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
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
- 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
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.