Minor violations more significant than you think when it comes to auto insurance rates

Everyone knows serious violations like driving under the influence and reckless driving will understandably cause a person’s auto insurance rates to spike. But minor violations also raise rates – and probably more than most people think, according to the third annual “Moving Violations” report from insuranceQuotes.

Highlights from the report, released April 12, include:

• Drivers who receive a minor speeding violation (1-15 mph over the speed limit) pay an average of 21% more for car insurance.

• Other fairly minor violations that also carry high financial penalties include following too closely (19% increase), failure to signal (19% increase), and improperly driving in a car pool lane (18% increase).

• The most expensive violations are DUIs (94% increase) and reckless driving (85% increase). The least expensive is not wearing a seat belt (6% increase).

• Rate increases differ from state to state. For instance, Hawaii has a shockingly high 291% rate increase for reckless driving; whereas if you live in Louisiana, reckless driving leads to a comparatively moderate 29% increase. A DUI in North Carolina raises rates by 334% on average in North Carolina, but only by 15% in Maryland. A speeding violation of more than 30 mph causes an average rate increase of 99% in Illinois, but just 9% in Missouri.

See also: Auto insurer challenges manufacturers to quit adding to distracted driving problem

The report also includes tips from insuranceQuotes analysts on how to save money once an insured has received a moving violation, such as seeking forgiveness from auto insurers for a first time minor infraction, making a deal at traffic court, and even shopping around for a new car insurance policy to find a cheaper alternative.

“Even though rates typically go up for several years after you receive a moving violation, there are ways drivers can save money. Taking a defensive driving course to remove points from your record is a smart strategy,” says Laura Adams, senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.

“Many of these courses are offered online and can be completed in just a few hours,” Adams says. “You can also enroll in a pay-as-you-drive insurance program, which gives discounts when you demonstrate safe driving behavior.”

See the full report here, including a chart listing the states with the highest and lowest rate increases for moving violations.

Methodology: insuranceQuotes and Quadrant Information Services calculated the economic impact of 17 common moving violations using data from the largest carriers (representing 60-70% of market share) in each state and Washington, D.C.

About insuranceQuotes: insuranceQuotes.com provides consumers with a free, easy way to shop for and compare insurance quotes online for auto, home, health, life and business policies.