Will A Traffic Ticket Conviction Raise My Auto Insurance Rates?

Insurance.com recently analyzed nationally more than 490,000 auto insurance quotes reviewing the rate differences based on various types of traffic ticket convictions. Reckless driving was the most expensive violation of the ones surveyed, with an average rate increase of 22 percent. While driving without a seat belt had the lowest uptick of only 3 percent. Below is the list.

  • Reckless driving: 22 percent
  • DUI first offense: 19 percent
  • Driving without a license or permit:  18 percent
  • Careless driving:  16 percent
  • Speeding 30 mph over the limit: 15 percent
  • Failure to stop:  15 percent
  • Improper turn:  14 percent
  • Improper passing:  14 percent
  • Following too close/tailgating: 13 percent
  • Speeding 15 to 29 mph over limit: 12 percent
  • Speeding 1 to 14 mph over limit: 11 percent
  • Failure to yield: 9 percent
  • No car insurance: 6 percent
  • Seat belt infractions: 3 percent

I don’t think these percentages translate 100% for New York drivers but they do provide a good guide.  Under NY Insurance Law Section 2335, New York insurance companies may raise a motorist’s insurance rates for only the following traffic ticket convictions.

  • Speeding 16+ mph over the limit
  • Speeding and/or reckless driving on 3 or more occasions
  • Speeding or reckless driving where injury or death results
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired (alcohol or drugs)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it

For all other traffic ticket convictions, your auto insurance rates cannot be raised unless you have two or more such convictions.

I would therefore revise the Insurance.com’s estimates for New York motorists with one offense only as follows:

  • Reckless driving: 22 percent
  • DUI first offense: 19 percent
  • Driving without a license or permit:  18 percent
  • Careless driving:  0 percent
  • Speeding 30+ mph: 15 percent
  • Failure to stop:  0 percent
  • Improper turn:  0 percent
  • Improper passing:  0 percent
  • Following too close/tailgating: 0 percent
  • Speeding 16 to 29 mph over limit: 12 percent
  • Speeding 1 to 15 mph over limit: 0 percent
  • Failure to yield: 0 percent
  • No car insurance: 18 percent (in NY, this is a 1-year revocable offense)
  • Seat belt infractions: 0 percent
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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Unfortunately, when I went to traffic court to negotiate my traffic ticket. I got some mean prosecutor who apparently didn’t get enough love from his wife that morning… he knocked it down from 6 to 3 points which I’m not happy about. Since I was really hoping for a non-moving violation. Then when I tried to explain myself he wouldn’t give me a chance and called over his “director” who took down my address and said that I have some time to negotiate a plea deal before the trial which will be scheduled between 3 to 4 months from now. I’m gonna try and get a lawyer and see what he can do about it. I’m really confused and scared about this and I have no idea whats going on. This is my first offense, and when I stressed the fact that I had a clean record, the prosecutor criticized me and made fun of my age group. Also, I saw other people who got similar tickets to mine reduced to a parking violation. As an added note, I also took the defensive driving course when I got my license back in may of 2012 to lower the insurance. In addition, after my conversation with “the director” and the prosecutor, I just left… I didn’t sign anything nor did I agree to attend any trial. They just simply said your gonna get something in the mail telling you when to come to court if you choose to contest and I have until then to decide whether or not I want to take this plea deal or work it out some how.

    I really need some help here. I’ve never had to go through with this before and I want to get out of it as quickly and cheeply as possible!!!!

    • Joe,

      I feel your frustration. Traffic court can be an unfriendly and daunting experience. The 6- to 3- point offer was not an un-reasoanble one. I can only guess that the other offers to parking tickets involved a lower speed or some other mitigating factor. In any event, all is not lost, it likely won’t be an issue to work out a plea bargain on your trial date.

      Matthew Weiss

  • joaquin rivera
    October 17, 2012 3:17 pm

    I drive for access a ride and I got a speeding ticket because I was trying to get a woman’s home who wasn’t feeling good. I tried to explain that to the officer but he didn’t care. If I lose the case in court, I will lose my job and my livelihood cause of the 6 points. This is my first speeding ever in the 17 years I’ve been driving.

    • Joaquin,

      You should plead not guilty and fight this ticket. This is the only way to possibly get a better result. Feel free to call me if you have any questions about how to fight this ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

  • nachman ziskind
    September 13, 2012 1:55 pm

    Slow news day question: motorist was cited, while driving a 3 wheel scooter like the cops use, for not wearing a seat belt. Ticket was dismissed although, no one in court was really sure if 1229-C (which invokes 383) covers motorcycles. Anyone care to express an opinion?

    • Nachman,

      As always, thanks for your loyal readership.

      I’ve never heard of a motorcyclist requiring a seat belt, and am not sure how a seat belt would work with a motorcycle.

      Anyway, Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1229-c does specifically address motorcycles and seat belts, but I seriously doubt that they are required.

      Matthew Weiss


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