Photo: Flickr / Paul Mayne
Everyone’s had that feeling of dread when you see the flashing lights of a cop car in the rearview mirror. Maybe you slowly rolled past a stop sign.Perhaps you forgot to buckle up, or you didn’t realise you were speeding. In addition to getting a ticket, you’re likely to see a hike in your car insurance premiums. But how much?
Insurance.com’s new interactive tool, the “Uh-Oh! Calculator,” allows you to compute the average per cent increase to your auto insurance rate for 14 common violations.
Insurance.com‘s data analysis of more than 490,000 auto insurance quotes given to drivers reveals the following:
- Reckless driving is the most expensive violation among the 14 infractions we surveyed, with an average rate increase of 22 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, driving without a seat belt triggers a relatively small 3 per cent uptick.
- Insurance rate hikes due to violations are sometimes higher for divorced drivers than for single and married people. For example, if you’re divorced and are ticketed for reckless driving, your annual premium may increase an average of 7 per cent more than a single person’s, and 4 per cent more than those who are married.
- Condo owners sometimes see higher rate increases for violations than do renters, single-family homeowners and those who live with their parents. In some cases, such as tickets for tailgating, condo owners’ average rates go up 10 per cent more than those of renters and people who reside with mum and Dad, and 4 points more than those of homeowners.
How much a ticket will raise your car insurance rate
Based on Insurance.com’s analysis, here’s how much common infractions will impact your rates, on average:
1. Reckless driving: 22 per cent
2. DUI first offence: 19 per cent
3. Driving without a licence or permit: 18 per cent
4. Careless driving: 16 per cent
5. Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15 per cent
6. Failure to stop: 15 per cent
7. Improper turn: 14 per cent
8. Improper passing: 14 per cent
9. Following too close/tailgating: 13 per cent
10. Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12 per cent
11. Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11 per cent
12. Failure to yield: 9 per cent
13. No car insurance: 6 per cent
14. Seat belt infractions: 3 per cent
Getting the bad news, customised
For more tailored results, use the “Uh Oh!” Calculator to enter your own age, type of dwelling, state, marital status, and length of time you’ve been with your car insurance carrier.
No one’s perfect: Save money on car insurance, despite your record
If you do get a ticket, don’t fret: There are ways to save money on car insurance, regardless of your driving record.
To get the most affordable car insurance for your particular situation, it pays to shop around, to dig for discounts and to drop unnecessary coverage.
Review your policy each year, and get at least three quotes when doing an auto insurance quotes comparison.
It’s also prudent to research bundling your auto and home policies, as many insurers will offer lower rates if you buy two or more types of coverage.
Ask your insurer if you, or any of the family members on your policy, qualify for low-mileage or good-student discounts. You may also get a lower rate for vehicle-safety features such as car alarms or anti-lock brakes.
Another option: You can raise your deductible from $250 to $500 on collision and comprehensive coverage, which typically means that you can cut that portion of your premium by up to 30 per cent.
In addition, it may make financial sense to drop comprehensive and collision coverage if the value of your car is less than a $1,000. If you total your car, you receive the actual cash value of the car. So for older models that aren’t worth that much on the market, it may not make sense to pay premiums for comprehensive and collision coverage.
Insurance.com analysed more than 490,000 auto insurance quotes provided to Insurance.com users from 14 carriers between January 2009 and January 2011. We looked at quotes given to drivers with the 14 most common infractions recorded and compared them to quotes given to drivers with no violations. We used a model to estimate the annualized premium expected for certain combinations of personal attributes (residence, state, time with prior carrier, marital status and age) along with 14 violations. This ranking is not inclusive of all possible driving violations. Rates shown are averages; your own rate will depend on your personal factors. State laws governing traffic violations are subject to change.
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