07 Feb How Much Does a Traffic Violation Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates?
Everyone wants to save money on their auto insurance, but what happens when you get into an accident or are caught speeding and have a pricey ticket to prove it? Will your rates go up? The short answer is yes. However, the truth is much more complicated than that. The severity of the traffic violation, your age, and even whether or not your insurance has a “minor incident forgiveness” policy all play a role in just how much your auto insurance rates will rise.
Common Traffic Violations
In general, the more severe the violation, the more your rates will go up. There are many different types of traffic violations, ranging from things like fleeing the scene of an accident (also known as a hit and run) and racing or driving recklessly to more minor incidents, such as being involved in a not-at-fault accident or failing to wear your seatbelt. The violations at the more sever end of the spectrum can cause your insurance policy to raise up to 80% (or over $1,000 a half), while those on the less severe end have less of an impact. You can expect to see a small bump in your rates, around 3 or 4% (otherwise known as around $50 a half) if you get pulled over for driving without your headlights on.
The Age of the Driver
Another thing to keep in mind is the age of the offender. While traditionally, people between the ages of 25 and 50 receive the best auto insurance rates and older adults, particularly the ones who are over the age of 70, end up paying more, this becomes even more obvious when you take traffic violations into account. For example, someone aged 75 who rear-ends the car in front of him at a red light may see their insurance rates go up by over 90%, while a younger driver who causes the same accident may only see a bump of only 40%.
What State Are You In?
In addition to the driver’s age and the severity of the violation, the state in which you reside also makes a difference. Some of those living in the most populated states, those known for plenty of street and highway traffic, like California, may see their auto insurance rates go up by over 180% when they get into an accident or are the offender of a hit and run. Residents of other states, such as Texas or Missouri, will see smaller rate hikes, mostly in the range of 40%.
In the end, the monetary amount of any claims filed can also make your rate go up. If you end up getting rear-ended and file a claim against your insurance instead of the other driver’s insurance, then you may see a jump in the overall cost of your car insurance. Things like medical and repair costs can drive up your rates, depending on how much your insurance company had to pay out in order to fulfill the claim.