How much each ‘moving violation’ will increase your car insurance in Massachusetts

Bay State residents can face higher auto insurance penalties for certain moving violatoins than the national average.
Bay State residents can face higher auto insurance penalties for certain moving violatoins than the national average. –iStock

A vehicular moving violation can hurt your auto insurance. In fact, it can almost double it.

A new report from insuranceQuotes.com found motorists who are slapped with a serious moving violation can see their auto insurance premiums jump by an average rate of 94 percent.

The insuranceQuotes.com study, commissioned by Quadrant Information Services, looked at the average national premium increases for a single moving violation across several categories, including driving under the influence, speeding and failure to yield.

Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for insuranceQuotes.com, says insurance companies see moving violations as an indicator of risky behavior.

“A driver who gets a DUI, that is an indication that they are likely to get into accident in the future,’’ said Adams. “It’s a strong indicator of risk and future accidents. Those types of violations can cost consumers the most.’’

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She also points out these violations can stay on a motorist’s driving record for several years.

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How much it costs to insure the most popular vehicles in Massachusetts (ordered from least to most popular):

The most expensive moving violations were driving under the influence (DUIs/DWIs), reckless driving, speeding by more than 31 miles per hour over the speed limit, speeding by 16 to 30 mph over the limit and careless driving.

In Massachusetts, the increase in auto insurance payments for certain moving violations is even more expensive than the national average. For example, out of all 50 states, Massachusetts motorists see the fifth most expensive premium increase for reckless driving and the eighth most expensive increase for driving under the influence.

In the case of other moving violations, including speeding and careless driving, the increase in auto insurance is lower in Massachusetts compared to the national average.

Here are how the most serious moving violations in Massachusetts compare to the national average:

DUI/DWI: National average premium increase: 94 percent; Massachusetts: 103.59 percent.

Reckless driving: National average premium increase: 85 percent; Massachusetts: 101.88 percent.

Speeding by 31 mph or more: National average premium increase: 29 percent; Massachusetts: 23.32 percent.

Speeding by 16 to 30 mph: National average premium increase: 28 percent; Massachusetts: 23.32 percent.

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Careless driving: National average premium increase: 27 percent; Massachusetts: 24.3 percent.

Driving without a license carries a much more serious consequence in Massachusetts compared to the rest of the nation. While the national average increase for driving without a license is about 17 percent, Massachusetts drivers can see their premiums jump by a whopping 95 percent.

In terms of seat belt usage, while the national average increase for failing to buckle up is 5.76 percent, Massachusetts consumers see no increase in their premiums for not using a seat belt.

Adams points out that insurance companies in Massachusetts do not take factors like credit into account when determining auto insurance rates. This means that the penalties for some moving violations can be more severe.

What to do if you receive a moving violation

If you’ve landed yourself a moving violation, insuranceQuotes.com points out that you do have options and that these infractions do not remain on your record forever.

For example, if the violation is not that serious (like driving in the carpool lane), the driver can make an appeal in traffic court to have the offense removed from their driving record before their policy renews.

Some auto insurers may offer consumers a first-time moving violation forgiveness that won’t result in a higher premium. Some states offer driving classes that allow individuals to remove violations from their record.

“The takeaway for consumers is to try to avoid these moving violations in the first place, which is easier said than done,’’ said Adams. “You may not think [the violation] is very serious but it’s probably going to affect your rate so you’ll want to be proactive to do everything you can to keep your rate down.’’

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