The relationship between automobile insurance and traffic tickets is simple. If you speed, run red lights, fail to signal or move safely or heed other signals or signs on the roadway you are statistically more likely to cause damage to people and/or property. Thus, you are more likely to experience automobile insurance increases if you receive tickets for and are ultimately convicted of most moving violations.
Our clients frequently want to know how much of an insurance increase to expect if they are convicted of a traffic violation. Unfortunately, we can never give a specific answer. The amount of the increase and for how long you will be paying the increased rates depends on several factors, including:
Your driving record
While a first offense may very well lead to an increase in insurance rates, multiple moving violations are that much more likely to have an adverse affect on the amount you pay for automobile insurance.
The type of moving violation(s) in question
Again, insurance companies are trying to determine which drivers are a safety concern and most likely to cause damage to people or property. There is an inherent difference, for example, between an excessive speeding ticket and a traffic ticket issued for excessive use of a horn. That said, even minor traffic tickets can lead to an increase in insurance rates.
While there are many factors to consider and it is difficult for anyone to say exactly how much a traffic ticket will increase your car insurance, it is safe to conclude that traffic tickets generally lead to higher automobile insurance rates and the convictions for traffic violations should be avoided to the extent they can.
Your history/relationship with the insurance company
If you have a long history of excellent driving while with a particular insurance company, it may take a little more to see a rate increase than it would for a driver with a similar driving history who is new to the insurance company.
New York State Insurance Law
Insurance is regulated by the states, and different states have different laws regarding the automobile insurance. Some states specifically prohibit insurance companies from raising rates under certain conditions while other states will require insurance companies to impose surcharges under other conditions. In New York, for example, the law protects drivers with only one minor violation on their record over a certain time period but does not extend such protection to drivers with either two minor or one more serious violation over the same period of time.
Regardless of how much of an increase in insurance a traffic tickets may cause, there are a number of things you can do to help lower your existing insurance rates and keep them low moving forward. Here are some tips for keeping auto insurance low.