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How Much Does Car Insurance Increase After Texting & Driving Ticket?

Most texting-and-driving traffic tickets lead to an increase in car insurance rates; currently, the national average is a 23% increase. Of course, you can expect that your car insurance will increase much more if you’re involved in an accident while texting and driving.

Note that paying higher rates is just one way you’ll be penalized for texting while driving, as you’ll most likely end up paying more than just a higher auto coverage premium.

Texting and Driving Statistics

Did you know that roughly 7% of drivers use a cell phone while driving at any given time? That texting while you’re driving increases the amount of time your eyes are off the road by about 400%? That answering one text distracts you for five minutes, which is enough time to cover the length of a football field when you’re driving at 55 miles per hour?

According to data gathered from the National Safety Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association:

  • Approximately 1.5 million car accidents in the U.S. during 2017 can be attributed to using a cell phone while driving.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a car crash than drunk driving.
  • When you use a cell phone while you’re driving, your reaction time is as delayed as it would be if you had a BAC of .08%.

If you manage to make it out alive, even without any property or bodily damage, you can still be in a world of hurt. As you’re about to find out, nearly every state penalizes drivers for texting and driving (from ticket fines to jail time) and it’s highly likely your insurance company will increase your rates.

State Penalties for Texting and Driving

Nearly every state and the District of Columbia fines drivers for texting and driving. Some are manageable – in Alabama, California, and Florida you’re usually looking at no more than $30. Some are definitely designed to teach drivers a lesson – you could pay up to $1,000 in Iowa and even $10,000 in Alaska.

However, a one-time ticket fine might be the least of your concerns when you’re caught texting and driving. Most drivers also:

  • Have to pay court costs.
    • Sometimes this is true even if you don’t try to fight your ticket and just want to pay the fine.
  • Could accumulate driver license points or suspension.
  • See an increase in auto insurance rates.
    • See below for your state’s average increases and ways to save money on car insurance.
  • Face jail time.

Other factors affect the severity of your texting and driving penalties. For example, you’ll face more expensive and severe penalties if:

  • This isn’t your first texting-and-driving offense.
  • You cause an accident or death while texting and driving.

You’re caught texting and driving with no car insurance, especially if you cause an accident with no insurance

Car Insurance Rate Increase After Texting and Driving

Below are how much car insurance rates increase on average after a texting and driving ticket in each state. Understand that your specific rate increase depends on your state, your insurance company, and your driving record so you won’t know the exact increase — if there’s an increase at all — until you hear from your auto coverage provider. Only Idaho and North Carolina state laws do not allow increasing car insurance rates for drivers with texting and driving tickets.

StateAverage Annual Rate: Clean RecordAverage Annual Rate: After Texting and Driving TicketPercent IncreaseDollar Increase
IdahoIncreases are not allowed after texting and driving violation0%$0
New Hampshire$1,346$1,80232%$456
New Jersey$1,598$1,96723%$370
New Mexico$1,638$2,07126%$433
New York$1,283$1,43512%$152
North CarolinaIncreases are not allowed after texting and driving violation0%$0
North Dakota$1,004$1,17717%$173
Pennsylvania$1,306 $1,48915%$192
Rhode Island$2,364$3,16434%$800
South Carolina$1,392$1,62917%$237
South Dakota$1,386$1,74826%$362
Washington D.C.$1,859$2,23920%$381
West Virginia$1,566$1,83517%$269
National Average23%$346

Car Accident While Texting and Driving

Note that if you’re involved in an accident while texting and driving, your car insurance provider likely will increase your rates much more.

Plus, you don’t only face a rate increase; you also face:

That doesn’t even include the more expensive ticket fine and court costs as well as the risk for driving record points, license suspension, and even jail time.

Getting Cheap Car Insurance After Texting and Driving

Again, you might not face an insurance increase after a texting and driving ticket. It all depends on your insurance company and your personal driving record. However, in the likely event your auto coverage provider does increase your rates, there are ways you can find more affordable coverage.

Start shopping around for free online car insurance quotes as soon as you get the ticket (especially if you don’t plan to fight the ticket), and because you’ll most likely be labeled a “high-risk driver” it’s a good idea to compare several companies known for offering the best rates for high-risk drivers.

Final Thoughts

Texting and driving is both expensive and deadly. What message could be so important you’re willing to risk your bank account — and your life?

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