Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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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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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Depending on what type of ticket you will determine how much more your car insurance premiums will increase
  • Many insurance companies have developed the policy of not raising your rates after your first minor ticket
  • If you fight your ticket in traffic court, there is a good chance that the penalty of the ticket will be reduced

Every state has different regulations regarding car insurance, which include how tickets and car insurance rates are handled, so it is hard to say exactly how much car insurance will increase after a ticket.

Not only is it nerve-wracking to be pulled over by a police officer, but there are also other consequences if it results in a ticket of some kind.

Car insurance companies do not look at traffic violations kindly so in some instances your rates will increase after getting a ticket.

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Types of Tickets

There are many types of tickets you can receive for traffic violations, and they mostly fall into two categories: minor and major.

Minor Tickets

The types of traffic tickets that fall under minor violations include:

  • Speeding, up to 15 mph over the limit
  • An expired registration
  • A missing tail light
  • Parking tickets
  • Not wearing the proper safety restraint
  • Not obeying traffic lights
  • Being parked in such a way that you are obstructing the flow of traffic

Major Tickets

It is considered to be a significant traffic violation if you get:

  • A ticket for reckless or careless driving
  • Driving over 15 mph above the speed limit
  • A hit and run
  • Being at fault for an accident
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driving with an open container

If you receive a ticket for a minor traffic violation, there is a good chance that most car insurance companies will not raise your rates.

However, most companies will raise your rates if you receive a ticket for a major violation.

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Will your car insurance rates automatically increase after your first ticket?

Every car insurance company is different in how car insurance rates are affected after a policyholder receives a ticket. Some car insurance companies will automatically increase your rates while others may not.

If you continue to get tickets for minor infractions however your luck will eventually run out, and the cost of your premiums will rise.

If you received your first ticket for a major violation, however, you will probably notice an increase in your car insurance rates.

Depending on the severity of the violation, or if it, not your first violation, you may notice other consequences as well, such as license suspension or jail time.

Is there anything you can do to prevent a ticket from increasing car insurance rates?

If you receive a card and do not want it to affect your car insurance rates, there are a few things you may be able to do. Some states and car insurance companies allow you to take a safe driving course or go to traffic school.

Some companies also will allow you to take a written exam. This exam would need to relate to the traffic violation in which you received a ticket.

You may choose to contest the traffic ticket in court. Significant violations usually result in points being added to your record, which negatively affects your car insurance premiums.

In many cases, depending on what the ticket was for, it will be reduced to a minor violation, which shouldn’t negatively affect your insurance rates.

What is the average amount that car insurance rates may increase from a ticket?

It is impossible to give an exact amount of a rate increase for a traffic ticket because there are too many variables. It also varies from state to state, as well as from company to company.

Car insurance rates are always subject to review when a policy is up for renewal, and your driving record and/any points indeed play a role in the calculation of premiums.

The best way to get a better idea of how your rates would be affected is to research some different companies and ask them what their policy is.

The most natural thing to do to avoid having your car insurance premiums increase is to avoid traffic tickets in the first place.

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