Everyone who owns a car, truck or minivan believes their insurance premiums are too high, but add some sort of moving violation to the mix and those costs can skyrocket … and not just for serious infractions.
New data from insuranceQuotes.com reveals DUI and reckless driving tickets will raise your annual premiums an average of 94% and 85%, respectively. Both are increases over 2015.
Those type of jumps are stark, but not unexpected; however, a speeding violation of 15 mph or less will actually get your rate hiked by 21% on average, the site noted.
The study analyzed the average national premium increase for one moving violation in several categories, such as driving under the influence, speeding and failure to yield.
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“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,” said Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute, in a statement. “Seen that way, this study makes a lot of sense.”
Other actions that will cause your rates to jump significantly, include:
- Speeding by 31 mph or more: 29%
- Speeding by 16 to 30 mph: 28%
- Careless driving: 27%
Some minor violations aren’t all that much less expensive: following too closely (19%), failure to signal (19%) and improperly driving in a car pool lane (18%). The changes vary from state to state as well. For example, Hawaii jumps your rate by 290.68% for reckless driving while it rises “just” 29.3% in Louisiana.
A compounding issue, according to Doug Heller, an independent consumer advocate with the Consumer Federation of America, is that some states can use “a whole host of rating factors that aren’t in any way related to how someone drives.”
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For instance, many states allow insurers to use credit scores, occupation and marital status as rating factors. Other states, however, are more prohibitive in their approach to rate changes, which is why there’s such a consistently stark difference between outliers like California and Hawaii compared with the rest of the country.
In California, for instance, someone’s driving safety record must be the primary factor in determining what he’ll pay for insurance (it’s the same in Hawaii). As a result, any blemishes on a driving record — like a DUI or reckless driving violation — will impact the premium more significantly than in less tightly regulated states like Illinois or Vermont, where insurers can use additional factors, like a driver’s credit score, to determine premiums.
However, if you do get nabbed for some sort of moving violation, you may have options to mitigate some of the increase, depending upon where you live, according to Laura Adams, senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.
“Even though rates typically go up for several years after you receive a moving violations, there are ways you can save money,” Adams noted.
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“Taking a defensive driving course to remove points from your record is a smart strategy. Many of these courses are offered online and can be completed in just a few hours. You can also enroll in a pay-as-you-drive insurance program, which gives discounts when you demonstrate safe driving behavior.”
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