If you get a speeding ticket while driving, there’s a good chance it will lead to an increase in your car insurance rates at your next renewal. The extent of the impact that speeding tickets can have on your insurance rate will depend on multiple factors, such as your state, the speed at which you were traveling and your driving record.
How Much Does a Speeding Ticket Affect Your Insurance Rates?
Maybe you were going a few miles over the speed limit. Maybe it was more than that. If you're in a school or construction zone, the fee you pay the state could be higher. No matter how fast you were going, a single speeding ticket will likely increase your auto coverage rates for a couple of years, but how much can you expect you car insurance rates to go up by?
Based on rate data we examined for the 10 largest car insurance companies in the country, insurance rates increase by $289 per year after traffic tickets on average.
In the table below, we've listed the average car insurance rates by state for a driver without a speeding ticket and the same type of driver with a speeding ticket in the past three years. If you have multiple tickets on your driving record, this effect will increase.
Note: Your rate increase and your rates will depend on your unique driving profile the rates showcased below are an average for a specific driver profile.
Rate increase after speeding ticket
|Company||Rates with clean record||Rates with speeding ticket||$ increase|
*USAA is only available to active and former military members and their families.
These rates are based on a 35-year-old single adult with one driver and one vehicle on a policy. The car used was a 2015 Toyota Highlander LE. Full coverage was used with 100/300/50 limits and a $500 collision and comprehensive deductible. One driver had 0 accidents or speeding tickets within the past three years and the other driver had 1 speeding ticket in the past 3 years. Both drivers had a good credit score. The rates displayed should only be used for comparative purposes as individual rates will differ. Rate data is provided by Quadrant Information Services.
How Fast Do You Have to Go to Increase Your Auto Insurance Rate?
How fast you were going in relation to the speed limit will also affect your car insurance. While some insurance companies won't increase your premium for a one-off violation case, others may not increase the rate until you are fined for driving 15 mph over the speed limit. To be on the safe side, though, you should avoid tickets whenever possible for a moving or non-moving violation.
Some states have a point system which involves assigning a point to a driver for every traffic violation. Accumulation of a certain number of points within a specific period can result in the revocation or suspension of the violator's license. So even if you were only going 5-10 mph over the speed limit several times, you could lose your license and see a significant spike in your annual premium.
- At least four points within a year, or
- At least six points within 24 months, or
- At least eight points within 36 months
The extent of severity with which the violator's state classifies their driving record will have an impact on the amount of increase in the insurance premium.
How long does a speeding ticket affect your insurance?
A speeding ticket typically will stay on your insurance record for between three to five years, depending on your car insurance company.
Some insurance companies offer accident or violation forgiveness, which means your first accident or first speeding ticket won't affect your car insurance rates. You typically have to pay for this feature, though. So you pay more up front to not see insurance rate increases after the first incident. The amount you save could vastly outweigh the amount you spend to have this benefit, though.
If you stay with the same company and pay your premiums on time, insurance companies may not notice a ticket unless something bigger happens. Running your record every 6-12 months requires insurance companies to pay a fee. So unless you give them a reason to check, they often won't.
Why do speeding tickets affect your car insurance?
When deciding your car insurance premium, insurers consider your risk profile. Drivers with a record of reckless behavior represent a higher risk than those with a clean slate, which is why auto insurance companies demand a higher premium to cover those with a blemished driving record.
Car insurance companies consider the chances of a driver with one or more speeding tickets getting involved in an at-fault accident are higher than a driver without them. Insurers perceive this as a higher likelihood that they may have to pay out a claim. To cover the risk, the insurer will require a higher premium.
What Should You Do after Receiving a Speeding Ticket?
If you've recently received a speeding ticket, you have a few potential options to limit the impact it will have on your car insurance rates.
Contest the decision
If you were not at fault, contest the officer's decision to award you the ticket. If you can prove your point, the courts will dismiss your ticket. So your carrier won't see that ticket or increase your premium. An example would be if the speed limit decreased, but the sign that would warn you was covered by a large tree branch. Even if you were going 1 mph over the speed limit, many judges will trust the officer's judgment.
Opt for Traffic School
Some states drop points from the record of drivers who opt for a defensive driving course. When taking a course, compare the fee with the increase in the premium and the cost of the driving ticket. Many drivers opt into these classes to avoid points for their first ticket or keep their license if they're on the edge. Only certain types of violations qualify, and your state may require you stay incident free for a set period after to have it fully forgiven. if you were going 20-30 miles per hour over the speed limit, you likely will not qualify for this type of program.
Raise your deductible and improve your credit score
To provide an incentive to your carrier to reduce your premium, select a higher deductible. Because your carrier will evaluate your credit history in most states when determining your premium, take steps to improve your credit score as well. You can do this in the beginning or to balance out a premium increase.
Shop for new insurance
If you've experienced a rate increase after a speeding violation, it may be time to shop and see if you can save money with another company. Keep in mind, any time you shop for a new policy, you should expect them to check your record. If you have a clean driving record, this doesn't matter. If you have a recent ticket your insurer hasn't registered, the new company will, which could lead to an insurance increase in the quote. Even if your rates are about the same, you may be able to save on your auto insurance premium by switching. You can get a quote at any time.
Start by seeing which insurers other drivers recommend on this list of the best car insurance companies.
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