It is stressful to see a police vehicle with flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You will likely begin to immediately worry about how expensive the ticket will be, but you may not initially consider the long-term financial impact a ticket can have on your insurance premiums. A speeding ticket can affect insurance by resulting in hefty rate increases. However, these rates vary depending on each insurance company’s guidelines.
Why Does an Insurance Premium Increase After a Speeding Ticket?
Auto insurance companies will base the premiums they charge on the degree of risk they take in issuing a policy. Your risk will be determined by your driving history as assessed in the past few years.
Speeding is one of the most common traffic offenses. Because excessive speed can increase the severity of injuries and property damage and the likelihood of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident, it increases the chances of an insurance company having to pay a claim on your policy.
Any time you are purchasing a new policy, the insurance company will check your driving history to determine how much your premium will be. It will keep monitoring your driving record and adjust your insurance rates based on their calculation of risk the insurer might incur.
You will be subjected to a higher premium to compensate for the increased risk the insurance company accepts in continuing to insure you after you have been ticketed or arrested for speeding. If your auto insurance company determines that the risk of insuring you is too great—typically after multiple driving infractions—they may cancel your policy.
How Much Do Speeding Tickets Affect Insurance Rates?
Some insurers will forgive a first-time speeding ticket as long as you were not traveling too far above the posted speed limit, but most insurance companies will impose a rate increase between 20 and 30 percent. The amount your insurance will increase will depend on your age, where you live, how far above the speed limit you were driving, and how many previous tickets you have on your record. In addition, if you are benefiting from a safe driving discount from your insurer, a speeding ticket will cancel the discount, increasing your rates even more.
Insurers will use your current driving history to determine your insurance rates. Some traffic violations will fall off your driving record after approximately three years; therefore, you can expect your speeding ticket to impact your finances for a minimum of the next three years, on average. Drivers with multiple traffic violations and speeding tickets in their current driving history are considered ‘high risk’ and more likely to file claims than those with clean driving records. Thus, these drivers can expect an even longer duration of increased rates.
How Can I Keep My Insurance Premiums Low After a Speeding Ticket?
If you have already received a speeding ticket, there are many things you can do to avoid the high cost of your auto insurance.
- Focus on safe driving. The bottom line is to drive carefully. The better your driving record is, the lower the premiums you will be paying. Avoiding a second or third speeding ticket will keep your premiums affordable. Watch your speed, especially in areas that are heavily patrolled.
- Contest the speeding ticket. Contesting a police report is usually a long process, but if you win in your case, your insurance will not increase. Although you can represent yourself in court, you have a higher chance of beating your ticket if you work with a skilled traffic ticket lawyer.
- Delay. Most speeding tickets come with a court date that is usually some months away. If you ask for a continuance, you can push that date up to a year later. The added time may work in your favor in the event that the officer who issued the ticket retires, resigns, is laid off, or is transferred, and you can then ask for a dismissal.
- Consider changing your coverage. If your premiums have already increased, you may consider changing your coverage to reduce the cost, although it depends on your auto insurance needs. You should consult your insurance agent to help you with available options and help you make the right choice. Alternatively, you may find more competitive rates with another auto insurer.
- Take a defensive driving course. If the option to take a safe driving course is available in your state, taking this class can result in your speeding ticket being dismissed and erased from your driving record. This course is an option just one time in most states, but it can significantly help. This class can be taken online in most cases.
Speeding tickets have affected many drivers with their associated increased cost of auto insurance. Insurers rely on driver’s records when determining the premiums each driver will be paying annually. They may consider drivers with speeding tickets high risk, raising their premiums even when the driver has not made a claim. The surest way to enjoy low premiums is to drive carefully and responsibly. In addition, it is vital to work with a traffic ticket lawyer to contest your speeding ticket and help you avoid long-term high insurance rates.