Just the thought of waiting behind the wheel while an officer writes a traffic ticket can trigger a cold sweat.
Not only is the experience humiliating, it also can be disastrous for your budget. Along with a fine, you might face a big boost in your car insurance rate.
A single moving violation can raise your premium by as much as 93 percent, according to a study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com, a Bankrate-owned website. More serious offenses bring bigger increases.
Rack up a combination of the nastiest violations plus a few accidents, and insurers may even refuse to cover you, says Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.
It boils down to matching the premium you pay to your risk as a customer, says Dick Luedke, a spokesman for State Farm insurance.
“Sometimes you get lucky and violate (traffic laws) a lot and don’t get caught, and sometimes you do it once, and you are caught,” he says.
InsuranceQuotes.com and Quadrant Information Services used data from the largest auto insurers to calculate the insurance impacts of various violations. Ride along now as we identify five of the worst tickets for your coverage costs.