Insurance Q&A: “How much does insurance go up after a ticket?”
If we had a nickel for every time we were asked this question, we’d be able to afford our car insurance!
These types of questions are common around here, and come in many variations
How much does insurance go up after an accident, a DUI, 1 point on a license, etc., etc.…the list is long and seemingly never-ending.
No Easy Answer – The Not So Good News
First off, there is no set insurance premium increase for a ticket.
But there are several factors that play a role in how much, if anything, you’ll be charged for the infraction.
Type of ticket – Are we talking DUI, speeding (5 or 25 over the limit), hit and run, or failure to obey a signal? All have different “point” assignments and therefore affect your premium differently.
Generally, a 10% increase in your premium is not out of the question for your first “minor” violation.
For example, if you pay $1,000 per year for car insurance and get a “failure to yield” ticket, you might jump up to $1,100 per year, or $8.33 more per month.
On the other hand, if you were cited for DUI or “leaving the scene of an accident,” you may notice a HUGE difference in premium…assuming your policy is not cancelled or you’re non-renewed.
Receiving one DUI may double or triple your premium. That “annoying” $1,000 per year might jump to as much as $3,000 per year!
Your age – If you’re 16, a speeding ticket may ruin you. On the other hand, if you’ve been behind the wheel for 10 or more years, you may not see much of an increase at all.
“Young” equals “inexperienced” as far as insurers are concerned. And inexperienced drivers tend to cost insurance companies more money in the form of insurance claims.
Driving history – If this is your first ticket (and your above, say 25 years old) you will likely get off with little punishment. If this is your second or third ticket, you’ll see some pretty hefty increases.
Insurance companies review multiple reports about our driving history when deciding how much to charge us for coverage. Expect your motor vehicle record (MVR) and C.L.U.E. report to be reviewed at the very least.
Your personal credit history (insurance score) plays a big role in your premium as well.
That said; if these reports contain “activity” in the form of other previous tickets or accidents, expect to pay more…and more.
As discussed above, everyone makes mistakes, but few of us make multiple mistakes. If you can’t follow the rules of the road it’ll cost you.
Type of insurer – There are types of auto insurance companies out there that specialize in drivers with “activity.” They don’t get too stressed out about a ticket or an accident.
On the flip side, there are some insurers who make it clear they aren’t interested in insuring a “risky” driver and will hike your rate significantly if you receive a ticket.
Is There Any Hope For Me?
Companies who don’t specialize in insuring drivers with tickets (i.e. their rates are HIGH for it) will allow you to pay additional premium every month to “insure” your insurance policy against you getting into an accident or receiving a ticket.
That way they can get more money out of you over time and hold onto your policy if you have any “trouble.” It’s called “retention,” and it’s how insurance companies make money.
Accident and ticket forgiveness help the insured as well, although maybe not for all the best reasons.
The “good” is you won’t see a HUGE premium spike if you get a ticket or have an accident while enrolled in the program.
The “bad” is you stay with the same insurer by paying them more money to “accept” your coverage.
Here’s What to Expect
Taking the information above into account, here are some VERY GENERAL guidelines:
“Minor” offenses – expect anywhere from 3-10 percent increase in your premium without ticket forgiveness.
“Major” offenses – your policy premium could double (or even triple) depending on the factors listed above.
Worst-case scenario your policy may be non-renewed or denied coverage by another carrier.
The Good News
And be sure to review the basics of how car insurance rates are determined to familiarize yourself with the concepts discussed above.
Remember, as time passes after your ticket, you’ll be charged less and less until the ticket eventually “falls off” your record. So it’s certainly not the end of the world!