Higher insurance costs most likely for young drivers after tickets

Del Walters, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Insurance rates are more likely to rise for younger drivers who get traffic tickets than for drivers over 50, a survey conducted by InsuranceQuotes.com finds.

“What we found is younger drivers are more likely to get hit with increases,” says Laura Adams, a senior analyst with InsuranceQuotes.com.

Insurance companies are opting to save money by not paying for the driving records of everyone who gets a ticket.

“Insurance companies simply are not pulling the driving records of every single person who is insured,” Adams says.

The end result is younger drivers, with more aggressive driving patterns, face the greatest risk of seeing their rates go up, according to InsuranceQuotes.com. Older, more conservative drivers, face the least.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International surveyed 1,000 adults by telephone, 500 by landline and 500 by cellphone, for InsuranceQuotes.com. The survey done between Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Here’s the breakdown of percentage of drivers whose insurance rates went up after a ticket:

  • 41 percent of people between 18 and 29;
  • 32 percent of people between 30 and 49;
  • 15 percent of people 50 and older.

There is one caveat. All insurance companies pay close attention to cases where drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Adams says. Reckless driving cases also are flagged.

The survey finds only 31 percent of drivers who received a traffic ticket in the past five years are paying more. Even then, the increase is slight, less than $100 per year.

“If you do get a ticket and you don’t see an increase, you need to think of it is as ‘I just dodged a bullet,'” Adams says.

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