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7/11/2011 - Auto insurance rates can double with multiple tickets

Some types of tickets can lead to higher auto insurance rates.

It's no surprise to most motorists that their traffic history has an impact on rates. But what may prove to be an eye-opener is just how much they can affect premiums.

According to the rate comparison website, as little as one ticket can lead to insurance premiums increasing by nearly 20 percent.

Based on an analysis of 32,000 insurance policies sold in 2010 and motorists who purchased a single-driver policy, the average policyholder's premium increased 18 percent, bringing their annual rate to $1,318. And that number increases exponentially the more tickets the driver has, as the study found rates can climb 34 percent after two tickets and 53 percent after three.

But the dramatic increase isn't a surprise to Robert Passmore, spokesperson for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

"It's a pattern of behavior," Passmore says. "If a person has one ticket in 10 years and someone else has three tickets in six months, you tell me [who is going to get the lower rate]."

Because some violations increased rates more than others, auto insurance companies may charge more depending on the severity of the citation.

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