Impact of Driving Record on Auto Insurance Cost Varies Widely by State

February 19, 2015

While motorists who commit moving violations typically pay higher auto insurance costs, how much more they pay varies significantly by state, according to a report by an online insurance seller.

For example, drivers who receive a DUI charge will pay an average of 92 percent more for car insurance on a national basis. North Carolina residents will be hit much harder with an increase of 337 percent; while drivers in Maryland will only see a 15 percent increase for this violation, according to the report by

In Hawaii, drivers charged with reckless driving will see costs rise 287 percent, which is significantly higher than the national average (83 percent) and residents of Arkansas (24 percent).

Smaller infractions showed great variance, as well. Driving without a license in Maryland will increase a driver’s cost by 95 percent, compared to no increase at all in Rhode Island.

North Carolina topped the list for highest rate increase for over half of the violations the study researched, whereas New York most consistently showed the lowest percentage increase.

On average, the most expensive infractions on a national basis are DUI (92 percent), reckless driving (83 percent) and speeding 31+ m.p.h. (29 percent).

The least expensive violations include not wearing a seatbelt (6 percent), driving without a license (16 percent) and violating railroad rules (18 percent).

“Most consumers are unaware of how much insurance rates go up even for a minor traffic violation, such as speeding a few MPH over the posted limit,” said Laura Adams, senior analyst at “In many states, drivers can keep small speeding tickets and other minor infractions off their records by going to traffic school or taking a defensive driving course, up to a limited number of times.”

In California and Hawaii, driving record must be the primary factor in auto insurance charges thus violations can have more of an impact.

North Carolina poses a unique situation because it has the highest percentage of drivers in the “high risk” residual market for auto insurance and insurers are restricted in what they can charge.

For their report on moving violations, and Quadrant Information Services said they calculated the impacts of 17 common moving violations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.) using data from the largest carriers (representing 60-70 percent of market share) in each state/district.

Averages are based on a 45-year-old married, employed female with a clean driving record driving a 2012 sedan. The hypothetical driver has a bachelor’s degree, an excellent credit score, no lapses in coverage and the following limits: $100,000 (bodily injury), $300,000 (property damage), $100,000 (UI/UIM), $10,000 (PIP) and a $500 deductible.

Source:, which is a part of Bankrate Insurance.

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