Home > Personal Finance > Here’s How Much the Most Expensive Traffic Violation in Your State Will Raise Your Auto Insurance

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If a cop hands you a ticket for speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, or causing a crash, you’re already paying up. However, drivers need to keep in mind that those tickets can also mean big increases to their car insurance premiums.

For example, if you’re caught racing in North Carolina or driving drunk or recklessly in California, that single incident will cost you nearly $3,000 on your annual auto insurance premium. (For North Carolina, that’s a 350% rate increase.) And that’s not including the ticket itself or any court fees or other expenses.

Although each state regulates insurance differently, every state’s most costly violation will earn the driver a car insurance rate increase of at least 40%, according to The Zebra’s new State of Auto Insurance Report.

To determine what violation was most costly in each state, The Zebra analyzed auto insurance pricing data from its quote engine. The analysis includes annual auto insurance premium data across all U.S. zip codes for a base driver profile of a 30-year-old single male driving a 2012 Honda Accord EX.

Below are the most expensive traffic violations by state and how much each could wind up raising your insurance.

1. Alabama

Most Costly Violation: Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Dollar Increase on Premium: $716

2. Alaska

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $568

3. Arizona

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,574

4. Arkansas

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $850

5. California

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving, DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $2,869

6. Colorado

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $842

7. Connecticut

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,790

8. Delaware

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $2,125

9. District of Columbia

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,016

10. Florida

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,735

11. Georgia

‘Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $812

12. Hawaii

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $2,396

13. Idaho

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $594

14. Illinois

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving, Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,619

15. Indiana

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $462

16. Iowa

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $622

17. Kansas

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $512

18. Kentucky

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,435

19. Louisiana

Mostly Costly Violation: At-Fault Accident
Dollar Increase on Premium: $791

20. Maine

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $623

21. Maryland

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $666

22. Massachusetts

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $961

23. Michigan

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $2,312

24. Minnesota

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,019

25. Mississippi

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $790

26. Missouri

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $529

27. Montana

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $640

28. Nebraska

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $755

29. Nevada

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $945

30. New Hampshire

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $759

31. New Jersey

Mostly Costly Violation: At-Fault Accident
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,229

32. New Mexico

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $896

33. New York

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,150

34. North Carolina

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $2,888

35. North Dakota

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $761

36. Ohio

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $607

37. Oklahoma

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,187

38. Oregon

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,079

39. Pennsylvania

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,032

40. Rhode Island

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,473

41. South Carolina

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $793

42. South Dakota

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,009

43. Tennessee

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $743

44. Texas

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,268

45. Utah

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving
Dollar Increase on Premium: $606

46. Vermont

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $892

47. Virginia

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $722

48. Washington

Mostly Costly Violation: Reckless Driving, Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $736

49. West Virginia

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $1,057

50. Wisconsin

Mostly Costly Violation: Racing
Dollar Increase on Premium: $550

51. Wyoming

Mostly Costly Violation: DUI
Dollar Increase on Premium: $709

Why Are There Variations by State?

So many things about insurance pricing vary by state and situation, and violations are no exception. Just as marital status, gender, and homeowner status affect your rate differently depending on your state, the same can be said for traffic tickets.

The risks associated with accidents are statistically different for each state, so what insurance companies consider the “worst” (and thus costliest) ticket in each state will come down to the ticket which leads to the greatest amount of risk caused by drivers in that particular state. For example, certain states (even certain zip codes) have higher frequencies of DUIs that lead to collisions than others, so insurance companies factor the likelihood of someone getting into a collision based on those statistics.

What Can Drivers Do to Keep Their Car Insurance Rates Low?

  1. Drivers should consider shopping around every six months or every year for new rates. Insurance companies may increase their rates due to various factors, so you might be paying a higher rate if you stay. Be honest about your driving history when you compare quotes to truly see the lowest rates for your coverage needs.
  2. Maintain continuous coverage. Insurance companies will raise your rates if they see gaps in time when you didn’t have an active insurance policy.
  3. Consider sharing or combining policies with a family or household member if you aren’t able to afford a policy on your own. Combining policies can make you eligible for additional discounts that you might not qualify for on your own, such as a homeowner discount or multiple vehicle discount.
  4. Bundle your auto policy with a renter’s or homeowner’s policy if you like the insurance company and can get the coverage you need. You could earn a substantial discount.
  5. And, of course, maintain a clean driving record. As we’ve seen above, a driving violation nearly always raises your rates – and can sometimes double or triple your annual premium – so stay focused on the road when driving and watch that speed limit.

[Editor’s note: Your credit score can also influence your car insurance rates. You can view two of your scores for free, updated every two weeks, on Credit.com.]

Image: Halfpoint

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