Does making an illegal turn impact your auto insurance?

When it comes to your driving record and habits and auto insurance rates, it is very much like walking on eggshells; you never know what move or driving error would create a steep rise in your insurance rates. So the best thing to do is to drive carefully. 

But what about some of the most minor traffic violations? What if you do not stop for a red light or just drive a little bit over the speed limit? Does that affect your auto insurance rates? More importantly, can something as minor as making an illegal turn impact your auto insurance rates?

In this article, let’s see what happens to your insurance rates if you make an illegal turn and some other minor traffic violations. Not just that, we’ll look at the effect on rates for different car insurance policies such as liability insurance, collision damage waiver, etc. More importantly, we’ll know why insurance rates increase. 

Does Making an Illegal Turn Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates? 

Any kind of traffic violation has the potential to increase your insurance rates, and an illegal turn fits the bill. Any kind of turn that is considered “illegal” will be a violation of traffic laws. If you are caught doing that, you will be served a ticket/fine. 

The problem here is that the moment you get a ticket for making an illegal turn will be recorded in your driving record. The insurance companies have access to your entire driving record which contains all the traffic violations under your name. A recorded, illegal turn will increase your auto insurance rates.

Illegal right hand turn - Photo: Christopher Porter
Illegal right hand turn – Photo: Christopher Porter/Flickr

But here’s the good news. Usually making illegal turns only causes a minimal increase in your insurance rates. Some car insurance companies might not even consider raising your insurance rates for illegal turns of how trivial it is. But this does not mean you can make illegal turns without thinking about your vehicle insurance rates. 

Many companies are very strict when it comes to even the smallest traffic violations. These companies can increase your insurance rates by a whopping 5%-10% for illegal turns. Now, we know that this is not a big hike. But think about it, paying 10% more for just making an illegal turn? Not worth it at all.

Other Types of Financial Loss

Illegal turns are bad for your insurance rates. But it can create a very problematic situation that could lead to heavy financial losses. Let’s say that you are driving on the road under the speed limit and you have all the necessary and optional auto insurance policies. 

But then you decide to make an illegal turn, something that is strictly prohibited. While this alone would not be a big deal for your insurance rates, what if another car is coming towards you and it hits your car? This is where the problems begin. 

Even if the other driver was distracted while driving or the entire accident was the other driver’s fault, you won’t be able to claim their liability insurance. The other driver has a better chance of claiming your liability insurance. Why? 

Because the accident occurred while you were making an illegal turn. This gives the other driver advantage in proving that you were at fault, even though the accident was the other driver’s fault. Not only you’ll end up paying for the repairs and medical treatments of the other driver, but also get a massive increase in your insurance rates. 

Illegal turns also come with their standalone fines. Depending on the state you are in, you could be fined anywhere between $30 to $50 for illegal turns. It also depends on the kind of street you are making the turn. A busy, major road where the speed limit is high and the traffic is more can get you a hefty fine, as high as $500.

So the best option here would be by avoiding any kind of illegal turns or other traffic violations and paying more. Not just illegal turns, but overspeeding, missing traffic lights, rash driving, etc will also increase your auto insurance rates. So avoid all of these things and keep your car insurance rates affordable. 

Why Illegal Turn Increases Insurance Rates

For people who are not aware of the ways insurance rates work, it might be very confusing as to why making an illegal turn would increase your insurance rates. You are not making a claim, or getting in a car accident. So why would your insurance company care about what turns you take?

It all boils down to the risk factor associated with a policyholder. Insurance companies are risk management companies that can only stay in business if they manage risk properly. They need to increase the number of people paying insurance premiums to the maximum, while people making insurance claims to a minimum. 

One of the best and most reliable ways of figuring out who is a high-risk driver is by seeing their driving record. People who tend to break traffic laws, get tickets, Overspeed, rash drive, take illegal turns, etc are more likely to be in a car accident, statistically. 

This increased probability of a car accident, and eventually insurance claim is why auto insurance companies charge more. This is not exclusive to the auto insurance market. For example, older people tend to pay much higher premium rates for health insurance compared to younger people because of their high risk of getting ill and needing medical help often. 

Different factors have different weightage to them. For example, overspeeding or taking an illegal turn usually does not increase insurance rates by much. But a DUI charge would skyrocket your insurance rates. It could increase your insurance rates by almost 400%. So your best option to keep your insurance rates low is by keeping your driving record clean.