Which Tickets Cause the Biggest Increase in Insurance Rates?

Which tickets cause the biggest increase in auto insurance rates depends on the severity of the charge. The bigger the crime, the bigger the penalty, and the most expensive tickets involve drugs and alcohol. Reckless driving tickets also affect auto insurance rates. If you're facing a hefty traffic violation, start comparing auto insurance quotes online after you get the ticket. It's the best time to shop around for affordable high-risk auto insurance.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Nov 12, 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 auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

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.

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.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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!

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption


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.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption