A single traffic violation increases your car insurance costs by 35% on average, according to a recent study by Insurify.
Relatively minor offenses also count. A speeding ticket will cost you $422 more per year on your next insurance quote, which is considerable, especially compared to the $723 more you would pay each year for a DUI.
Here are the average annual quotes for auto insurance claims in 2021, based on various traffic violations:
- Own recording: $1,483
- Do not stop at a red light: $1,891
- Speeding: $1,905
- Do not stop at a stop sign: $1,919
- Responsible accident: $2,005
- Careless driving: $2,070
- Failure to stop for a school bus: $2,192
- Reckless Driving: $2,192
- Tailgating: $2,206
- DUI: $2,916
Your driving record doesn’t just affect a potential insurance quote, it can also affect your current bill: monthly premiums will almost always increase when you make an accident claim, and most insurers have policies that can increase rates for other forms. misbehavior, too.
These “premiums are based on your risk profile, which anticipates whether you will file a claim,” says Tanveen Vohra, insurance expert at Insurify. “When you get a speeding ticket, it sends the message to insurers that you are engaging in reckless driving behavior and could file a damage claim somewhere down the line.”
This varies by state, but most traffic violations will be added to your driver’s record. Insurers have access to this information and can use it to justify an increase in your monthly bill. Insurers may also choose not to renew your policy when it expires, especially if you have serious violations, such as a DUI.
The seriousness of your offense also determines how long it stays on your driving record. Typically, a speeding ticket will stay on your record for three years, while a DUI can last 10 years or more, according to ValuePenguin.
Bad credit can be worse than traffic violations
In addition to your age, where you live and how you drive, car insurers also use your credit score to determine your annual cost of insurance. Here’s how average annual rates break down by credit score, according to data from Insurify:
- Fair/Poor (300-600): $2,378
- Medium (601-660): $1,919
- Good (661-780): $1,640
- Excellent (781-850): $1,540
Having a bad credit score seems more important than the quality of your driving. The difference between good and bad credit will cost you $736 more in annual auto insurance costs, compared to $709 for a careless driving violation.
This has led critics to call for a ban on using credit scores to determine car insurance rates. They argue that it unfairly punishes people for their credit history rather than how they actually drive. A driver who had to declare bankruptcy due to an unexpected medical debt is not necessarily a bad driver, but he would pay more for his car insurance, for example.
Whether or not these rules change, the best way to avoid paying hundreds of extra dollars a year in car insurance is to maintain a good credit score, as well as a clean driving record.
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