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Insurance Rates for Ticketed vs Clean Drivers

by Mary Wanjohi

So you went too fast and broke the law. It happens! But after you get that traffic ticket, you may wonder if your insurance premiums are going to rise... On average, a clean driver pays approximately 29% less in car insurance than a ticketed driver. On the other hand, a driver with a record of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs can pay up to about 60% more than clean drivers. The table below illustrates a comparison between monthly premiums for ticketed Versus squeaky clean drivers.

Driving Record Average Monthly Rate for Liability Average Monthly Quote for Full Coverage
Clean driving record $200 $300
Speeding ticketed driver $265 $400
At-fault accident $280 $425
Driving Under Influence (DUI) $390 $590

Note: these are average rates. Actual costs may vary among insurance providers and specific underwritten policies.

Perks of a Clean Driving Record

Clean drivers enjoy numerous cost benefits related such as deductibles, good driver discounts, and premiums.

Reduced deductible – a clean history can earn you diminishing or vanishing deductible. Your auto insurance provider considers your risk of getting into accidents to be low every policy period that elapses without an accident or traffic violation. As a result, the insurer gives you a lower deductible.

Good driver discounts - you can save considerably on monthly premiums and earn considerate driver discounts like accident forgiveness. On account of accident forgiveness, some insurers can fail to raise your rates after recording your first at-fault accident if you have a considerable clean driving history.

Lower insurance premiums – you can save a significant amount of money on lower premiums annually if your driving record is clean.

State-based Rate Variations

Some location-based factors such as weather, state minimum vehicle insurance requirements, and crime rates significantly impact insurance rates for clean drivers. Furthermore, vehicle owners in urban areas pay higher insurance premiums than those in suburban and rural areas. Typically, high population density and vehicle congestion increase the risk of accidents.

For example, clean drivers in New York City pay higher rates than those in North Carolina or New Hampshire. The populous suburbs and large centers in New York force insurers to charge almost seven times more than smaller cities.

  1. The Make, Model, and Age of Your Vehicle

Insurance companies consider the average cost of claims for various vehicle types before setting insurance rates. For example, new vehicle models with advanced safety features and modern technology may be too expensive to repair. Therefore, the insurance cost will be higher than regular vehicles.

Thus, if you have a newer, more expensive vehicle with many whistles, bells, and miles, it will cost more to insure than an older one with fewer miles. Conversely, a sports car has a higher accident risk, making its insurance cost higher than a minivan. Additionally, your vehicle’s brand also significantly impacts the insurance rates.

  1. The Location Matters

Where you live or park your vehicle overnight, popularly known to insurance companies as a garaging address, affects the cost of insurance. For instance, vehicle owners in large cities pay higher insurance premiums than those in rural areas.

Here is why:

  • The traffic congestion in the cities increases the risk of car collisions
  • Large cities report higher rates of theft and vandalism
  • Many vehicles in the city lack protected or covered parking, exposing them to damage

Besides your residential area, your state also affects your auto insurance costs. For example, if you live in a state prone to snow and hurricanes, you will likely pay more for insurance. Furthermore, states regulate insurance premiums, each with specific auto insurance requirements. Moreover, according to insurance premium rates analysis, densely populated states attract higher rates.

  1. Your Driving Record

Keeping a clean driving record, meaning no accidents or tickets, can make you pay less for insurance. Ticketed drivers pay higher insurance costs than clean ones. Many insurance companies extend safe driving discounts to clean drivers to encourage responsibility on the roads.

While accidents are inevitable, experts rate various accidents and traffic violations differently in terms of risk. Therefore, each accident or violation impacts your insurance rates differently. How long a ticket or accident stays on your driving history varies with state; DUIs can last up to five years or more.

  1. Gender Matters

Some states and insurance companies use the gender on your driving license to determine your insurance rates. Some view men as more likely to take risks while driving than women, charging higher rates for male drivers.

However, some states like Hawaii, California, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania do not allow this factor when setting insurance rates. Some states also allow marital status as a determinant of insurance rates, considering single drivers as more likely to take risks than married ones. Nonetheless, this does not apply in Michigan and Massachusetts.

Insurance Rates for Ticketed Drivers

Once you receive a speeding ticket, you might wonder whether you should expect a rise in your insurance rates. Ideally, you will likely pay higher rates than before, but how much depends on several factors, including your driving history, location, etc.

So, if you receive a speeding ticket, it would be best to compare quotes from several insurance providers and find one that suits you best. You can save a few dollars by finding a cheaper policy as a ticketed driver.

How Much can a speeding Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Insurance pricing for drivers with tickets varies, but the standard rate can go up to 25% higher after the ticket. Ideally, a ticketed driver will likely pay approximately $550 more than a clean driver annually for full coverage insurance.

However, a speeding ticket can affect your rates differently from other drivers with similar status. Your insurance premiums may be higher or lower than theirs, depending on factors like your insurance provider and location.

Nevertheless, sometimes you may not notice the change immediately since some insurers do not effect the rate increase after the ticket. Some will only increase your rates after the second or third ticket. As a result, traffic ticket consequences come at different speeds to ticketed drivers, depending on the insurer.

Auto Insurance Rates After Traffic Ticket

The insurance company you considered the cheapest before a ticket may not be the cheapest after receiving a speeding ticket. Some insurance providers charge more than double their rates for ticketed drivers, while others shrink them.

In addition, some insurers may remain indifferent after the first ticket; accidents happen. Some large insurance firms raise their rates by about 22 to 25% at most. The least increase can be about $230, while the highest is about $600, according to premium rates analysis.

Auto Insurance Rates for Ticketed Drivers by State

Like clean drivers, ticketed drivers can pay higher rates in some States than others. For instance, a ticketed driver in Vermont can pay only $19 more than a clean driver. On the other hand, getting a ticket in Michigan means more than a $120 raise in your insurance rates.

Therefore, it would help to check out the insurance requirements for your State once you receive a traffic ticket. It will help you understand the average rate increase to expect and what to look for when identifying an insurance policy provider as a ticketed driver.

Minimum vs. Full Coverage for Ticketed Drivers

Suppose you have full vehicle insurance coverage but do not like the rate increase after a ticket; it may be wise to reduce your coverage. Full coverage is typically more expensive than minimum coverage auto insurance. Once you receive a speeding ticket, the average annual rates for your auto for full and minimum coverage will be approximately $2,695 and about $870, respectively.

Nevertheless, it would be wise to carefully research well before reducing your full coverage. Selecting a policy that only meets your state’s minimum requirements denies you collision and comprehensive coverage. That means, in case you cause an accident, your insurer will not compensate for any damages on your vehicle.

Lowering Insurance Rates for Ticketed Drivers

After receiving a traffic ticket, you may want to reduce the rates that come with ticket consequences. The following tips can help you reduce your insurance rates after a ticket.

  • Consider a safe driving course approved by your state to boost points on your record if you have a clean record.
  • Ask your insurer for discounts even when caught speeding.
  • Research well and compare insurance quotes before settling for one.

A speeding ticket can significantly affect your insurance rates. Therefore, it would do you good to keep a clean driving history to enjoy the standard policy rates for clean drivers.