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Laura Berry

Former Insurance Agent

Former Insurance Agent

Joshua Adamson

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2024

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Does Car Insurance Go Up with a Ticket?

If a police officer pulled you over and gave you a ticket, you might see the effects on your car insurance rate

How much does car insurance go up with a ticket?

Everyone tries to maintain a clean driving record, but even the best of drivers somtimes slip up. What happens then? According to an analysis of more than 490,000 car insurance policy quotes, your auto insurance rates can increase as much as 22 percent, depending on why the traffic tickets were issued. Reckless driving tends to be at the higher end of things when it comes to an insurance increase, followed by driving under the influence (DUI) tickets at 19 percent, driving without a license at 18 percent, and careless driving at 16 percent. (For more information, read our “Providing Auto Insurance For Drivers With Tickets“).

Depending on your driving history, you could face a large or minimal increase in insurance premiums after getting a traffic ticket. Other factors that could affect your rates are your marital status, age, and gender. (For more information, read our “Do All Tickets Affect my Insurance Rates?“).

Read more: Top States With The Most Careless Drivers

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Moving vs. Nonmoving Violations: What’s the difference?

Moving violations carry a higher penalty than nonmoving violations. Nonmoving violations include getting a parking ticket and other fix-it tickets, also known as correctible violations, such as cracked or broken headlights or tail lights. These violations may not increase your rate at all. Moving violations, such as reckless driving or a DUI, may increase your rate significantly. Speeding tickets, distracted driving, failure to yield the right of way, or driving through a red stoplight can also affect your insurance. Traffic violations add a different amount of points to your driving records, and the more points added, the more your insurance rate increases.

Within the larger category of moving violations are minor moving violations, which include seat belt violations, improper turns, and disobeying traffic lights. Then there are major moving violations, such as DUI, hit-and-run, and vehicular manslaughter. While most moving violations are minor infractions within the jurisdiction of traffic courts, misdemeanor and felony violations are more severe and may be tried in criminal court. These can result in loss of driving privileges and sometimes imprisonment. Each state has its own rules for the severity of violations, all of which can impact your car insurance in different ways.

What do you do after you receive the ticket?

After you receive a ticket, you may want to contest it in court, particularly if you feel it is undeserved. Your insurance only increases if you receive a conviction for the violation. You may also be able to keep the violation off of your driving record if you pay your fines on a minor ticket promptly, depending on the type of violation. In some states, a minor violation only appears on your record until you fulfill the terms of the ticket, and then the violation is removed and you may be able to maintain a clean record.

If you own up to the ticket or receive a conviction, your insurance company usually increases your rate at the beginning of your next renewal period for your insurance coverage. If you receive a ticket in the middle of a term, you might not see any auto insurance increases until the next term.

Each state and insurance carriers are different, so find out how much your insurance rate may go up in your particular situation by calling an insurance expert. You also need to figure out the length of time this moving violation might increase your rate, which also depends on the state, provider, and severity of the violation.

…car insurance premiums can increase as much as 22 percent, depending on why you were issued a ticket. 

How can you offset your rate increase?

You can offset your increase in insurance rates in a few different ways. Some violations make provisions for enrolling in and completing traffic school or attending defensive driving classes. These demonstrate that you are committed to being a better driver and thus may result in either the violation being removed or receiving less points for it on your record.

You can consider raising your deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage. However, should you decide to do this, you are at higher risk if you get in an at-fault accident and have to come out of pocket for your own repairs and medical costs. However, increasing your deductibles from $250 to $500 may decrease parts of your insurance rates by about 30 percent.

Read more: Why Does Insurance Go Up After An Accident?

Other ways to offset your increased rate include installing a security system in your car or bundling your home and car insurance policies with the same provider. You may also consider installing telematics if your insurance carrier offers this option, which is a computer that tracks your driving habits and reports them to your insurance provider. This could be to your benefit if you don’t get into any more incidents, as your provider may reward safe driving habits with a lower rate. Some companies will even offer a discount simply for using the device to monitor your driving.

Finally, maintaining a better driving record from after the point you received the ticket can eventually decrease your rate. In time you may even qualify for safe driving discounts.

If your car insurance premiums have already increased, you may want to consider shopping for a new auto insurance policy. Call a licensed agent today, one that can help you compare auto insurance coverage and policies to ensure your policy, new or old, is adequate and giving you all of the coverage you need without breaking the bank.

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