The 7 most expensive moving violations in auto insurance

When a client is penalized for a moving violation, it may pay to switch carriers—especially if they committed one of these.

Insurance News


Most insurance agents know that a client’s speeding ticket costs them not only in their bank account, but also in their insurance premium. What they may not appreciate is just how much simple moving violations may affect rates—and which violations ding drivers the most.  

In a recent study commissioned by, Quadrant Information Systems calculated the impact of 17 common moving violations on insurance premiums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. All told, the study concluded that car insurance premiums can rise by as much as 93% after a single moving violation.
The most expensive violations nationwide include:

1. DUI—93% increase in insurance premium

2. Reckless driving—82% increase

3. Speeding—30% increase for 31+ mph over the limit
                      28% increase for 16-30mph over the limit
                      21% increase for 1-15mph over the limit

4. Careless driving—27% increase

5. Failure to stop—19% increase

6. Failure to yield to pedestrians—19% increase

7. Driving in a carpool lane—18% increase

Laura Adams, senior analyst with, told Insurance Business that while these rates reflect a nationwide average, there were some states that consistently ranked higher than others in premium increases following a moving violation.

Kentucky, for example, saw the highest increases in the nation for infractions like driving in a carpool lane, failure to stop, failure to yield and failure to yield to a pedestrian. It also took the number two spot for following too closely and not signaling.

California was also the harshest on speeding and driving the wrong while, while New Jersey “was either in the number one or two spot” for several of the categories, according to Adams.

On the other end of the spectrum, the District of Columbia seemed least harsh on moving violations, which Adams noted as “interesting, because they typically have pretty high rates.”

In terms of practical application, suggested that the results not only reinforce the importance of careful driving, but of reassessing a client’s choice of carrier following a moving violation—particularly if the incident is not a driver’s first.

“The carriers themselves seem to be very different in how they view moving violations,” said Adams. “Many carriers will forgive that first penalty and won’t immediately increase your rates, but if you get a second violation, that’s another story. They can penalize you pretty harshly. [Getting a moving violation] is typically a good time to switch carriers.”

Agents can also help guard against rate increases by bundling several policies from one carrier, Adams noted. Carriers who have clients purchasing auto, homeowners and umbrella coverage from them, for example, “simply tend to be nicer,” she said.

“When they have a customer who’s got multiple policies with them, they know over the long run they’re getting more in premium and they’re likely to forgive a minor violation,” Adams noted.

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