Driving citations can make car insurance expensive. Use this information to save after a ticket.
Having violations on your record can make it difficult to find cheap car insurance. While the term “violation” is broad, this post focuses on the citations most likely to trigger a car insurance rate increase. Speeding (16-20 MPH over the limit), driving with an open container, reckless driving, and DUI are the violations included in our analysis of car insurance rate increases from top providers.
Of the violations we analyzed, a speeding ticket is the least costly. On average, a speeding ticket will raise your car insurance premium an average of $354 per year. If you’ve been ticketed for driving 16-20 MPH over the limit, Nationwide and Farmers may be the cheapest car insurance options for you.
Average Annual Car Insurance Premiums with Speeding Tickets
|Company||Premium without Violation||Premium with Speeding Ticket||Increase|
Although the violations are similar in nature, an open container violation on your insurance record will cost you half as much as will a DUI violation. On average, this citation will increase your premium by an average of $586 per year. Nationwide offers the cheapest car insurance after an open container ticket.
Average Annual Car Insurance Premiums with an Open Container Violation
|Company||Premium without Violation||Premium with Open Container Violation||Increase|
Reckless driving is generally defined as careless driving, improper driving, or driving without due care and attention. A reckless driving citation is costly from an insurance perspective. On average, it will bump up your annual premium by more than $2,500, or nearly $1,100 for an average 6-month policy. If you’ve been cited for reckless driving, Nationwide and Liberty Mutual are your cheapest options.
Average Annual Car Insurance Premiums with a Reckless Driving Citation
|Company||Premium without Violation||Premium with Reckless Driving Citation||Increase|
DUI citations are fairly common across the US, but that doesn’t make them inexpensive. In most states, a DUI violation is the most expensive ticket you can receive, insurance-wise. On average, having a DUI on your record will increase your premium by an average of $2,636. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, your best bet for cheap car insurance is Liberty Mutual.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates with a DUI Citation
|Company||Premium without Violation||Premium with DUI||Increase|
While it can be difficult to find cheap car insurance with a violation on your record, you shouldn’t be complacent and take the first quote you receive. Let’s break down some cost-cutting solutions.
It’s a sad truth that vehicles don’t age like fine wine. From an insurance perspective, this means the level of coverage you once carried on your 2000 Mazda might no longer be necessary. Insurance agents advise if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, you may not need physical — collision and comprehensive — coverage. Physical coverage is only required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. If you own your vehicle outright, the only coverage you’re required to carry is your liability coverage. Dropping physical coverage may save you some money each month.
Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
|Coverage Level||Average Annual Premium|
You can determine the value of your vehicle by using Kelley Blue Book and NADA guide online (we recommend using both). If your vehicle is worth more than $4,000 but you’re still looking to save, consider raising your deductibles. By raising your deductibles, you take a great amount of financial responsibility from your insurance company, in turn lowering your premium.
Another benefit to raising your deductibles is the reduced financial incentive to file a claim, which can be exceedingly costly.
Because your insurance rates are already higher after a ticket, use caution when adding an at-fault accident to that by filing a claim. If you’ve been in an at-fault accident and you’re thinking about filing a claim, consider the suggestions below.
We’ve used the phrase “at-fault collision claims” very specifically here. Uninsured Motorist Property Damage and comprehensive claims are, by definition, rated as not-at-fault accidents and thus affect your premium significantly less. Moreover, if you’re the at-fault driver in an accident and the other party does not want to pay out of pocket, you're basically out of luck.
While there will be discounts for which you won't qualify based on your insurance record, there are alternatives worth considering. While these are small, they can add up to give you some much-needed relief.
Just because you have violations on your driving record, doesn’t mean you’re going to be paying an arm and a leg for an insurance policy for the rest of your life. Most states and car insurance companies stop charging you for violations after 3 years (DUI in CA is 10 years) and in the meantime, your best bet for finding car insurance is to look at as many companies as possible. However, the cheapest company for you will depend on the violation you’re charged with. While Liberty Mutual was the cheapest company with a DUI, it wasn’t for a speeding ticket. Use our insurance calculator below by entering your zip code to see which provider is the cheapest your profile.