Drivers often complain about their sky-high auto insurance costs. But if they receive even a minor ticket, those costs--and the complaints that follow--will probably hit new highs.
New data from InsuranceQuotes.com shows that DUI and reckless driving tickets will cause drivers' annual premiums to jump by an average of 94% and 85%, respectively, the Detroit Bureau reported. While those price hikes might not seem unreasonable given the severity of offenses, the research also found that common driver infractions can also correspond to hefty penalties.
For instance, a speeding violation of 15 miles per hour or less over the limit will cause the cost of your auto insurance premium to increase by an average of 21%. Receiving a ticket for following too closely or failing to signal each come with a 19% increase. Improperly driving in a carpool lane caused drivers' premiums to rise by 18%.
The amount by which your auto insurance will hike due to a ticket also depends on where you live. While your rate would rise nearly 291% in Hawaii for a reckless driving ticket, a much less severe jump of 29.3% is inflicted in Louisiana.
The reason for the variation is that insurers in some states use rating factors that aren't related to a driver's competence on the road, Doug Heller, an independent consumer advocate with the Consumer Federation of America, told the Detroit Bureau. For instance, many states allow insurers to use credit scores, occupation and marital status as rating factors. In states like California and Hawaii that only consider a driver's record on the road when calculating costs, any blemishes will have a more significant impact on their premiums.
The good news is if you are caught for a moving violation, you may be able to negotiate the level of the premium increase depending on where you live.