If you’re driving on the road, you want to keep pace with the flow of traffic. But sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly, you go faster than the stated speed limit in that particular area. In either case, the consequence can be the same — you may be hit with a speeding ticket. You can beg, cry, plead, or tell the officer you’re rushing to work. The officer may show some grace and let you off with a warning, but if not, you’ll have to deal with a speeding ticket. But then the questions start to arise. Do speeding tickets affect insurance? How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket? In this brief guide, we break down what to know about speeding tickets and car insurance.
Do speeding tickets affect insurance?
It’s no secret that speeding tickets aren’t exactly cheap. The average speeding ticket cost in California could be several hundred dollars after fees and such for an initial $35 base fine. That’s not even close to some of the costs in other parts of the country (Virginia reportedly has the highest penalties, with citations that can cost upwards of $1,000!).
But that initial sting of the ticket itself is just part of the overall financial repercussions. If you’re wondering, “Do speeding tickets affect insurance?” the answer is most likely “yes”. When you get a speeding ticket, you may get a point on your license, which is added to your driving record. If this is your first speeding ticket, you may be able to go to traffic school and get the point taken off your record without affecting your insurance. But that’s not always the case.
A major factor in determining your insurance rate is your driving record, and that includes traffic violations like speeding tickets. The more tickets you have, the more likely your insurance rates will rise.
Here’s how a speeding ticket may affect your car insurance:
- Your car insurance premium may increase at the time of renewal.
- Rates could increase for several years.
- Whether your rate increases can depend on the speed, location, and state.
- You may lose out on a “good driver” discount or other relevant discounts.
- If your driving record has a lot on it and it’s pretty serious — and a speeding ticket is just the icing on the cake — it may be difficult to get car insurance from a private company. If that’s the case, you can see if your state provides government auto insurance.
Why do car insurance rates go up after a speeding ticket?
Your driving record helps insurers understand how much of a risk you might be on the road. And guess what determines your driving record in addition to accidents and minor fender benders? Yep, speeding tickets.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents. So when you engage in this risky driving behavior, it’s natural for your insurance company to take this additional risk factor into account. If you rack up multiple speeding tickets, it can have a more significant impact on your rates.
The (kind of) good news is that according to an analysis from The Zebra, speeding tickets are the least costly kind of traffic violations when it comes to insurance rates. But the potential price hike can still be significant. If you’re worried about how much does insurance goes up after a speeding ticket, on average, it’s $354 per year according to an analysis by financial site NerdWallet. Not exactly a small amount.
The thing about speeding is that it’s not a black and white issue — a driver may be caught speeding a few miles over the limit or far past the limit. In other words, there’s a lot of room for nuance and going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit is different than going 25 to 50 miles per hour over the speed limit.
The severity may be reflected in your speeding ticket and your car insurance rate hike. It all depends on how your state treats speeding tickets and the limits, as well as your car insurance provider.
Each car insurance provider may treat a speeding ticket differently. While some companies only increase rates if a driver receives a ticket for going more than 15 mph over the posted limit, other companies may not increase the rate at all if it’s a first-time offense.
Of course, having multiple traffic violations, including speeding tickets can add points to your driving record. That may mean you could be at risk for sky-high insurance premiums. In the worst case, you may get your license revoked or suspended.
Here’s where you can take a deep breath though — traffic violations don’t permanently affect your insurance rates. So if you think speeding tickets will be on your driving record forever and lead to crazy expensive rate hikes for eternity, think again.
Most companies examine your list of traffic violations over the last three to five years when determining your rate, and once a ticket is removed from your driving record (this varies by state, but most states take away the points after three years), insurance companies can no longer hold the infraction against you (phew!).
What can you do to lower car insurance premiums after a speeding ticket?
If your primary concern is about cost it’s natural to wonder how much does a speeding ticket raise insurance? Just how much it increases can depend on your driving history and insurer, but there may be some ways to lower car insurance premiums after a speeding ticket.
The first thing you want to do is see if you qualify for a defensive driving course so you can avoid getting a point added to your record. If so, then that’s a big win and can save you money in the long run. You’ll still have to pay for traffic school though and the ticket plus any associated fees.
Next, commit to being a safe driver and be more mindful of speed while on the road. One speeding ticket isn’t the end of the world but racking up plenty more won’t do you any favors in the cost-savings department.
You also want to see if the speeding ticket will affect your car insurance premium or not. If you have a good driving history and this is a one-off thing on a spotless record, your insurance company may not take any action.
However, if your insurance company does raise your car insurance premium it may be for several years. Depending on the increase and your preference, it may be good to shop around and look at other coverage options.
The bottom line
After getting hit with a speeding ticket you may worry and wonder how much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket?! It may be several hundred dollars, depending on your record, your insurer and if you can take defensive driving or not. Though it can be costly, a one-time thing is like a warning from the universe to slow down.
Going forward, be aware of the speed limit in the area you’re driving. In the best case scenario, you won’t have a premium increase. If your car insurance premium does rise, look into getting other car insurance coverage. Low-mileage drivers can take advantage of pay-per-mile coverage with Metromile. You do things like pay for gas by the gallon. So why not pay for miles based on how much you drive? It’s car insurance that makes sense. Grab a complimentary quote with Metromile to see about potential savings.