Does Unsafe Driving Increase Insurance?

Driving safely and following traffic laws are key components of everyday life, yet following them can lower car insurance rates significantly. We analyzed data from 13 insurers to understand how different violations impact drivers and what steps can be taken after being ticketed in order to lower insurance rates post ticket.

1. Speeding

Driving over the speed limit can be very hazardous and is a leading cause of accidents. A driver traveling at too fast a pace may not be fully aware of traffic conditions or their environment when travelling at higher speeds, being distracted by things such as their mobile phone or radio; plus speeding reduces reaction times and breaks in time to prevent an accident from occurring.

Car insurance carriers take speeding violations seriously, with penalties depending on various factors including speed over the limit, road type/condition and driving history. A minor offense such as going 5-10 miles over limit on a quiet country road typically has less of an effect than something more significant like going 25+ over limits in a busy city area.

Drivers may be tempted to speed on busy urban roads and highways in order to save time, but according to a recent study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, speeding only saved drivers two minutes per day on surface roads in urban areas – not counting potential distracted driving risks that increase the chance of car accidents.

According to The George Institute, lowering speeds in cities could bring significant benefits for health and wellbeing. Lowering speeds would improve air quality, physical activity and public space availability while simultaneously lowering carbon emissions and encouraging healthy lifestyles among less advantaged groups who tend to live near fast-moving traffic and depend on walking, cycling and public transport for daily journeys.

Most insurance companies will raise your rates after receiving a speeding ticket, depending on its severity and your driving record. It is wise to shop around as some insurers offer lower rates than others for similar violations; additionally, certain states allow insurers to raise premiums up to three years post conviction.

2. Driving under the influence

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can land you in serious legal trouble as well as significantly increase your insurance rates. According to research by Nolo, DUI convictions cost drivers an average of $4,400 when factoring in repairs for vehicle damages and medical bills as well as legal fees, bail bond fees and license reinstatement costs.

DUIs are one of the most serious driving offenses and pose a high risk to you and other drivers, making them particularly costly to insure. Because DUIs typically only impact auto insurance for a short while after conviction, shopping around carefully could yield results with an insurer that won’t penalize as heavily as your current provider.

Most insurers can identify DUI on your record through your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), which contains a comprehensive listing of traffic offenses and convictions. Your insurer can access this record at various points throughout their relationship with you – when applying for new policies or renewing, pulling records again etc.

If your insurer finds evidence of DUI on your driving record, they will typically notify you by sending you an SR-22 form; many states require drivers with prior DUI convictions to submit this document before their license can be reinstated. Your insurer can also inform you when rates may increase so that you have ample time to research alternative coverage options before raising rates themselves.

USAA and Geico both earned top scores from our 2023 J.D. Power auto insurance study for customer satisfaction with their policies, offering wide-ranging options of coverage options and low rates to keep drivers safe on the road. USAA provides lower premiums and discounts for safe drivers while Geico stands out with an easy online application process and usage-based programs designed to encourage safe driving habits.

As the best way to reduce car insurance rates and save money, avoiding unsafe driving behaviors entirely is the best way. But if caught breaking the law, take immediate steps to correct the situation to lower risk and save on premiums.

3. Driving without insurance

Driving without car insurance isn’t just bad advice–it’s illegal. If caught driving without coverage, penalties vary by state, but could include fines, surcharges and DMV-imposed civil penalties. In New York state alone it is even a criminal offense to drive without minimum liability coverage; repeat offenders or those who have already been convicted for other driving offenses can even face jail time as punishment for this act of recklessness.

Some drivers may think they can get away with driving without auto insurance since the violation does not carry points, but in reality it can be just as costly to be caught driving without coverage than speeding violations.

Insurance companies assess driver risk differently, which explains why some violations increase rates more than others. Violations that put both you and other road users in danger tend to lead to significant rate increases while other violations don’t pose as much threat – therefore having less of an effect on premium costs.

Unintentional seat belt use violations can cost just as much as reckless driving violations. Most often, driving without insurance tickets may be dismissed if evidence exists to show another policy is in force by showing your insurer’s card, printed proof, or digital proof; alternatively it may even be possible for these tickets to be dismissed if no findings of guilt can be established and you can show you have satisfied the state minimum liability requirements already.

Traffic violations can be an enormous financial drain, but it’s essential to remember the costs extend far beyond just fines. Unsafe driving behaviors put everyone on the road at risk, which is why most states punish these behaviors with high rates and penalties. If your record of traffic violations makes your insurance premiums unaffordable, finding suitable coverage that meets both your budget and needs may help – perhaps enrolling in a defensive driving course could save money here or bundling home and auto policies together could reduce premium costs as a way out

4. Driving without a license

No matter whether it’s driving with a suspended or revoked license or simply without one altogether, driving without one increases insurance rates because it indicates you prioritize personal needs over safety and responsibility standards associated with driving – placing yourself and those around you in danger in the process.

State laws typically mandate drivers must possess a valid driver’s license in order to drive on public roads, with most states outlining driving without a valid license as an offense in their traffic or motor vehicle codes and including fines and possible jail time as penalties for those caught breaking them.

Getting caught driving without a license could cost you dearly in terms of fines that vary based on its severity and any prior convictions, plus law enforcement could confiscate your vehicle at great expense; they could even seize and impound it! In extreme cases, jail time may also be a possibility depending on if there have been repeat offenses or accidents are involved.

Some violations include points that will be added to your driving record when convicted, while in other instances being found guilty will cause your insurance rates to go up regardless of whether the offense had points attached. These include DUIs, reckless driving and speeding among others.

While you cannot completely avoid being pulled over for traffic offenses, steps can be taken to lower the number of points on your driving record and hence lower insurance premiums. One effective strategy for doing this is taking part in your state-approved driver education program; doing this should reduce offenses being added to your history thus decreasing insurance premiums.

Once you receive a ticket, make sure to consult an experienced traffic attorney immediately. They can offer invaluable advice, explain your rights and responsibilities, defend you in court, as well as prevent auto insurance rates from increasing by either contesting a traffic violation charge or helping resolve it.