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Moving Violations: What Really Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates?

You already know that a “moving violation” – a traffic ticket – can affect your auto insurance rates. That’s one of the many reasons that you sigh and begin mentally calculating the impact on your wallet, the very minute you see those blue lights in your rearview mirror. But do you have any idea just how much those violations cost you?

For the fourth consecutive year, InsuranceQuotes has released a study on just that topic. And unfortunately for many drivers, the report states that auto insurance premiums can rise by as much as 96 percent after only a single moving violation.

Keep in mind, though, that the report analyzed the impact of 21 different moving violations. These included not just speeding or running a stop sign, but also things like reckless driving, careless driving, and driving under the influence. The type of violation was the determining factor in auto insurance premium increases, as well as the driver’s state of residence.

To give you an idea of how moving violations vary in their impacts, consider this: One DUI (driving while intoxicated) will result in a 96 percent increase on your auto insurance premiums, while failing to wear your seat belt will result in only a 7 percent rate hike (on average, nationally).

Why do these events affect your auto insurance rates? The answer is pretty simple: Your premiums are based upon your “risk”. How likely are you to cause an accident? Driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance significantly raises your risk, while failing to wear a seat belt might not raise your risk of causing an accident, but does increase the risk you will personally be injured if an accident does occur.

Past driving habits are the best indicator of future driving habits. Unfortunately, those who have made previous mistakes are viewed as likely to take risks in the future. That raises the risk of a large payout for your insurer, and therefore raises your insurance rates.

It’s important to play it safe on the road anyway… But keeping in mind that your mistakes can cost you hundreds or even thousand it’s not even worth the risk of higher auto insurance rates.