Skip to main content

Texting drivers warned of $346 hike in auto insurance for getting caught

Texting drivers warned of $346 hike in auto insurance for getting caught
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Drivers who text behind the wheel of their car have been warned they could face up to a 45% rise in their auto insurance rates if they are caught. 

According to recent analysis, the best auto insurance providers will increase rates by an average of 23% after a texting ticket - the equivalent of a $346 hike. However, found that premium increases can vary significantly between states. So while drivers picking up a violation in California can expect the steepest increase in their auto insurance premium of 45% - or $776 based on the average premium charged in that state - those who are caught in New York and Louisiana will typically suffer only a 12% rise. 

Auto insurer powers

Perhaps surprisingly, not all drivers busted cellphone-in-hand on the highway will be hit in the pocket. In some states - including Idaho and North Carolina - it is illegal for car insurance companies to raise rates for a texting ticket conviction. And even where auto insurers are free to act, not all will place higher premiums on guilty drivers. 

“If you live in a state that treats a texting ticket as a moving violation, it’s treated by insurance companies like any other minor ticket,” says Michelle Megna, editorial director of “But there’s a big difference in how individual companies handle tickets. With some, a single ticket might not affect your rates at all. Others might decide you don’t qualify for a good driver discount anymore. And some might actually raise your rates quite a bit.”

What is almost certain to guarantee a rate increase is getting caught more than once, Megna adds. 

States with the highest average auto insurance increase after a texting ticket - Source:
StateAverage clean record rateAverage rate after texting ticketPercent increaseDollar increase
California$1,708 $2,48445%$776
Ohio $960$1,29034% $330
Indiana$1,094 $1,46834%$374
New Hampshire$1,346 $1,80234%$456
Rhode Island$2,364 $3,16434%$800
Massachusetts $1,425$1,90033% $476
Maine $1,047$1,35329%$306
Alaska $1,254$1,61529% $361
Texas $1,767$2,26728%$500
Florida$2,382 $3,02927%$647

Worse consequences of distracted driving

Of course, far more important than the potential hike in auto insurance rates that could be imposed for using a cellphone while driving is the heightened danger distracted drivers present to other motorists and pedestrians. 

Despite laws aimed at combating distracted driving, cellphone use while at the wheel continues to increase. According to a 2019 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Virginia drivers were 57% more likely to be using a cellphone while driving compared to 2014. 

Car Auto Insurance

(Image credit: Flickr)

As well as a fine and an increase in car insurance premiums, motorists picking up a texting ticket are likely to see points added to their driving record in some states. Accumulate too many points and you could lose your license. More serious still, cause an accident, and at the least you will need to dig out the details of the best roadside assistance plans, and at the worst, jail time could be on the cards. 

"The bottom line is drivers that are being distracted, discourteous or outright dangerous need to recognize this behavior and change or they are likely to end up in an accident or receiving a ticket," says Penny Gusner, senior consumer analyst for "Either of those will adversely affect your car insurance rates for the next three to five years, so a long time for you to pay for your actions as a driver."

Compare auto insurance rates at Assurance

Compare auto insurance rates at Assurance
Finding the best auto insurance rates is easy with Assurance where you'll get quotes from multiple auto insurers all at the same time.

With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Tim has spent most of his career working for a financial data firm, where he was Online Editor of the consumer-facing Moneyfacts site, and regularly penned articles for the financial advice publication Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts. As a result, he has an excellent knowledge of almost areas of personal finance and, in particular, the retirement, investment, protection, mortgage and savings sectors.