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Driving Mistakes That Raise Your Insurance Rates

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Photo: Auto Insurance – Alpha Stock Images/Creative Commons 3, Nick Youngson

Many factors can influence how much you pay for car insurance, such as your age, level of education, and place of residence. However, some rate-raising factors are easier to control — like bad driving habits. Traffic violations and accidents can really mar your driving record, and you could be feeling the financial impact up to three years after the incident. Avoid these risky behaviors to keep your premiums low.

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Texting and driving

On The News Wheel, we’ve covered this topic at length, but it bears repeating — don’t text and drive. Aside from endangering yourself, your passengers, pedestrians, and everyone else on the road, you’ll also inflate your insurance cost. If you receive a ticket for texting on the road, expect to see your premiums spike by an average of $290 per year.


It might hurt to shell out money for a speeding ticket, but the financial punishment doesn’t stop once you’ve paid your fine. One ticket could tack on an average of $341 per year, meaning you’ll pay over $1,000 during that three-year period.

Driving while intoxicated

Driving under the influence of a substance is a terrible decision on every level. If you’re convicted of a DUI, expect to see your rates soar by 74 percent — or an average of $1,086 annually.


Whether you’re at fault or not, a collision will raise your rates. If you’re at fault, you’re looking at a steeper insurance cost increase, around $617 per year. Even if you weren’t at fault, you’ll still have to deal with a higher bill — an average of $100 annually.

Forgetting your seat belt

Forget to buckle up? If you’re ticketed for this common-sense safety violation, you’ll have to pay an average of $60 more per year on your insurance.

Running red lights

Speed through a stoplight, and you should expect to see a ticket in the mail — and your insurance rise by an average of $330, or 22 percent of your usual yearly bill.

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Source: Business Insider