan recalls 1 million vehicles for airbag recall. For more, Click Here.)

“Many of these courses are offered online and can be completed in just a few hours. Otherwise, these infractions can lead to higher car insurance costs for up to three years.”

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5 Responses to “Simple Ticket Can Double Insurance Rates”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    It’s all a scam and everyone involved is making money off of it. The folks who are dangerous and cause accidents and deaths are still on the roadways and nothing has changed.

  2. Don says:

    My wife got a speeding ticket raising our insurance rates for three years. That ticket cost us over $3000

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      I strongly recommend that anyone who gets a ticket consider either fighting it OR that they discuss alternatives with the court having jurisdiction. In some states one can get a ticket off their record by participating in a driver safety program…California being one of them. Elsewhere, prosecutors may be willing to let you pay additional court costs and have the ticket converted to something that leaves you with no points, ie a speeding ticket changed to a noise abatement penalty, something that I experienced a few years back.

      Paul A. Eisenstein

  3. Ron W. says:

    I’ll bet you didn’t know that the insurance companies purchase the radar guns for the police depts.? Having been an over the road truck driver for 38yrs I see how easy it is for police to lie. ow many tickets written are legit,and how many are just “made up” to make revenue for the state? The police are paid to commit perjury when it benifits the states case against you.I got a $50.00 ticket in Battle Creek,Michigan for not having a seat belt on AFTER the State Police officer told me to unlock it !Dishonesty is alive,and well in Police,and insurance companies.

  4. John says:

    If a young person screws up ,They have to pay for it the rest of there lives ,Both my car payment and insurance rates were vey high ,So I stopped driving ,and saved a lot of money .