How Does a Moving Violation Affect Car Insurance?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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  • A moving violation is much more likely to increase insurance rates than a non-moving violation.
  • Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get a ticket and not have your rates go up.
  • The more severe and more numerous your moving violations, the more your rate will increase.
  • Every state and every insurance company has slightly different rules about how rates can go up and what might trigger rate increases.

Getting ticketed by the police for a moving violation is awful. There are monetary fines and you may have to appear in court. On top of that, you’re asking: how does a moving violation affect my car insurance?

Read below for the answers to that question, as well as to what a moving violation means and whether your auto insurance premiums can go up for tickets with no points. The bottom line is you need to get advice about your insurance because one ticket may affect your car insurance rates and even the ability to renew your policy.

If you need more personalized legal assistance, you can put your ZIP code into our search tool above to begin your search for a traffic attorney in your area now.

How does a moving violation affect car insurance?

The short answer is that moving violations will cause your insurance to increase. Usually, non-moving violations won’t affect insurance at all. Moving violations, on the other hand, will nearly always make your rate higher. 

More severe moving violations like reckless driving or fleeing the scene of an accident will usually result in greater rate increases. Rates will also go up quite a bit as you accumulate moving violations, even if they’re relatively minor. 

What is a moving violation?

Whether a violation is considered moving or non-moving will have a major impact on how it impacts your insurance as well as other penalties you might face.

The Difference Between Non-Moving and Moving Violations

There are two categories of tickets relating to car operation and driving laws. The video below offers a quick and easy explanation.

Non-moving violations are tickets you get when the car is stationary and typically do not involve driving behavior, like parking violations and most equipment violations. Motorists often wonder how will paying a ticket for a non-moving violation affect insurance rates? While non-moving violations have fines and penalties, they do not appear on a driving record and typically don’t affect most people’s insurance premiums.

A moving violation means any of various traffic violations committed while a vehicle is in motion, such as speeding, driving through a red light, or going the wrong direction on a one-way street. Moving violations can also include compliance violations, like the failure to register a vehicle, or failure to maintain current plates or driver’s license. 

Speeding: Major or Minor Moving Violation?

Speeding is one of the most common moving violations. Depending on the state, speed, sobriety, and other circumstances, a speeding ticket can be a major or minor moving violation. Notably, a driver can also receive a ticket for driving too slowly and impeding the flow of traffic.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a table that shows speed limits in each state. Some states even have different speed limits for different types of vehicles of times of day.

If a driver is caught speeding in a state that has an absolute speed limit, the driver will likely receive a ticket for driving at any speed, even one mile, above the limit. However, a speed of ten miles per hour or less over the legal speed limit is almost always considered to be a minor infraction.

Although a driver can be pulled over and cited for going just one mile over the speed limit, the reality — as the video below demonstrates — can be very different depending on where you drive.

Greatly exceeding a speed limit can result in a charge of reckless driving, which is a major moving violation. A ticket for reckless driving can impose serious penalties, steep fines and mandatory driver’s safety reeducation. In the most serious cases, a speeding ticket can lead to points on the driver’s license, to license suspension or even a jail sentence.

Moving Violations for Drinking and Driving

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) will impact a driver’s insurance record. Because a DUI is directly related to a person’s choices while operating a vehicle, the insurance company may decide to significantly increase the driver’s rates or drop coverage altogether after a DUI conviction. If you have a drunk driving conviction, some insurance policies will not provide coverage because it was the result of a criminal act.

Will my insurance go up if I get a ticket without points?

Tickets without points only have fines associated with them and are considered minor convictions. Examples are minor speeding tickets, failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, or driving while using a handheld device.

Even if a ticket does not have any points associated with it, all moving violation convictions likely will have some sort of impact on your insurance. Whether a driver’s car insurance will increase for a ticket with no points depends on the specific circumstances of the moving violation and other rate factors.

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Car Insurance Risk Factors

Driving history and other criteria, like age, sex, marital status, location, and the make and model of car, are used to determine what a motorist will pay for car insurance. Criteria that can increase rates are called risk factors.

Some risk factors are uncontrollable to the individual. For example, statistically, younger drivers cause more accidents.

A person’s driving record is a key factor in auto insurance premiums. According to Business Insider, the easiest way for almost anyone to control the cost of their car insurance is to maintain a good driving record. Premiums can increase for moving violations, and some violations can affect your rate for up to three years.

Does one ticket affect your car insurance?

Depending on the circumstances, just one moving violation can affect your rates. A serious moving violation involving unsafe driving or an accident normally leads to higher car insurance premiums. According to Forbes, depending on the violation, a single ticket for running a red light can increase the average policyholder’s auto insurance premiums by as much as 22 percent.

The following chart shows the possible percentage annual car insurance premiums could increase based on the type of moving violation. Actual insurance rate increases may vary.

Car Insurance Rate Increases due to Traffic Violations
Type of Violation Premium Increase
Texting and driving up to 19%
Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit up to 11%
Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit up to 12%
Speeding 30 mph over the limit up to 15%
Driving without a license or permit up to 18%
Driving without insurance up to 6%
Driving without a seatbelt up to 3%
Driving under the influence between 19%-74%
At-fault collision up to 42%
Running a red light up to 22%
Failure to stop up to 15%
Failure to yield up to 9%
Following too close/tailgating up to 13%
Improper turn/Improper passing up to 14%

Multiple Moving Violations Can Affect Premiums and Policy Renewal

Multiple moving violations within a three-year period will likely increase your car insurance premiums. For example, a driver on his third speeding ticket in a year asked a insurance pro: Will a 2-point speeding ticket affect my insurance rates? The answer is most likely yes because three speeding tickets in a year is a lot.

Keep in mind that insurance companies do about a three-year look back on motorist vehicle records so it would be about three years before moving violation tickets are not counted. Multiple tickets for serious driving infractions may even get you a non-renew letter upon renewal.

Driving Without Insurance Could Affect Rates

If you are cited for driving with no insurance, the legal resolution of the violation will depend greatly on your state’s traffic code and your local prosecutor’s enforcement policies. If you are found liable, in addition to paying penalties and fines, some possible outcomes include probation or if your history is particularly bad, your conviction could involve serving time in county jail.

In addition to the legal consequences, a conviction for driving without insurance will likely make it more difficult and expensive to get insurance in the future. That said, most car insurance providers try to work with drivers to get them the most competitive rate possible.

If you get a ticket for a serious moving violation, you should consider what you can do to keep your insurance rates from rising. Just one ticket may affect your car insurance rates. You may want to talk to a provider about the impact on your rates, or get a quote to make sure you’re not already paying too much. Get free insurance advice to your car insurance questions and see if there are insurance providers who can save you money.



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