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Do Cell Phone Tickets Affect Car Insurance?

cell phone tickets

As texting became mainstream communication over the last decade, states have passed laws regarding using your cell phone while driving. Now, in 48 states and the Capitol, there are several laws that recognize texting and driving as a moving traffic violation. Moving violations, as we know, can cause your car insurance rates to increase after a renewal period. The exact amount it increases varies by the insurance company and state, but they are consistently seen as grounds for a rate increase. This post looks at some of the states with cell phone tickets laws and how much your insurance rates can increase after one such ticket.

How Much Can a Cell Phone Ticket Affect Insurance?

It depends on the state you were given the ticket in. A ticket for texting and driving can cause a rate increase of 12% in some states, with others being as high as 45%. The average insurance rate increase after a cell phone ticket is 23%. Texting while driving is also known to lose drivers their safe driving discount. At the same time, there are states where car insurance rates remain unchanged after a cell phone ticket -Idaho and North Carolina specifically. Outside the realm of insurance, a cell phone ticket will also result in points on your driver’s license, and too many of them can result in a driver’s license suspension. It’s in that case when a cell phone violation can be devastating.

What Kind of Violation is Cell Phone Tickets?

A moving violation is defined as a traffic offense committed by a driver while there is in motion. This can be speeding, reckless driving, a DUI, and failure to heed traffic signs. Some states count not using your turn signal as a moving violation. Seeing how driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is in the same category as texting should highlight how serious the potential damage is of taking your eyes off the road.

Auto Insurance Rates After a Texting And Driving Violation

The best examples are the practical and specific kinds. So, let’s say that you are a driver in Illinois with a clean record and your rates are $1,231 annually, as is the average for a driver with a clean record. Illinois is one of the states with a 23% to 26% increase in premiums after a texting while driving violation. Your new insurance rates would be $1,554. That’s a $323 increase. California is a state known for its 45% increase in premiums after a texting violation. The average Californian driver pays $1,708 in annual premiums. After such a traffic ticket, their rates increase to $2,484.

How Many Points Does a Cell Phone Ticket Add to a License?

Several states operate with a point system wherein every traffic violation is kept track of with a number of points on the drivers’ license. Too many points can result in a license suspension.

Points, however, are not permanent and will reset after a certain period of time when the driver remains violation-free. The amount of points added to your license after a cell phone ticket depends on the state.

For the most part, if it is your first violation, then points will usually not be added. But states like Colorado, Kentucky, and Alabama do add points for first-time cellphone offenders. Colorado adds four points for a ticket, Alabama adds two, and Kentucky adds three. Driver’s license points can also affect insurance since your insurance company is in contact with your state’s DMV.

That’s why it’s important to look at your state’s laws regarding cell phone and hands-free device usage while driving. A cell phone ticket can cause a lot more trouble than what they are worth.

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