UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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You’ve probably heard that getting a ticket can raise car insurance rates. That’s true. However, certain tickets affect car insurance prices more than others.
Today, we’re exploring how different tickets affect the price of car insurance. Will a speeding ticket lead to higher rates than a parking ticket? Will a single infraction affect insurance prices whatsoever? Keep reading to find out.
The More Serious the Crime, the Bigger the Penalty
Generally speaking, car insurance companies will charge higher rates when you get a ticket for a more serious driving offense.
You’re going to see a higher rate increase after a DUI, for example, than you would after a speeding ticket where you were caught going 10km/hour over the limit.
Typically, more serious tickets come with higher financial penalties. You’re going to pay more for a DUI infraction than you would for a parking ticket. The higher your ticket, the higher the corresponding rise in insurance prices is expected to be.
The Most Expensive Tickets Involve Drugs or Alcohol
Studies show that the most expensive tickets involve drugs or alcohol. As reported by Forbes, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause your car insurance prices to rise by about 93% on average.
Keep in mind that this price rise is on top of the cost of the ticket itself – as well as any legal fees that may be involved.
Reckless Driving Also Leads to Higher Insurance Prices
The same study cited by Forbes above suggested that reckless driving is one of the worst offenders for higher insurance prices.
Drivers who were assessed a reckless driving ticket witnessed an 82% increase, on average, in car insurance prices.
Reckless driving is a catch-all category used for serious vehicle infractions that aren’t specifically related to speeding, stunting, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It indicates a wanton disregard for rules of the road, and that’s why your insurance company is likely to punish you. The only way to see a higher rise in insurance prices is to get a DUI or DWI.
Lesser Charges Lead to Smaller Car Insurance Increases
Less serious vehicle infractions lead to smaller car insurance increases.
Relatively minor offenses, for example, like failing to yield right-of-way or talking on a cell phone while driving, will raise rates by about 20% to 30%.
Other relatively minor offenses include getting caught driving in the carpool lane alone, driving carelessly, or driving without due caution in a manner that could cause damage or injury.
There are other less serious offenses that lead to minuscule insurance increases. A seat belt use violation, for example, leads to a 5% increase in car insurance prices on average.
Your Insurance Company Might Ignore a Single Ticket or Incident
Some car insurance companies have accident forgiveness, incident forgiveness, or ticket forgiveness. Thanks to these policies, your car insurance company will ignore a single incident.
Your insurance company is more likely to ignore a single ticket if you have a long history of careful and safe driving.
Meanwhile, if this is your second, third, or fourth ticket, then your insurance company might not be as lenient. In these situations, you can expect car insurance prices to rise significantly.
You May Be Able to Take a Safety Course to Remove a Ticket Infraction
In some states, drivers with tickets on their record can take a safety class to remove the blemish. These safety courses teach safe driving habits. By taking this course, you’ve indicated to the government – and your insurance company – that you’ve learned from your recent ticket. As a result, the ticket will be removed from your record and your insurance prices will decrease to normal.
Compare Quotes After You Get a Ticket: It’s One of the Best Times to Shop Around
If you’ve recently received a car insurance ticket, then there’s never a better time to shop around for car insurance.
Some companies offer accident or incident forgiveness, while others don’t. One insurance company might double your rates after you get a ticket, while another insurance company might ignore the ticket entirely.
That’s why it’s important to compare quotes and shop around after you get a ticket. There’s never a better time to look for a new car insurance company!
Ultimately, a single ticket is unlikely to significantly increase your car insurance rates – unless that ticket is for a serious offense like reckless driving or driving under the influence. A single speeding ticket or moving violation might raise rates by 20% to 30% in the worst case scenario, but you may be able to remove the ticket from your record with accident forgiveness or by taking a special safety course.