April 21, 2024

Bucks: Tempted to Speed? Consider Your Auto Insurance

George Ruhe for The New York Times

Steep prices at the gasoline pump aren’t the only thing drivers need to worry about this summer travel season. Speeding tickets and other moving violations can increase your automobile insurance rates by double digits, a recent analysis shows.

So you might want to slow down or even stop when the traffic light turns yellow, instead of accelerating and trying to get through before it turns red. (Apologies to those of you who are already among the 15 percent of drivers who know what a yellow light means.)

Insurance.com, an online insurance site, surveyed 32,000 policies sold in 2010 and found that costs jumped 18 percent after one moving violation, and 53 percent after three, when compared with rates for drivers with clean records. Drivers with no violations paid $1,119 a year on average, while drivers with three violations paid $1,713.

Older drivers are especially hard hit by violations, a separate analysis of about 400,000 car insurance quotes found. Quotes for drivers aged 65 and older who had two violations were 57 percent higher than those for drivers of the same age who had no violations. Drivers in the next age tier — 55 to 64 — saw a 47 percent increase in their quoted rate.

What sort of violations count? Driving while under the influence, reckless driving, fleeing from scene of an accident and driving the wrong way down a divided highway will cost you, for sure. More mundane but equally dangerous are speeding tickets, running a red light or stop sign, improper passing and making an unsafe U-turn. Failing to use child restraints is also a no-no.

Insurance.com helpfully notes that if you do see your rates rise after a violation, you can sometimes cut your premium cost by taking a driver safety course. Check with your state motor vehicle agency to see what’s available.

Have you recently received a speeding ticket or other violation? Did you see your insurance premium rise?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=cc356ef4192f12657abd15e1857ffe1f

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