Do Tickets for Texting Affect Your Car Insurance?

Last Updated on March 19, 2020

At this point, everyone should know that using the phone or texting in the car is dangerous. Phones are incredibly distracting, and just a short glance at a text message can lead to a severe accident. Currently, 48 states have banned texting while driving in order to keep their citizens safe on the road. Many other states have banned all cell phone use while driving. Unfortunately, we all feel the temptation to reach for our phone when driving every now and then, which can lead to a ticket if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you have gotten tickets for texting while driving in the past, you may worry that they’re going to affect your car insurance rates. Here’s what you need to know about phone related tickets and car insurance.

How Do Texting Tickets Affect My Premiums?

texting while driving insurance ratesIf you get a ticket for texting, there’s an excellent chance it could affect your insurance rates. Generally, you can expect your premiums to go up anywhere between 20 and 25 percent. This is about the same or slightly more of a change than you would expect for a speeding ticket. However, it’s far less of a change than you would expect from a DUI. The amount that your premiums increase will depend on your state and the severity of its laws. This is because laws are still evolving, and there isn’t much in the way of standardization. In some states, you’ll only see a minimal increase in your premiums, while in other states, the change will be much higher than average. In the future, we can expect to see rate increases become more standardized, as legislators are working on the problem.

How Do Texting While Driving Laws Work?

Currently, 47 states ban texting while driving. The three that don’t are Arizona, Missouri, and Montana. Some states have stronger restrictions for drivers under the age of 21. Distracted driving is a huge cause of car crashes, injuries, and fatalities nationwide. However, most people who text and drive do not get caught, and it is still common practice. If a police officer catches you talking on the phone or texting while driving, you could end up with a hefty ticket. Although you may not always get caught, you should avoid texting while driving to stay as safe as possible on the road. Staying off your phone while driving will also ensure that you don’t see a rate hike on your insurance.

How Can I Avoid Texting While Driving?

There are many things you can do to make sure you’re not tempted to reach for your phone while you’re driving. Here are some tips that will help you avoid texting when you’re at the wheel.

  • Turn your phone on silent and put it in the glove compartment. If you can’t reach your phone easily, you will be much less likely to look at it. Turning the ringer off on your phone will also ensure that you aren’t tempted by the sound of a call or text message.
  • Tell family, friends, and co-workers when you are getting in the car and tell them you will respond when you are done driving. most people will understand, and you can pick up the conversation once you’ve reached your destination.
  • If you are driving with someone else in the car, and you want to send a text message, have them respond to the text message for you, and read out any responses. Well, this is not ideal because it still causes some distraction; it is a much safer solution in an emergency. If you don’t have someone else in the car with you, you can invest in a hands-free headset for your car, so that you can make calls safely. You should always avoid texting or looking at your phone while driving because it takes your eyes off the road.

What Should I Do If My Insurance Rates Go up After a Ticket?

If your insurance rates go up after getting a ticket for texting while driving, don’t worry. The ticket will only stay on your record for a certain number of years. Depending on your state, this period is usually between three and six years. You may be able to get your rates down slightly by taking a defensive driving course, depending on what state you are in. You should also make sure you are always shopping around for the most affordable car insurance policy. Even if you do have a ticket on your record, you may be able to save a significant amount of money by switching providers. Car insurance quotes can vary wildly between insurance providers for the same person.

Of course, you will always want to make sure you are not texting while driving. However, if you do get a ticket for it, this does not necessarily mean your rates will go up forever.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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