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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

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Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

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Renata Balasco

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Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Cheap car insurance with speeding tickets or citations

Having traffic tickets, moving violations, and other infractions on your driving record can make it difficult to find cheap car insurance. Most drivers know that a speeding ticket affects your insurance rates, but many don't realize just how much of a premium increase to expect. Even a first offense can cause your rates to increase substantially, as an average speeding violation increases rates by about $385 per year. Essentially, if your record reflects a number of moving violations or accidents, insurers will consider you a high-risk driver.

It's likely that your state's department of motor vehicles employs a point system to track infractions. While it's not likely that these point values will matter to your insurer, you can rest assured that the traffic violations that they represent will. State laws differ widely, but all driving infractions will reflect poorly on your ability to find cheap insurance. It's likely that you'll also be discounted from certain discounts or other perks, such as for being a safe driver.

While the term “violation” is broad, this article focuses on the traffic violations most likely to trigger a car insurance rate increase. Below you'll find an analysis of car insurance rate increases from top providers for the following driving violations: speeding (16-20 MPH over the limit), driving with an open container, reckless driving, and DUI.

Key takeaways:


  • An average speeding violation increases rates by about $385 per year.
  • USAA and State Farm tend to offer the lowest rates for drivers with violations. 
  • Most states and car insurance companies stop charging you for violations after three years.

Cheapest insurance company with a speeding ticket

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 $385 per year. If you’ve been ticketed for driving 16-20 MPH over the speed limit, USAA and State Farm may be the cheapest car insurance options for you. See the below table to see how this ticket affects your insurance costs.

Average annual car insurance premiums with a speeding ticket
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,635
State Farm $1,872
GEICO $1,906
Nationwide $1,943
Farmers $2,339
Progressive $2,390
Allstate $2,767

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology — auto insurance

The auto insurance rates displayed throughout this page come from The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool, a proprietary insurance premium estimator that uses the most recent rate filings across the United States at the ZIP code level to provide up-to-date rate data. Most insurance companies file car insurance rates one to two times a year. This data comes from Quadrant Information Services, which sources the latest approved rate filings across carriers in each state from S&P Global. Quadrant then uses an internal QA process to validate the information and build reports before the data is programmed into The Zebra’s dynamic rating tool.

Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To provide insight to consumers on how specific personal factors (like age, location and coverage level) can affect your premium, this base profile is then adjusted for different factors commonly used by insurance companies. For more information, see our full data methodology.


Cheapest car insurance with an open container violation

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 $537 per year. State Farm and USAA offer the cheapest car insurance after an open container ticket.

AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WITH AN OPEN CONTAINER VIOLATION
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,972
State Farm $1,993
Nationwide $2,136
GEICO $2,316
Progressive $2,333
Farmers $2,491
Allstate $2,821

Cheapest insurance company with a reckless driving citation

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 $1,000. If you’ve been cited for reckless driving and don't qualify for USAA, consider starting your search with State Farm and Progressive.

AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WITH A RECKLESS DRIVING CITATION
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $1,958
State Farm $2,584
Progressive $2,725
GEICO $2,727
Farmers $2,807
Nationwide $3,114
Allstate $3,413

Cheapest car insurance with a DUI

DUI citations are fairly common across the US, but that doesn’t make them inexpensive. In most states, a DUI or DWI violation is the most expensive ticket you can receive, insurance-wise. On average, having a DUI on your record will increase your annual premium by $1,099 — making it the third most costly violation a motorist can be cited for. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, your best bet for cheap car insurance is going with State Farm if you do not qualify for USAA.

AVERAGE ANNUAL CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WITH A DUI CITATION
Company Avg. Annual Premium
Progressive $2,481
USAA $2,530
Farmers $2,558
State Farm $2,652
GEICO $3,230
Nationwide $3,464
Allstate $3,535

How to save on car insurance after a speeding ticket, DUI, or other citation

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.

Explore new coverage options every once in a while

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. Also referred to as full coverage, physical damage 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 Avg. Annual Premium
Liability only $597
Full coverage w/$1,000 deductible $1,554
Full coverage w/$500 deductible $1,760

Be smart with your claims

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.

  • First, get an estimate for the cost of the repairs at a local auto body shop.
  • Use our State of Insurance analysis to see the average rate increase after a claim in your state. Again, consider this data over a three-year period. Factor the cost of your deductible into that as well.
  • If it’s cheaper to pay out-of-pocket, go this route. This way, you’re making the more financially-sound decision over the long run.

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 essentially out of luck.

crash

Double-check for discounts

While there will be discounts for which you won't qualify based on your insurance record, there are alternatives worth considering. While some of these are small, they can add up to give you some much-needed relief:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Paperless discount
  • Payment by bank account
  • Paid in full discount (paying your premium in one payment)
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Good student discount
  • Defensive driving course discount

Finding insurance with violations on your insurance record

Just because you have violations on your driving record, doesn’t mean you’re going to be facing higher premiums for the rest of your life. Most states and car insurance companies stop charging you for violations after three years (with the exception of California, which rates DUIs for ten years).

In the meantime, your best bet for finding an affordable insurance policy is to look at as many insurance providers as possible. However, the cheapest company for you will depend on the violation you’re charged with and the myriad of other factors that are considered when insurers calculate your insurance quote. We can help you do most of the legwork by helping you compare rates from insurance companies across the US to find the cheapest premium even with violations or imperfect driving history. Simply enter your ZIP code below to get started on saving.


FAQs

Our data shows that USAA, and State Farm offer the lowest rates for drivers with violations. If you don't qualify for USAA, consider Progressive in your search for coverage.

A speeding violation can increase your insurance rate by an average of $385 per year. More than one moving violation on your record may label you as a high-risk driver.

While most other moving violations stay on your record for three years, a DUI is different. In most states, DUIs stay on your driving record for five years, with some exceptions: In California, DUIs stay on your record for 10 years, while in some states it will fall off after three years like any other violation.

Like many questions regarding coverage and claims, it depends on the situation. Typically, a drunk driving incident won't invalidate your insurance coverage, but your provider may not pay out for any injuries or repairs to your vehicle.

Weigh your options and get the best value from your next insurance policy.

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.