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How Much Will My Insurance Rates Rise with a California Traffic Ticket

Posted by Jason Beahm | May 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

How Much will my Insurance rise with a California traffic ticket? … UP, UP, and AWAY.

A traffic ticket is just an infraction, right? What could a silly little speeding ticket do

to me?

In California, a single traffic ticket could cost more than just the price of the ticket

itself. The collateral damage that a traffic ticket could do is vast. The biggest concern

to most drivers is the increase in insurance premiums over the 3 years that the

ticket is on your record with a bad mark (referred to as points).

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Chronicle set out to see exactly what affect a

point on your record will have to your insurance costs over the years. What they

found is quite disturbing. A single incident could cost you thousands of dollars in the

long haul. Further, it is important to note that not all offenses are made equal. One

point from a speeding ticket may have a different increase in premiums compared to

one point for failure to obey a sign.

The study was done by the company called InsuranceQuotes. What they found is

that a typical moving violation, such as failing to yield or passing on solid yellow

lines, would raise a hypothetical driver's premium by 32% on average in the state

of California. Compared to a 19% increase nationally. Speeding is one where

California drivers should be sure to take traffic school or hire a California Traffic

Ticket attorney to fight the case. This is because going anywhere from 1 to 15

miles over the posted speed limit would increase rates by 37% in California versus

21% nationally.

One California Traffic Ticket

One California Traffic Ticket Can Raise Insurance Rates and Make Owning a Vehicle Expensive. Even if you have to drive an old rusty beast of a vehicle.

Major traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

(DUI) or reckless driving offenses, would raise premiums by roughly 183% in

California, almost double the national average of 93%.

While these numbers are an average, your rates could go up even more

depending on the insurance company you use. Private insurance companies

are out there to profit and they have a staff of people who crunch numbers to

determine if the risk of insuring you at a certain rate is worth it. In the end,

the insurance companies make sure that they are in the profit margin for every

customer or they can simply drop you as a customer.

The study has been criticized because it seems to be at odds with proposition 103, approved

by California voters in 1988. Prop. 103 states that auto insurers must use three

factors in setting rates: driving record, number of miles driven annually and years

of driving experience. Of these, driving record must have the largest amount of


They may use up to 16 optional additional factors, which have all been approved

by the Department of Insurance, including severity and frequency of car

accidents near the customer's home, how long a customer has been with the same

company, type of vehicle, gender, marital status, and occupation.

After the insurance company calculates your premium based on the above

approved rating factors, the insurance company must give you a 20% “good

driver” discount if you meet three criteria:

1. Have been licensed and in good standing for the previous three years.

2. Have not have been at least 51% at fault in an accident that caused bodily

injury, death or property damage over $1,000 in the past three years. Note

that you can not lose the good-driver discount if the accident caused less

than $1,000 in damage or if you were not at fault for the accident.

3. Have not had more than one point for moving violations in the past

three years. Most California traffic ticket violations are one point. Major

violations mentioned above, (reckless driving, hit-and-run and California

DUI), are two points on your driving record and you will lose your good

driver discount.

Don't let insurance rates rise with a California traffic ticket. Contact the kind folks at Beahm Law to get you out of a jam and save you from shelling out cash to your insurance company.

About the Author

Jason Beahm

Founding Attorney Profile Credentials Associations Bio Jason Beahm is the Founder and President of Beahm Law. Voted “Best of SF” four out of the past five years by SF Weekly Magazine, Attorney Beahm practices in the areas of DUI, criminal defense, and personal injury. He is passionate ...


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