Car insurance can be complicated, and you’re not alone in having questions about it. One of the most common is “Do speeding tickets affect insurance?” The short answer is yes, it can increase a motorist’s rates because it’s on their driving record, and insurers check this regularly to figure out premium costs. Below, we’ll look at how much insurance goes up after a speeding ticket and how you can keep costs low.
How much do speeding tickets impact your car insurance rates?
How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket? There are two main factors insurance companies consider when they review someone’s driving record. Here’s what they are.
How far over the speed limit were you going?
Insurers typically penalize a driver more for going further over the speed limit. If someone gets pulled over because they were driving five miles over the limit through an unfamiliar area, that could just be an honest mistake. But if a driver were going 50 miles over the limit, there isn’t usually a good excuse for that.
Speeding tickets are considered a good predictor of accidents, and it makes sense. When you’re going faster, it’s more difficult to stop suddenly or react to a vehicle or object that suddenly appears in front of you. If a driver is more likely to get in an accident, they’re a greater risk to insurers. And insurance companies charge motorists accordingly.
Is this your first speeding ticket violation?
Following a driver’s first speeding ticket, insurance rates may not go above the average cost of car insurance by much, if at all. It depends on the insurer. Each company weighs a driver’s record a little differently. Some dish out harsher penalties to drivers with speeding tickets than others.
All insurers will charge drivers with multiple speeding tickets more than drivers with a single ticket, though. Multiple tickets show a repeated flouting of the law and suggest a driver who routinely engages in risky behavior likely to cause an accident.
The point system in your state — which assigns points to drivers who commit traffic violations — can also influence how much a speeding ticket raises insurance rates. If speeding tickets cause a driver to rack up so many points that they’re on the verge of losing their license, insurers may raise the driver’s rates significantly, even if the individual incidents didn’t involve driving at particularly high speeds.
Compare average car insurance rates before and after a speeding ticket
A violation between one and 15 miles over the speed limit results in a 20% premium increase on average, according to Insurance.com. A violation between 16 and 29 miles over the speed limit could increase premiums by 22% or more. Speeding by 30 miles or more results in a 30% average increase to a driver’s premium.
But how much your insurance will go up after a speeding ticket varies depending on the factors discussed above. It could be more or less than these averages depending on where you live and whether you have previous speeding tickets or traffic violations on your record.
How long does a speeding ticket affect your insurance rates?
Once people learn that speeding tickets can raise their car insurance rates, their next question is usually “How long does a speeding ticket affect insurance?” It’s generally three to five years, but this also depends on where a driver lives.
A ticket affects rates as long as it remains on a driving record, and each state determines that time frame. You can check with your state’s department of transportation if you’re curious how long speeding tickets stay on your driving record.
The effect a speeding ticket has on a driver’s car insurance rates should decrease over time, assuming they’re not racking up new ones. But they likely won’t see their rates fall to pre-ticket levels until the ticket is off their driving record.
What to do if you get a speeding ticket
If you get a speeding ticket and you’re concerned about your rates, do the following:
- Consider contesting the ticket. If you think your ticket was unfair, you can contest it in court. A driver may not win, but if they do, their insurance company won’t hold the ticket against them.
- Think about a defensive driving course. Certain states will drop some moving violations if drivers complete a defensive driving course. This may be online or in person. They’ll have to pay to take the course, but this fee will likely be less than the extra money they’ll pay in car insurance premiums if the speeding ticket remains on their record.
- Shop around for different insurance. Some insurance companies are more lenient on drivers with speeding tickets than others. If yours raises your rates considerably, it’s worth getting quotes from a few other companies to see if you can score a better rate elsewhere.
- Drive more carefully in the future. A policyholder can’t hide a speeding ticket from their insurance company because the insurer has access to that person’s driving record. So a driver probably won’t avoid a rate increase entirely. But by making an effort to drive more carefully going forward, motorists can hopefully avoid future speeding tickets.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/insurance/auto/speeding-tickets-affect-car-insurance/