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Traffic violations and their impact on insurance rates

Added January 31, 2018
45 MPH speed limit sign

Traffic violations are never a good thing. They cost money, negatively impact your driving record, and add to your car insurance costs. Not only do moving violations impact your insurance rates, they could also leave you without insurance, as your insurance company may drop you depending on the type and number of violations.

Aside from the obvious of not committing any moving or non-moving traffic violations to keep your car insurance rates lower, there are some things to keep in mind regarding traffic violations and auto insurance.

How traffic violations impact your car insurance rates varies by insurance company. However, what is pretty standard is what happens if you have multiple violations take place during one incident. If you have multiple violations in one incident, such as exceeding the speed limit, at-fault accident, and not yielding to the right of way, for instance, often only the highest violation from that group will be counted on your insurance record. Not every insurance company will hit you multiple times for the multiple violations.

The demerit point system

Most states, but not all of them, operate on a points system regarding the status of your driver’s license. With every traffic violation, a certain amount of points is acquired. When you hit the threshold amount of points, your driver’s license is suspended or revoked. Each state has its own points system.

Your license might be immediately suspended if any of the following occur:

  • Extreme speeding ticket
  • Multiple DUIs or DWIs
  • Serious auto accident
  • Pedestrian endangerment violation
  • Too many traffic violations

Insurance companies don’t look at your entire driving history when it comes to assessing your risk and coming up with an auto insurance rate. Most companies look for violations in the past three to five years. That means the six speeding tickets you got from ages 16–17 won’t show up for car insurance companies when you inquire about coverage at age 25.

Depending on the violation, in some states, you might also be able to take a defensive driving class to have the violation—and points—removed from your record.

How do I get a suspended license back?

If you incur too many violations or are involved in a single, serious violation, your license can be suspended or revoked. So, how do you get it back?

This process depends on the state you reside in. You might have to attend a traffic safety course or file a SR22.

If I have numerous violations and then a clean record, does my rate improve?

This goes back to how far an insurance carrier looks back into your driving history. The typical timespan is three to five years. As more violations drop off your driving history—and none are added since then—your rates should improve. This is only taking into account the lack of any new violations factoring into your insurance rate.

As you know, a lot more goes into car insurance rates than simply how many violations are on record.

You have some control over your car insurance rates. Safe driving will go a long way toward helping keep money in your wallet.


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At Dairyland, we feel strongly about your safety, and we promote that through our Defensive Driving Discount. Check out what you might be able to save today.

Also, make sure you have the coverages you need on the road.