If you’ve been caught speeding or forgetting to use your turn signal, traffic ticket fines are not the only price you’ll pay for breaking the rules of the road.
You can also face higher car insurance costs. Drivers who have recent tickets or car accidents on their driving record are considered higher risk which, in turn, means higher rates.
While violations like not buckling your seatbelt are pretty straightforward, others come with degrees of severity. If you’re caught speeding, for example, just how fast you were going over the speed limit will impact the size of your insurance penalty.
Getting ticketed for driving 6-10 mph over the speed limit increases car insurance rates about 20%, while speeding 21-25 mph over the limit raises rates almost 26%.
The most expensive violations vary by state
Getting a ticket for a driving violation can raise your car insurance rate no matter where you live, but the additional costs vary dramatically across state lines.
Why? It all comes down to differences in risk, and how insurance is rated and regulated from state to state. Here in Missouri, driving with a suspended license results in the biggest overall increase averaging almost a 44% increase in rates.
Bottom line? Be a safe driver!
Driving violations can impact insurance rates for years (but not forever). Insurers typically consider violations on your record for three years after the infraction, though certain activities (like a DUI) can impact auto insurance rates even longer.
While violations often no longer count after three years, drivers usually aren’t eligible for “good driver” discounts, which can further lower rates, until they’ve been violation-free for five years.
Keep in mind insurance penalties can end up costing you more than the traffic ticket itself. The legal fine for a speeding ticket is about $150 on average. On top of that, ticketed drivers are likely to see their car insurance costs rise $340+ per year — for three years — after the violation. That means one speeding ticket can cost drivers more than $1,000 in insurance penalties alone.
We recommend sharing this info with every driver in your family! And remember, even if you're running late, it's not worth it to try and make up time behind the wheel! Buckle up. Drive safe. Arrive alive. It's worth it in the long run.