How Traffic Violations Increase Car Insurance Rates

Need to know how traffic violations increase car insurance rates? The answer depends on where you live and your auto insurance provider. Traffic violations will increase car insurance rates, but some are worse than other. Auto insurance rates for a DUI are going to increase more than car insurance rate increases for a HOV violation.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

Full Bio →

Written by

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Table of Contents

Nobody's Perfect — and this is especially true when you're behind the wheel.

That speeding ticket you got when you were late to work that day, that failure to yield when you didn't see the other guy coming or even something more serious, such as reckless driving — all of these citations can end up on your driving record.

Depending on the severity, frequency, and how recent the violation was, it may not have much of an impact at all... but traffic violations increase car insurance rates. Whether violations raise car insurance a lot or a little will depend on the violation.

If you need to find a better car insurance rate, use our FREE quote tool to compare insurance rates today!

Minor Violations

In the state and age, you'd almost have to be a saint to avoid getting at least one speeding ticket in your lifetime.

Other minor violations, such as failure to yield, failing to signal, or failure to stop at a red light can also get you an unfortunate citation.

In some cases, these minor transgressions won't raise your insurance rates by more than a few percentage points.

But if your violation is more serious, or you are a repeat offender (both of which we'll discuss later), it could have a much more serious impact on what you pay every month for your coverage.

Auto Insurance Premiums by Driving RecordLegend: Clean Record Minor Speeding Ticket CaliforniaFloridaTexasOhioMissouri 153045607590105120135150165180195210$164$218$153$203$135$180$77$102$101$134

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Serious Violations

Serious violations are defined as any sort of reckless driving (or "careless driving" or "dangerous driving", as they are known in some states).

These can include:

  • DUI/DWI
  • Dangerously excessive speeding, usually 25+ MPH above the speed limit or more
  • Following too closely ("tailgating"), especially if it is in an obviously aggressive manner
  • Texting while driving
  • Crossing a double yellow line into oncoming traffic (improper passing)
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians
  • Drag racing
  • Additional reckless driving laws may vary by state

Being ticketed for a major moving violation is no joke, especially in the eyes of your insurance provider. It's very difficult to prove you are not guilty in the event of such serious violations.

If you fail to prove your case in court and the charges stick (or if you fail to show up to court at all, which is an even more serious offense), then you can be prepared to deal with some significant rate hikes in your monthly premiums.

Auto Insurance Rates after Serious ViolationsLegend: Clean Record Serious Moving Violation CaliforniaFloridaTexasOhioMissouri 306090120150180210240270300330$164$359$153$335$135$296$77$169$101$221

X-Factors Which Can Turn Minor Violations Into Serious Ones

Just because you get a speeding ticket for 5 miles over the limit or caught slowly rolling past a stop sign, doesn't necessarily mean you're off the hook with a slap on the wrist.

Depending on your personal circumstances, a minor ticket can turn into a major problem in an instant.

Pay special attention to the following examples, because many drivers aren't aware that their age, the number of violations they have, and the specific policies of their insurance company can have a significant impact on how much their insurance premiums will rise.

Age

Young drivers can't seem to catch a break when it comes to their auto insurance costs.

But if they get caught doing something unsafe behind the wheel, no matter how minor of a mistake it may be, they will be paying a much steeper price — literally and figuratively speaking — for their reckless behavior.

Car Insurance Rates for Young DriversLegend: Young Driver, Clean Record Young Driver, Minor Violation Young Driver, Serious Violation CaliforniaFloridaTexasOhioMissouri 75150225300375450525600675750825900$253$531$708$224$470$627$153$321$428$140$294$392$344$722$963

As you can see in the graph above, car insurance for people under the age of 25 is already an expensive burden. Adding a minor violation to your record at such a young age can make it difficult to pay your premiums in full and on time.

Anything more serious than that, and your car insurance may become prohibitively expensive.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Frequency

If you're worried about getting astronomically high insurance quotes because you got a minor speeding ticket 2 years ago, you can rest easy. Not only is this a minor violation, but the fact that it was so long ago won't matter too much to your insurance company.

Frequent violations, on the other hand, will. This is especially true if they have happened recently, or if they aren't spaced fairly far apart over the course of your driving history.

Car Insurance Rates by Violation FrequencyLegend: Minor Violation 3 Minor Violations 5+ Minor Violations CaliforniaFloridaTexasOhioMissouri 50100150200250300350400450500550600$218$543$641$203$507$598$180$447$528$102$255$301$134$334$395

+ Minor Violations

California
Florida
Texas
Ohio
Missouri


50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
500
550
600





$218
$543
$641



$203
$507
$598



$180
$447
$528



$102
$255
$301



$134
$334
$395

Varying Prices Between Insurance Companies

Lastly, the severity of your moving violation (and the financial price you pay for it) will be determined at the discretion of your insurance provider.

Different companies weigh different types of violations differently because each insurance company has a different idea of how much different risks can cost their business.

Below, you can see the difference between various driving violations and how different insurance companies rate them in the form of premium price increases.

In rare cases, your insurance company may refuse to renew your policy or even cancel your coverage if your transgressions are too extreme.

Car Insurance Rates by CompanyLegend: Clean Record Minor Violation Major Violation AlliedFarmersEncompassAllstateNationwide 306090120150180210240270300330360390$94$130$332$157$198$228$162$200Do not sell$175$196$240$191$230$403

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do to help yourself save money on your car insurance is to drive as safely as possible and avoid getting moving violations put on your driving record in the first place. Unfortunately, not everyone can do that.

For those who can't, there are other options if you still want to find an affordable rate. You can shop around right now on our site and get several different quotes from insurance companies near you.

All you need to do is enter your zip code into our quote generator, and you can find a better deal in minutes!

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption