UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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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. Or, it could severely raise your rates.
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.
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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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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!