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Car insurance rates will undoubtedly go up after a reckless driving conviction, and it’s easy to see why. Receiving a reckless driving ticket indicates to insurance companies that the driver has the potential to take unnecessary risks when operating a motor vehicle. These risks can lead to accidents with expensive insurance claims for injuries or property damage.
Here’s a look at how much car insurance rates go up after a reckless driving fine.
How does a reckless driving ticket affect car insurance?
Aggressive driving and getting pulled over can definitely raise your car insurance rates, but how much they go up depends on factors like where you live and any other convictions you have on your driver’s license.
A reckless driving conviction is usually considered a “serious offense” by insurance companies, along with convictions such as drunk driving, racing and hit and run. It is very possible that your insurer will not renew your car insurance policy at the time of renewal after a reckless driving conviction.
Car insurance is increased by a reckless driving company
We analyzed rates from major car insurance companies for drivers with a reckless driving conviction and found that:
- USAA had the cheapest average annual premium for those with a reckless driving ticket, even after an average rate increase of 47%. But car insurance from USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
- Erie had the second-cheapest average annual premium for those with a reckless driving ticket, with an average rate increase of just 19%.
- While the average rate increase for someone with a reckless driving ticket ranged from 19% to 115% depending on the company, the average rate increase across all the companies we analyzed was 61%.
Auto insurance increases by state after a reckless driving ticket
Florida drivers receive the lowest average rate increase after a reckless driving conviction, with just a 37 percent increase. Michigan drivers are hit with the highest average increase of 163%.
What happens if you are convicted of reckless driving?
If you are convicted of reckless driving, the penalties can include fines, points on your license, suspension of your license and jail time. Penalties vary by state, but generally increase the more times you are convicted of the same crime.
A reckless driving conviction is more serious than a speeding ticket. This is a criminal charge that you may be required to disclose when you apply for certain jobs, enlist in the military, renew your security clearance, or apply for a green card. In many states, a reckless driving conviction will go on your criminal record and show up on background checks.
California Reckless Driving Penalties
In California, any person who “operates a vehicle upon a highway with willful or reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
Most reckless driving convictions in California come with up to five days (but not more than 90 days) in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Florida Reckless Driving Penalties
In Florida, any person who operates any vehicle “with willful or reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property” can be found guilty of reckless driving. Penalties may vary depending on the number and severity of violations. For example:
- A first reckless driving conviction in Florida can result in up to 90 days in jail, a $25 to $500 fine, or both.
- A second conviction can result in up to six months in jail or prison, a fine of $50 to $1,000, or both.
There may be additional penalties for drivers who are convicted of reckless driving and who also damage property or cause accidents resulting in serious injury.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Illinois
Every person convicted of reckless driving in Illinois is charged with a misdemeanor.
Generally speaking, someone charged with reckless driving in Illinois can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Drivers convicted of reckless driving two or more times within a 12-month period can have their license suspended.
If an accident that results from reckless driving causes bodily injury, permanent disability, or disfigurement to someone else, the level of charge can be increased to aggravated reckless driving. Because it is a felony, it can result in up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
New York Reckless Driving Penalties
Reckless driving in New York is defined as driving a vehicle “in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway or unreasonably endangers the users of the public highway.”
Reckless driving is a crime in New York, and the consequences can depend on how many violations the driver has committed.
- A first reckless driving conviction can result in up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.
- A second offense within 18 months of the first can result in up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $525.
- A third offense within the same time frame can result in up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $1,125.
Each violation can add up to five points to a person’s driver’s license, which can dramatically affect car insurance rates.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Pennsylvania
According to Pennsylvania law, “any person who operates a vehicle with willful or reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
Anyone charged with reckless driving in Pennsylvania can be fined up to $200. Reckless driving convictions also come with a mandatory six-month driving license suspension.
Penalties for reckless driving in Texas
Penalties for reckless driving in Texas can include up to 30 days in county jail, a fine of up to $200, or both. Repeated reckless driving convictions can result in a driver’s license being revoked.
In Texas, driving is generally considered reckless if you are engaged in more than one dangerous activity. For example, speeding can lead to a reckless driving fine if you are found to have put the lives of others at risk, or you have combined speeding with other dangerous activities, such as failing to signal before turning or weaving in and out of traffic.
Best Car Insurance Companies for 2022
With so many car insurance companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start to find the right car insurance. We’ve rated insurers to find the best car insurance companies, so you don’t have to.
We calculated the average rate increases at 13 car insurance companies across the country for drivers who have been ticketed for reckless driving. These rates are based on drivers with collision and comprehensive insurance and 100/300/100 coverage.
Auto insurance rates are from Quadrant Information Services, an insurance data analytics company, as of July 2022.