How A Moving Violation Affects Your Auto Insurance


What Happens To Your Insurance When You Get A Moving Violation?

The Department of Motor Vehicles uses a point system in most states to keep track of reckless and bad drivers. The purpose of the point system is to identify and punish repeat offenders of traffic laws. Not all states use the same system. Kansas, for example, doesn’t use a point system. Instead, they will suspend the license of a driver that gets more than three major moving violations in a 12-month period.

How It Works

Every driver starts with a clean record and collects a point each time they get in an accident or get a moving violation. The number of points given depends on the violation. In California, for example, the following infractions are worth one point:
  • Running a red light
  • Speeding
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Causing an accident
  • An issue involving mechanics or equipment.
Two point violations include:
  • A DUI
  • Hit-and-run
  • Reckless driving
The points remain on your record for a certain amount of time, which varies by state. In California, most points for minor infractions will stay on your record for three years, while major offenses will remain for 10 years. A driver will be at risk of losing their license if they accumulate too many points over time. California drivers will have their license suspended if they receive four points in 12 months, six points over 24 months, or eight points in 36 months. You can check this website for exact details on the point system for your state.

Effect On Insurance Rates

The unfortunate effect of getting a moving violation is your insurance rates will increase.  Every time you get a ticket or an accident, your premiums are likely going to go up. How long and how much an accident or violation affects your rate depends on your insurer and which state you live in. Some insurers may even “forgive” a minor violation or won’t count it against you unless you’ve had a certain number over a certain amount of time. A study of policies in 2010 by showed that one violation increased premiums by 18%. Two violations increased rates by 34% and three violations saw a 53% bump.

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