New research by the Consumer Federation of America found that many insurance companies raise auto insurance premiums even after drivers are involved in an accident that was someone else’s fault (known as a no-fault accident). CFA compared premium hikes for drivers whose hypothetical profile included a past accident where another driver was at fault. The study focused on 10 cities: Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Chicago, Jersey City, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Minneapolis, Baltimore, and Queens. New Yorkers faced the biggest increase in insurance, with an average premium hike of $401. Jersey City was the third-lowest, with premiums rising just over $100. Only two of the 10 states analyzed — Oklahoma and California — prohibit insurance companies from raising premiums after a no-fault accident.
While the news is disappointing, drivers should be aware that many kinds of traffic violations could be far more devastating to their insurance rates. For example, even the smallest speeding ticket can increase premiums by as much as 21% — which translates to between $300 and $600 per year depending on your pre-ticket premium — and more severe speeding violations can increase rates by as much as $800.
This is small potatoes compared to the impact that a more serious violation can have. Drunk driving, for instance, can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket by $1,150 on average. A conviction for reckless driving can result in premium hikes of between $580 and $1,100.
The increase in insurance costs is in addition to any fines or other penalties that may be assigned as a result of the conviction. The exact impact depends on the insurance company, your driving history, and the type of violation. Any ticket that carries points on your license can potentially raise your insurance rates, which is why you should never plead guilty to a traffic ticket – instead, call a lawyer right away to fight the ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.