It’s been almost 11 years since I last had any sort of traffic violation. Prior to that, though, I had some speeding tickets on my record, and a rather embarrassing incident involving a semi truck.
Those types of traffic violations can cost you.
Naturally, you pay your fine, whether it’s for speeding, reckless driving, or blowing through a stop sign. However, when you receive a ticket for a traffic violation you also see an increase in your auto insurance premiums. But how much extra, on average, can you expect to pay when you receive such a ticket? Insurance.com has the answer. The new “Uh-Oh! Calculator” is designed to tell you how much you can expect to pay for your lapse in judgment.
Insurance Premium Increases as a Result of Traffic Violations
You might be surprised at some of the increases you can see as a result of traffic violations. According to Insurance.com, here are the increases, in percentage, you can expect from certain traffic violations:
- Reckless driving: 22 percent
- DUI first offense: 19 percent
- Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
- Careless driving: 16 percent
- Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15 percent
- Failure to stop: 15 percent
- Improper turn: 14 percent
- Improper passing: 14 percent
- Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent
- Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12 percent
- Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11 percent
- Failure to yield: 9 percent
- No car insurance: 6 percent
- Seat belt infractions: 3 percent
Clearly, you want to avoid anything that can be construed as reckless driving since that represents the largest increase in your premium. A DUI first offense results in a 19 percent increase. (Implied is that you will see a larger increase with subsequent DUI offenses.)
Insurance.com also allows you to tailor the results according to your age, where you live, and other factors that might affect the result. In some cases, you might end up paying more than the “average” seen above.
Saving on Auto Insurance
Once you have a violation reported, it’s a little harder to save on auto insurance in the future. Check with your insurance company to see how long a violation remains on your record, affecting your insurance rate. For many violations, you can expect an impact for about three years. Check with your insurer to be sure, though. When shopping around for new insurance, you may be asked to list violations dating back five years.
There are things you can do to reduce the impact, such as taking special classes with a local public safety agency. In some cases, that can erase a traffic ticket — and save you money. Usually, though, you need to show good traffic behavior for at least three years in order to begin to see a reduction in your auto insurance rates. Bundling, and employing other tips to reduce your rate can only get you so far when your driving habits declare you a risk.
If you are looking to save money on auto insurance, it’s fairly clear that you need to remember to follow good driving practices. Obey the law, and drive defensively. You’ll avoid traffic tickets, and keep your auto insurance rates lower.