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Minor violations more significant than you think when it comes to auto insurance rates

Brian Anderson

Everyone knows serious violations like driving under the influence and reckless driving will understandably cause a person’s auto insurance rates to spike. But minor violations also raise rates – and probably more than most people think, according to the third annual “Moving Violations” report from insuranceQuotes.

Highlights from the report, released April 12, include:

• Drivers who receive a minor speeding violation (1-15 mph over the speed limit) pay an average of 21% more for car insurance.

• Other fairly minor violations that also carry high financial penalties include following too closely (19% increase), failure to signal (19% increase), and improperly driving in a car pool lane (18% increase).

• The most expensive violations are DUIs (94% increase) and reckless driving (85% increase). The least expensive is not wearing a seat belt (6% increase).

• Rate increases differ from state to state. For instance, Hawaii has a shockingly high 291% rate increase for reckless driving; whereas if you live in Louisiana, reckless driving leads to a comparatively moderate 29% increase. A DUI in North Carolina raises rates by 334% on average in North Carolina, but only by 15% in Maryland. A speeding violation of more than 30 mph causes an average rate increase of 99% in Illinois, but just 9% in Missouri.

See also: Auto insurer challenges manufacturers to quit adding to distracted driving problem

The report also includes tips from insuranceQuotes analysts on how to save money once an insured has received a moving violation, such as seeking forgiveness from auto insurers for a first time minor infraction, making a deal at traffic court, and even shopping around for a new car insurance policy to find a cheaper alternative.

“Even though rates typically go up for several years after you receive a moving violation, there are ways drivers can save money. Taking a defensive driving course to remove points from your record is a smart strategy,” says Laura Adams, senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.

“Many of these courses are offered online and can be completed in just a few hours,” Adams says. “You can also enroll in a pay-as-you-drive insurance program, which gives discounts when you demonstrate safe driving behavior.”

See the full report here, including a chart listing the states with the highest and lowest rate increases for moving violations.

Methodology: insuranceQuotes and Quadrant Information Services calculated the economic impact of 17 common moving violations using data from the largest carriers (representing 60-70% of market share) in each state and Washington, D.C.

About insuranceQuotes: insuranceQuotes.com provides consumers with a free, easy way to shop for and compare insurance quotes online for auto, home, health, life and business policies.



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