Auto insurers look at a variety of factors when determining your insurance rate, including the type of vehicle you drive, your credit history, and previous insurance claims. Traffic violations also enter into the equation, as these are part of the insured’s driving record.
Insurers use actuarial tables to determine risk for every policy they write. Traffic violations, such as speeding or reckless driving, indicate greater risk that the insured will make an insurance claim.
Traffic Violations that May Increase Your Rate
Not every traffic violation affects your auto insurance rate. In fact, there isn’t even a definitive list of the violations that definitely increase your rate. Variations exist among insurers, as well as between states, which may provide guidelines for insurers.
Premium increases also vary, depending on the seriousness of the violation. You may even lose coverage entirely. Serious violations include:
- Careless Driving
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Failure to remain at the scene of an accident
- Fleeing from the police
- Reckless driving as defined by Arizona
- Refusing test to determine DUI (this refers to the test at the police station, not the field test)
There are also “minor” traffic violations that may cause an increase in your rates, especially if you have previous violations. These include:
- Child car seat violations
- Driving on an expired driver’s license
- Driving without proof of insurance (if you provide proof in court that you were insured at the time you received the ticket, it is typically dismissed)
- Driving without your driver’s license (if you provide proof in court that you had a license at the time you received the ticket, it is typically dismissed)
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely (commonly referred to as tailgating)
- Improper passing
- Improper turning
- Passing a school bus
- Texting (as of October 2016, Arizona does not have a statewide ban, but localities within the state do, such as Pima County)
Most other traffic violations are unlikely to affect your rate, such as parking violations and not having proof of registration.
Estimated Increases in Your Auto Insurance Rate
Below is a table of the average percentage increase for various traffic violations. Please note that these vary by provider as well as by state.
Rate increases are based on actuarial tables that determine risk factor. Basically, the increase represents how much more likely your insurer thinks it is that you will have an accident or other type of insurance claim.
|DUI, First Offense|
|Driving without a License|
|Speeding, 30 MPH over the limit|
|Speeding, 15-29 MPH over the limit|
|Speeding, 1-14 MPH over the limit|
|Failure to Stop|
|Following too Close|
|Failure to Yield|
Other Ways Traffic Violations Affect Your Rate
Drivers don’t always consider all the ways traffic violations affect their auto insurance rates. The initial increase in premiums is only one piece of this.
Most insurers offer drivers reduced rates over time, assuming the driver has a safe driving record. Every violation you receive causes you to miss receiving these reductions for at least another 12 months. If you regularly receive tickets for traffic violations, such as speeding, you may be eliminated from ever receiving rate reductions.
If you rack up a number of violations, you may be unable to obtain private insurance or be relegated to insurers that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers (and charge much higher premiums).
Driver’s License Points and Your Rate
Arizona levies points against your driver’s license, demerits for certain traffic violations. Receiving too many points may require you to carry SR-22 insurance. This is an indication that you are a high-risk driver; you definitely pay more for high-risk insurance.
|Leaving the Scene of an Accident|
|Failure to Stop (causing death)|
|Failure to Stop (causing serious injury)|
|Driving over or parking in gore area|
|All other moving violations|
To determine whether you have any points on your license, check your motor vehicle record (MVR) at least once per year. You will also discover whether your license has been suspended or revoked.
What to Do Now
If you received a ticket for a traffic violation or experienced increased rates in your auto insurance, contact San Tan Insurance today to discuss your coverage options and ensure you remain protected while on the road.