How Much Will My Insurance Increase From A Traffic Ticket?

51 Comments

We are often asked about the effect of a traffic ticket conviction upon a client’s auto insurance rates. The answer for some situations is easy but in others no so much.

For any motorist with a clean driving record, by law, his or her insurance rates CANNOT go up for just one moving violation for a minor charge. A minor charge is every moving violation except the following:

  1. A motorist is convicted of driving sixteen (16+) miles per hour over the limit.
  2. A motorist has been convicted of speeding or reckless driving where injury or death results.
  3. A motorist is convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired (alcohol or drugs).
  4. A motorist is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it.

Any other moving violation is considered minor for insurance purpose and, alone, cannot result in your insurance rates increasing. NOTE: For certain non-moving violations such as unregistered, unlicensed and uninsured as well as for criminal matters such as aggravated unlicensed and driving while intoxicated or impaired, your rates can go up due to a conviction despite an otherwise clean record.

However, for a major moving violation (speeding 16+ mph) and reckless driving,  an insurance can raise your rates even though you have an otherwise clean record. Further, if you are convicted of 2 or more minor moving violations within a 36-month period (measured from the date of conviction), then your insurance company has the right (but not the obligation) to raise your rates.

In our experience, however, an insurance company will not always raise your rates despite a major conviction (or two minor ones). It is costly and time-consuming to continually check the driving record of every insured and, therefore, I believe that insurance companies do not bother doing so unless the insured has a claim, accident or seeks to change his or her coverage amounts. So, even with a major conviction (or two minors), your rates may not go up. My advice would be to keep the same insurance company if you have a major conviction (or two minors convictions) on your record. Changing companies or coverages will alert your company to check your record and possibly result in an increase.

In terms of the actual amount of any insurance hike, there is not a lot of data. However, in 2012 Insurance.com analyzed more than 490,000 insurance quotes given to drivers from 14 carriers over a 2-year period. The analysis compared quotes given to drivers with the 14 most common violations and compared them with quotes given to drivers with no violations.

Here’s the full list, showing how various tickets affected rates:

1. Reckless driving: 22 percent
2. Driving while under the influence: first offense: 19 percent
3. Driving without a license or permit: 18 percent
4. Careless driving: 16 percent
5. Speeding 30 m.p.h. over the limit: 15 percent
6. Failure to stop: 15 percent
7. Improper turn: 14 percent
8. Improper passing: 14 percent
9. Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent
10. Speeding 15 to 29 m.p.h. over limit: 12 percent
11. Speeding 1 to 14 m.p.h. over limit: 11 percent
12. Failure to yield: 9 percent
13. No car insurance: 6 percent
14. Seat belt infractions: 3 percent

Of course, the type of ticket is not the only variable. Insurance companies will also look at age, state, marital status (divorced drivers on average pay bigger premium increases than married drivers), past claims, and length of time you have been with your car insurance company.

Bottom line: Always fight a major traffic ticket to avoid an insurance increase, and seriously consider fighting the minor moving violations too.

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51 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Matthew

    Very very good and interesting blog

    I have a quick question: Today I was pulled over in the FDR because I crossed a solid line, the officer asked for my license and then I pulled over waiting for his response.
    200 feet’s ahead the left line was closed because of construction and all cars were changing to the right line, even two cars hits my Mirror while I was waiting for the officer.
    When he came, I tried to explain him the GPS said to take the next exit on the right and that’s why I change the line but anyway he gave me a 1110(a) VTL ticket.
    I’m not sure if I should plead “no guilty” because this is the first time I got a ticket under my license so I guess my récord is clean but I got involve in an accidente in January 2018 where I crash my car with a tree because of another car. ( the other car run away, 5 min later a patrol passed by and report the accident) no injury at that time.

    In addition, me and my wire are under the same insurance but she has points on her license (no recent s) so I’m not sure if the insurance will increase

    I will appreciate your help and direction on how to proceed

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Diego R,

      Thanks for your kind compliment.

      We recommend that you plead not guilty as this is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable result.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Thank you for this informative article and your help with readers’ questions.

    I was given two tickets simultaneously, one for disobeying a traffic device and the other for running a red light. I would not fight the first infraction but hope you can give your thoughts about the second.

    I was waiting at an intersection on the “upper” one-way Riverside Drive. Parallel to my left was the “lower” two-way Riverside Drive. When my light went green and the lower drive went red–illustrating that the two lights work in tandem–I made my illegal move of bearing slightly left to put myself on the lower drive (uptown side) and was immediately pulled over.

    I politely asked the officer if the traffic lights controlling the upper and lower drive were not part of the same intersection? And therefore how could I have run a red light if I was already out in the middle of the intersection? He said ‘I dunno, why don’t you fight it in court, maybe the judge will see it your way’.

    I have no way of knowing if this is an inappropriate ticket since the officer would not provide the rules governing that intersection. If I “ask” in court–which I assume requires a not guilty plea–and I lose, the ticket says that losing could increase the penalty. Also, your article informed me that these are minor tickets: 1110 (A) & 1111(D) (1) so maybe it’s not worth it. Finally the officer had a flip attitude suggesting that he knew very well whether the judge would ‘see it my way’.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Brad Lyon,

      A not guilty plea is the only way to possibly beat one or both of these tickets. I wouldn’t worry about the police officer’s “flip” attitude. It will NOT increase the penalty. These are minor tickets individually but collectively worth fighting in my opinion.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Thank you for your advice Matthew. After consideration, I am going to pay the first ticket since I can’t see how that could ever be dismissed. Furthermore I broke the law and feel that I *should* pay for it. I will try to fight the second, however.

        Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    Very informative site, thanks for sharing. I got two tickets at the same time: 1) 509-1 no license, 2) 1111d1 disobey steady red light. I do have a valid license, I just forgot to put it back in my wallet. The cop also specifically said I didn’t stop at a flashing red light section which honestly I did not even see. However, when I look at the ticket, it says steady red light which I am almost positive I didn’t do, but can’t be 100%. When he handed me the summons, he said you need to plead NOT GUILTY to the 509-1, and you can plead NOT GUILTY or GUILTY to the other. Does this mean even though I didn’t have my license on me at the time, I won’t get a fine? When I plead not guilty, do I say I had it on me but it was just misplaced somewhere in the car? Also, what of this steady vs flashing red light? I didn’t run any red on purpose, so this was a surprise to me. It was a 3 way intersection, and I was driving along the straight side, not the street that intersects it if that makes sense. Should I plead not guilty to both as I have to go in person anyway? Last note, first time ever getting pulled over, and I have a totally clean record.

    Thanks very much, appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 1, 2019 9:29 am

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your kind praise.

      You should plead not guilty to both. The license ticket should be dismissed after you present your valid license. The could argue that the red light ticket should be dismissed because it should have been written up as disobey a flashing red light instead.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Thanks for your reply, can I ask one more question? I thought I would have to appear in person to have the license ticket dismissed, but when I went online to check, they had already dismissed it. Does this mean I should still go to court with a not guilty on the steady red light to try and get it dismissed with the same reasoning that it should be steady vs flashing? is that enough without having the license ticket dismissed at the same time?

        Reply
  • This is first time it happen…Driving from NJ to NY My car was jerking at slow speed… So I was driving in leftmost lane…in a second it split into HOV lane….. and I drive in HOV lane…. previous car was police car and after 1 min they stop me and gave ticket for 1110(a).. I have to pay it or I need to fight for that……

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 28, 2019 8:31 am

      Keya,

      If you have an otherwise clean record, then you may want to just pay it. It is a minor ticket that alone will not impact your insurance rates. Otherwise, we definitely recommend fighting it.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I got 1110(a) , By mistake I went into HOV lane and police caught me in NY…… can I fight for that????

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 26, 2019 8:14 am

      Dhruv Patel,

      You can fight any traffic ticket issued to you. The question really is should you fight it. This ticket carries 2 points and, alone, will not affect your insurance rates or right to drive. Therefore, if you have any otherwise clean record, there is not much upside to spend time (or hire a lawyer) to fight it. With that said, if you have other convictions or open tickets or are concerned about getting future tickets, then you should fight it.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Can I fight a 1110A ticket? I was the first car in the middle lane once the light turn green. I needed to make a left turn so I switch to the left lane and waited for the left turn light to turn green. Once left turn light turned green I made a left turn and got pulled over on Horace Harding and Francis lewis blvd. I don’t mind paying for the ticket but I don’t want the points that comes with it. The officer said I made a left turn from the middle lane, but I waited for the signal to change.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 12, 2019 12:50 am

      Andrew Chen,

      Yes, you can fight it but, frankly, nothing you’ve written suggests to me that you’d win. Waiting for the signal to change does not justify making a left turn from the center lane.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I got my first ticket in my life this morning 🙁 failed to yield to Vehicle/Pedestrian, code 4-03(a)(1).
    It was a busy intersection, my path was clear and the closest person gave me an eye signal to pass, and i made a right turn slowly, big mistake 🙁
    Good to know that my insurance won’t go up even if i am convicted, but it stays in record forever right? is there a way to remove it once convicted?

    Thank you very much for this informative article.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      January 10, 2019 4:00 pm

      Raymond,

      I’m glad you like my article.

      A traffic conviction does remain on your record forever. There is no way to remove it. With that said, after 5-6 years, a standard driving record will not show it any longer. Only an “expanded” record will show it after that time period.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Chris English
    December 3, 2018 5:34 pm

    Hi Matthew,

    I recently received a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. I was NOT given a supporting deposition. I revisited the location and came to the following conclusion: there is no way the police officer could have seen me from where his car was parked. I don’t mind paying a fine; however, I want to avoid having the points added to my licence. Any advice? Thank you in advance, I APPRECIATE YOU!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      December 6, 2018 7:22 am

      Chris English,

      I can almost bet that the police officer would testify at trial that he COULD see you and there’s a good chance that the trial judge will believe the officer. Therefore, I suggest that you plead not guilty and try and work out a reduction to a less serious charge. If you can obtain a favorable plea, then it is may be worth avoiding the risk of trial.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I got obstruction traffic at intersection, violation 1175 at Delancey and Chrystie – Chinatown. The traffic was hectic due to construction and they closed 1 lane. When the police gave me the ticket, the light was still green and I still had a room to move forwarded. He just came out of nowhere and blocked my vehicle (kind of aggressive) then asked my driver license and registration. He issued many same tickets to other driver as well.

    I plan to fight it with the reason above (still had room, green light and he blocked me) by myself. My question, is this a strong argument? Should I hire a lawyer? Can my insurance increase due to this because despite my driving records clean from points and ticket for the last 5 year, I had a car accident one year ago and pleaded 50% responsible on it.

    Thanks again for your response in this case., it’s really helping me.

    Reply
    • Dee, if your ticket is returnable at the Traffic Violations Bureau, then it carries 2 points and a fine. Otherwise, it is a 0-point ticket (akin to a parking ticket) which may not want to fight.

      Your argument is good if you can prove that there was sufficient space beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your whole vehicle.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Thanks for your prompt reply. It was return to the Traffic Violations Bureau instead of NYC Finance dept. Sadly I dont have a proof, I should bought dash camera :(. So it’s hard to win to got the court by myself, isn’t it?

        How about this affect my insurance? I do have clean driving points for last 5 years but I had an accident with 50% was my mistake last year.

        Thanks again for your time and efforts Sir, I really appreciate it 🙂

        Reply
  • Matthew my son got 4 tickets for riding an ATV, all given to me, 3 got knocked down to parking tickets, and one was Unlicensed Operation – Permitted (0 pts) on my license. I have a spotless record, except for this, insurance agent said my insurance going to from 3K to 15K a year !

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 24, 2018 10:16 pm

      Paul,

      That’s a hefty increase for one conviction. Time to find a new insurance agent.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    I had received a speeding ticket for 90 in a 55. I hired a lawyer, a close family friend, who had managed to get the ticket down to two separate fines. One for a parking/moving violation and the other for following too closely. Along with this, I had received 4 points on my license. My question is, on my driving record (which was 100% clean before this ticket) would it show the speeding ticket or the two fines that I had received? In your experience do you think my insurance premiums will increase? I plan on taking a defensive driving class and hopefully have the points removed. Very informative and helpful article, thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 22, 2018 7:11 pm

      Brandon,

      Answers in bold:

      On my driving record (which was 100% clean before this ticket) would it show the speeding ticket or the two fines that I had received? Your driving record will show the reduced charges to which you were convicted.

      In your experience do you think my insurance premiums will increase? As my article states, your rates cannot go up for on tailgating conviction. If you have other convictions within 36 months or an accident, then they can.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Matthew,
    Really good article that explains the repercussions and what to do in case of a traffic ticket. I was going to the airport and suddenly observed that the air pressure of my car going horribly low. The donut of my car isn’t in good shape, I stopped at the shoulder and called my friend(who was also coming that way). He informed me to wait for few mins. There were 3 cars parked on that shoulder but the car ahead of me was the police interceptor. He came out and gave me 1110a ticket. He didn’t listen to my version.
    1. I am not sure if it’s still moving violation?
    2. Can this be contested to non-moving violation in the court to get rid of the two points?

    Thanks! SK

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 10, 2018 8:13 am

      SK,

      Parking on the shoulder (especially in case of a mechanical issue) should not be written up as a moving violation (in my opinion). Plead not guilty and show any proof that you had a tire problem. Regardless, argue that you were parked (not moving) and, therefore, this is the wrong section of law. Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew, I just got a 1225d ticket. I will now get 5 points and in total 5 points on my license, I imagine my car insurance will increase with Geico considerably. Is there anything I can do, to reduce the points that Geico has on record or reduce my insurance costs at all. Please advise.

    Thank you in advance.

    Michael

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      November 5, 2017 9:18 am

      Michael,

      Did you read my article entitled “How Much Will My Insurance Increase From A Traffic Ticket?”. It states that your insurance cannot go up for just one ticket such as a 1225d ticket. With that said, I recommend that you plead not guilty as this is the only possibly way to save or avoid these 5 points.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Angelika Leo
    August 3, 2017 6:45 pm

    Hi,
    Trooper stopped me for 45 speeding in a 30 speed limit zone.I explained when I realized
    I drove 45 ,I slowed down.
    But the Trooper had me in his radar. Now I have a speeding ticket violation. Will I get points on my licence. I have a clean driving record ,never received a ticket. Will the Injurance go up.
    What can I do to convince the judge not to give me points.
    and not to have to pay fine. How much is it?
    Thank you Sir

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 4, 2017 12:06 am

      Angelika Leo,

      You should tell the judge and prosecutor about your clean record. Also, dress decent and be polite.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      PS The fine will be roughly $200 for this ticket.

      Reply
  • Louis Casadia
    July 10, 2017 12:37 pm

    Hello, I recently was pulled over for speeding in New York. The officer gave me a break and only wrote me a ticket for failure to use four way flashers while I was pulled over under 1163E. I have never received a ticket before. What is the fine range for this offense?

    My understanding is I can mail in a plea bargain request to the District Attorney’s Office, if I did that though what should I request that would be a better outcome then pleading guilty to what I already have a ticket for? Is it even worth my time requesting a plea bargain? I would have to order my DMV abstract which costs a few dollars atleast.

    My main concern is that this offense will raise my insurance premium so I was wondering if requesting to plead to something else would be better?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 10, 2017 2:57 pm

      Louis Casadia,

      Did you read my article? If you had, you would see that one 2-point ticket (including failure to use four way flashers) will not alone raise your insurance rates.

      Further, since you already received a plea deal (albeit roadside by the cop), it is not likely that you’ll receive a further reduction. In fact, you risk the prosecutor amending your ticket back to the original charge!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello, I just made an illegal left turn. I did not see the sign until I made the turn for I was following my GPS and I’m not familiar with the area. How can I defend that in court ?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 6, 2017 12:11 pm

      Elena,

      This is too open-ended a question for me to answer. Your best defense depends on a multitude of factors. With that said, if this occurred in NYC (where most improper turn tickets are issued), there is no deal-making there. Thus, you’ll have to take this to a hearing if you plead not guilty. Further, your failure to see the sign is not a valid defense.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • shahn harrison
    July 10, 2016 12:30 pm

    i got a ticket for use of portable electronic device while vehicle in motion (1225D1). my question is will this affect my insurance cost?
    I do have a clean driving record.
    thank you

    Reply
  • Matthew,

    This is a great post– thanks.

    I see you didn’t list 1144a (failure to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle) among the “big” offenses that are accompanied by a rate change. Given how seriously the TPVA seems to treat this offense, I am surprised. Assuming an otherwise clean record, it isn’t likely that an 1144a offense would force a rate increase?

    Also, the 18 month point threshold is calculated from the date of the offense, right? So if you’re convicted outside of this window, you are still assigned points, but they don’t count towards your total?

    Thanks Matthew.

    Reply
    • Dan,

      Thanks for your nice remarks. The article is accurate. A VTL 1144a is not a “big” offense for insurance purposes and, therefore, a conviction of which will not result in your insurance rates going up (assuming you have an otherwise clean record within the last 36 months).

      In regard to your questions about how points are calculated, what you write is not 100% correct. Read my article entitled “A Guide To Calculating DMV Points” which fully explains how this works.

      Best,

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Do I have to write that the model is wrong or just make a copy of my registration? Thank you very much, may God bless you.

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew. Today I got a ticket – 403-1 VTL, fail to yield pedestrian. the pedestrian gave me the right to pass, but police gave me the ticket. As I checking online to find out the fine, under this code its something els rather than fail to yield. what should I do, how can I find out how much to pay? Thank you. I got your answer and thank for that. but i find out that they put the wrong model in the ticket. what shoud i do? I mean to answer to the ticket . put guilty or not guilty??

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew. Today I got a ticket – 403-1 VTL, fail to yield pedestrian. the pedestrian gave me the right to pass, but police gave me the ticket. As I checking online to find out the fine, under this code its something els rather than fail to yield. what should I do, how can I find out how much to pay? Thank you

    Reply
    • Lina,

      What else is it? This makes a difference. You don’t want to inadvertently plead guilty to something more serious. In any event, the fine amount will appear once you enter a guilty plea (if that’s what you decide to do).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Very informative post. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks Rick. I appreciate your kind remarks.

      Reply
      • Informative site!
        I recently was given a tkt one block away from my job on same street. Officer said i did not stop at the stop sign. I have been stopping at sign twice a day for more than nine years. I was distracted thinking about the therapy ct i had to see in the next ten minutes.But I am fairly sure I did slow down and made stop. Because i have a clean driving record the officer reduced the violation to a disobeyed traffic control device. I have read that this is what charges usually get lowered to if you protest charge. I dont know whether I should pay fine , accept points, and move on or go to court.
        If judge violates me can he raise the violation to the original 3 point charge?
        This is my third tkt in 45 years of driving so I am not well versed in how to handle these issues.

        Reply
        • Diane,

          It could get raised to a 3 point violation if you fight it. But, given your clean record, 2 versus 3 is not a big difference. From what you write, I don’t see a strong defense. With that said, please don’t let anything that I write discourage you from fighting this ticket.

          Matthew Weiss

          Reply

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