We all know that a bad driving record will raise our auto insurance premiums, but just how much will a single moving violation increase your expense?
According to a recent study of 32,000 policies, it was found that as soon as a consumer had a moving violation, the price of their insurance skyrocketed. One violation led to an average 18% increase in annual premium. Two violations resulted in a 34% increase and three violations shot the price of a policy up by 53%!
Violations that cause spikes in insurance premiums include speeding, running red lights, careless or reckless driving, failing to yield or stop at a stop sign, improper passing, and making an unsafe U-turn among others. In addition you’ll also pay a lot more for fleeing from police, driving the wrong way down a divided highway, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but in those instances, a higher insurance premium will be only a small part of your problem.
Speeding tickets and moving citations are pricey, especially with new super-speeder laws, but a single violation can lead to hundreds of dollars extra on your insurance every year. For instance, a driver with a $150 per month policy on their vehicle gets caught speeding over 15 mph over the limit. An average increase of 18% would cause your premiums to go up by $27 per month, which would yield a total cost of nearly $1000 extra until even the most forgiving companies would drop the ticket from your record.
The lesson is simple: drivers who speed or engage in other bad driving behaviors will feel the financial effects long after their ticket is paid.
The best way to save money on car insurance is to drive responsibly at all times, but there are some options if you do get pulled over by police. If you are being charged high rates due to a poor driving record, we strongly suggest enrolling in a driving safety class. The cost for the course may seem high, but compared to the huge cost of increased insurance rates, these programs are a bargain (they can also help reduce your rates if you have a clean driving record). Alternatively, you can raise the deductibles on your auto policy or reduce the limits to lower your premiums, though this is not advised as it has a limited effect on your premium and reduces your coverage.
Some insurance companies shy away from drivers with moving violations and could increase your premiums well over the average percentages given above. If you notice a huge increase at renewal, then talk to your agent about switching to a company that specializes in insuring higher risk drivers. This can limit the effect that one more tickets have on the cost of your insurance.