Driving Like An Idiot Will Raise Your Insurance Rates

Study

New study proves that driving like an ass will cost you a pretty penny.

When it comes to buying your dream car, the cost of insurance is just as big a factor as the cost of the car itself. We recently learned that Michigan is the most expensive state when it comes to insuring a car. Anyone who has ever purchased a car before knows that getting in trouble with the law while behind the wheel—especially for dangerous stuff like a DUI—can up your premium incredibly. But other moving violations are costly too. We know this because of a new study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.

The study was conducted by Quadrant Information Services and assessed the impact of 17 common moving violations. The data was gathered from the biggest companies (60-70% market share) in every state, including D.C. The hypothetical driver used in the study was a 45-year-old married woman with a clean record driving a 2013 sedan. She has a bachelor’s degree, excellent credit and no lapses in coverage. This is worth mentioning because this hypothetical driver is basically the gold standard for insurance companies. So, what happens when this suburban mom gets a ticket? How much will her policy jump? It depends on the state and the violation but the answer is usually “a lot.” Here are the five costliest violations.

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1. DUI/DWI (94%), 2. Reckless driving (85%), 3. Exceeding the speed limit by 31 mph or more (29%), 4. Exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 30 mph (28%), 5. Careless driving (27%). The state that will peg you the hardest for a DUI/DWI is North Carolina with a 333.85% increase to your premium. Hawaii hits reckless drivers the hardest with an uptick of 290.68%. Illinois tops the states that crush speeders (31 mph or over) with a premium increase of 98.65%. Those numbers are staggering, but so are the statistics for states at the opposite end of the spectrum. Maryland drivers with a DUI/DWI only face an average increase to their insurance rates of 15%, while reckless drivers in Louisiana only need to worry about a bump of 29%.

This difference comes from the fact that each state has its own rules and regulations regarding what information insurance companies can and can’t use when it comes to setting rates. Regardless, all of the 17 moving violations included in the study resulted in pricier insurance. Even infractions that seem harmless (to other drivers at least) like not wearing a seat belt (5.60%) and driving in a car pool lane (18.34%) increase the amount you’ll pay for insurance. InsuranceQuotes suggests a few things to help negate the impact of these tickets. They're obvious but at the same time are things most drivers blow off because they don't even consider how their ticket could impact how much they pay for insurance.

These includie seeking forgiveness from your insurance company or the court and attending traffic school. If all else fails it’s recommended that you shop around for a new policy since companies set rates in different ways. Here’s InsuranceQuotes’ Laura Adams breaking your options down.

Remember that the hypothetical driver in this study was more or less flawless, so for those who have been ticketed once or twice the hit to your policy will be higher. Overall this study should serve as a reminder to respect the rules of the road, even the “dumb” ones like always signaling and paying attention to the rules at railroad crossings. Yup, even those two things will raise your rates by an average of 19.19% and 18.65% respectively.

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