Accidentally run a red light or drive a little too fast, and you may get a ticket. But that is just the start of your worries.
Some traffic violations can drive your car insurance premium dramatically higher. In fact, the money you lose in higher policy costs can dwarf the expense of the ticket itself, according to a study from car insurance search engine The Zebra.
For example, blow through a red light, and your rate can be expected to jump by 22.7 percent. That could cost you an extra $333 in your annual premium, The Zebra says in its 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report.
Tickets for more serious offenses can prove especially costly, with a DUI costing you a whopping $1,086 more on your premium, for example.
Below is a sample of nine violations and how much they might cost you in premium increases over the course of a year, according to The Zebra.
- Failing to wear a seat belt: 4 percent increase, extra $59
- Not-at-fault accident: 6.7 percent increase, extra $98
- Texting while driving: 19.7 percent increase, extra $290
- Failing to stop at a red light: 22.7 percent increase, extra $333
- Speeding: 23.2 percent increase, extra $341
- Improper passing: 23.4 percent increase, extra $344
- At-fault accident: 42 percent increase, extra $617
- DUI: 73.9 percent increase, extra $1,086
- Hit and run: 82.2 percent increase, extra $1,209
Lowering your car insurance costs
Clearly, it pays to drive carefully and obey the law. But there are other ways to lower your car insurance costs as well.
Sometimes you can save by dropping coverage you no longer need, such as comprehensive and collision. As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson writes in “The Complete Guide to Getting the Best Possible Deal on Car Insurance“:
“The rule of thumb when it comes to comp and collision: If the premiums exceed 10 percent of the value of your car, you might consider dropping the coverage.”
And don’t forget overlooked ways to save, such as finding a credit card that offers rental car insurance coverage so you don’t have to pay exorbitant fees for this type of insurance coverage when traveling.
How do you save on car insurance? Share your tips in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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