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What’s the Insurance Price Tag for Your Driving Citation? Read on…

If you’ve been driving for awhile, chances are you’ve had that “Uh-oh moment” when you’ve looked in your rearview mirror and seen the stomach-clenching vision of a police car’s flashing lights right behind you.  Most of us feign ignorance to the officer that pulls us over, claiming we had no idea we were

a)     speeding

b)     making an illegal turn

c)     driving without a seatbelt

d)     talking on our cell phone

Chances are that our bogus excuse (“Sorry officer, but I didn’t see a No U-Turn Sign!”) didn’t save us from getting a ticket.  Once we’ve mentally kicked ourselves for getting pulled over, (after all, it really wasn’t the officer’s fault, was it?) the next step in the course of remorse is wondering how much the citation will affect our insurance premium. It’s an apt thing to consider, as moving violations will jack up your insurance bill faster than a tow truck’s hydraulic lift. What follows are some violations and the average increase in insurance rates.

  • Thinking about thundering across town at high speeds and screeching around corners like a stunt driver in the latest action blockbuster?  Think again.  A citation for reckless driving jacks up insurance premiums the most.   The average increase is 22%, versus a seat belt citation, which results in a 3% premium rise.
  • The next highest insurance price tag goes to driving under the influence (DUI), with a rise of 19% for the first offense.  After that, you might have a chance to ponder the risks of drinking and driving while behind the bars of a jail cell.
  • If you don’t have a driver’s license or yours has been suspended, driving without one will get you an increase of 18% on your insurance bill.
  • Careless driving is slightly less impactful than reckless driving, as it comes with a price of 16% on your insurance premium.
  • Like to put the pedal to the metal?  Ease up on the accelerator and you’ll save yourself a bundle. A speeding ticket for going 30 m.p.h. over the limit will garner you an increase of 15%.  Speeding 15 to 29 m.p.h. over the limit gets you a rise of 13% and 1 to 14 m.p.h. is 11%.  The bottom line:  What’s the rush?  Unless you’re going to put out a fire, just drive the dang speed limit!
  • If you have a habit of driving through stop signs – well, you’re tempting fate in more ways than one.  Get caught and you’ll wind up with an insurance increase of 15%.
  • An improper turn will jack up your rate by 14%, as will improper passing.
  • Tailgating is an annoying and dangerous habit that will result in a 13% rise in your premium.
  • Failure to yield the right of way increases your bill by 9%.
  • Think you’ll just forego car insurance altogether?  (After all, all those citations are costing you a fortune!)  Not so fast, buster.  Get caught and you’ll get another rise of 6 %.

These premium increases are approximate and depend on the state in which you drive and your insurer.

 
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